There are three words which God seems to operate within when working and establishing us as the people we were made to be.
They are “out, through and in”. He has applied the same pattern for generations and it’s repeatedly illustrated in the bible through the lives of such people as Abraham, Joseph and David. (Van Moody)
If we examine the account of the Israelites in Egypt we can see the pattern demonstrated again. They were brought “OUT” of slavery in Egypt, led “THROUGH” the wilderness and “IN” to the Promised Land.
God still uses the same process for us today. Egypt is often symbolic of any type of bondage, hardship or limitation in our life. God calls us “out” of these situations because he has blessing, release and restoration on His mind for us. We often then think, “Great now that I’m “out” of that uncomfortable or negative situation I can walk straight into my “promised land”. However the Israelites were first led “through” the wilderness before they entered into the land God had prepared for them. (Exodus 13-15)
Unfortunately at the “out” stage we can be just like the Israelites who grumbled and complained because things were taking longer than anticipated. As a result they sought to go back to Egypt rather than trust God in the midst of their wilderness experience.
No one likes the wilderness moments, where we are proved, refined and more often than not have to wait for God to reveal and release His next move and plan. Given the choice we would probably all opt out of going “through” a wilderness experience and head straight for the Promised Land. As we travel “through” it pays to be mindful as to whether we are doubting God’s goodness towards us and have started to think that things were better back where we’ve come from.
“The sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the LORD’S hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (Exodus 16:3)
God knows the value of the “through” stage for it is in the wilderness that our characters are forged and refined. It is in the wilderness that we discover whether we are prepared to trust and obey God’s leading and way of doing things. It is in the wilderness where we find ourselves and discover what we really believe; it is where our faith and patience is strengthened and given some “muscle”. We usually want a quick overnight process, but it is our willingness to listen, obey and be led that shortens or lengthens our wilderness time frame. We can definitely hold things up by our attitude and stubbornness and by our unwillingness to let go of the things of “Egypt and our past”. Just look at the Israelites who ended up spending 40 years in the wilderness, before entering into the Promised Land.
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands”. (Deuteronomy 8:2)
Today, whatever situation and circumstance you find yourself in, know that God has a plan to bring you “out, through and in”. Trust Him and check your attitude for it is always the willing and the obedient that have the best of the land. Learn from those who have gone before and choose to humble yourself as you allow God to lead and guide you. It’s a much quicker journey when we do!
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land”.(Isaiah 1:19)
Prayer: Lord please help me to be willing and obedient and to follow the process you have to bring me into my “promised land”. Please help me to be quick to listen and obey and that I don’t hold up the process of growth you are working out in my life and I don’t end up wandering around in the wilderness needlessly. In Jesus name Amen.