Moving toward Maturity - Part 1
“How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the wasteland!” (Psalm 78:40 NIV)
It has often been said that God took Israel out of Egypt in one night, but that it took him forty years to get Egypt out of Israel. Liberty is no guarantee of maturity. After being in bondage for centuries, the Jewish people had to overcome their slave mentality or they would never have been able to conquer their enemies and claim their inheritance. Israel’s complaining and criticizing was a constant irritation to both Moses and the Lord. But this juvenile attitude is also true of many of God’s people today who should be enjoying their freedom in Christ. If you find yourself thinking or saying any of the following statements, you are still living like a slave and you need to start moving toward maturity.
“Life is such a burden!” Life was a burden to the Jews in Egypt, and they had to obey orders or be punished. Children obey because they fear punishment, but mature people obey out of love and devotion. God led Israel to Sinai, where he displayed his glory and gave them the laws that would protect them and guide them. The people were to love the Lord their God and obey him in every area of life, but this was not slavery. It is the highest kind of freedom when love binds God’s people to the Lord and one another. If life is a burden to you, read and obey Matthew 11:28-30.
“I must have security!” Yes, there were dangers in the desert, but the Lord was with his people to protect them and provide for them. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). The Lord made sure their shoes and clothes didn’t wear out and that they had their daily bread, and he fought against their enemies and gave Israel victory. Loving and doing the will of God is the surest source of security. The safest place in the world is in the will of God.
To be continued…
-Warren Wiersbe (excerpted from the devotional book Old Testament Words for Today)
Read Psalm 78:40-52.