Leaving everything familiar, everything normal, and everything home to pursue the unknown. Sure it was literally slavery, but at least back there was food, shelter, and some form of protection. At least back there was more than walking around a desert following a bright light all day. As a kid in church I would hear this story, the story of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, and I would think about how dumb the ancient Hebrews were. I mean how could they not see how great and good God had been to release them from slavery? Didn’t they see the miracles God had revealed through Moses? I mean… God was turning rivers into blood and unleashing frogs left and right, how could their trust in God die so quickly? They just saw God save them from an entire army by parting an entire sea and then giving the Egyptian army a large communal bath of doom. Where did their faith go?
(Check out the complete story in the Book of Exodus found in the Bible)
It was so easy to look at the Hebrews and think about how faithless they were, until my personal exodus out of California. I had seen God show up in some amazing ways there like taking care of the cost of college, providing amazing friends and mentors, and taking care of me whenever I was an idiot and screwed up. As well, I knew God wanted me in Kansas City. I knew the opportunity was amazing, and God had some amazing stuff up his proverbial sleeve. But as I drove out of California and into Arizona I was NOT thinking about how God was going to take care of me….
Instead I was thinking of how I wanted to go back. I wanted familiar, normal, home. I wanted the place where everyone knew my name. In short, I wanted my own version of the Cheers bar, and I never wanted to leave it. My faith was weak, and I was ungrateful and terrified.
Now the lack of faith in the Hebrews made much more sense.
It sucks leaving the familiar. The familiar is safe. It is known. It requires little faith
The unknown doesn’t always promise an outcome, it is faith filled, and it is the perfect place for fear to arise in our hearts.
It was this very fear that kept the Hebrews in bondage long after they left slavery, and it is this same fear that can keep us bound today.
It is a common occurrence in modern day sex slavery that when the women are rescued from the terrors of slavery they often go right back into it. They choose slavery over freedom, but its not because they are awful, it is simply because they are afraid of anything different.
For us, we might be afraid of switching jobs, going into a relationship, or even making the decision to surrender our lives to Jesus. We are afraid. We are afraid of what happens when we step into the dark, but isn’t that where faith comes in? Isn’t faith only real when we don’t see every step?
Not all bondage requires chains. For me, I broke the bondage when I stopped looking back at California, and instead pushed on toward Kansas City. For you, it might be a phone call, a letter, or a prayer. Whatever it is. Don’t allow yourself to be held in bondage. Don’t give up your freedom of living in faith.
Pursue the adventure of faith, and keep moving forward.