There’s a space that we can often find ourselves in life, where we’re not where we want to be but we’re not where we used to be. To be honest, it’s a very difficult spot to be in. Our ability to navigate this space determines our happiness and our destiny.
How do we thrive when we’re in between what we want and what we used to be?
How do you balance being relieved that you have made progress but being frustrated that you are still not where you want to be?
The Israelites faced this challenge and the Bible shows us what can happen in this space. There are many lessons that we can learn from the experiences of God's chosen people. The intention of God is for us to live well. I love that their journey hits a “reset” in the book of Exodus which means, “the departure” or “the road out”. It was a season of new beginnings. They were literally “going somewhere” because God sends Moses to go and free the Israelites from Egyptian slavery and bondage. Pharaoh didn’t let them go willingly; the display of the hand of God left him with no choice.
God will set you free from any form of slavery. Get ready to take the road out.
Imagine being in Egypt, tired, and exhausted, daily wishing that you could be free. Then God comes to set you free. Hallelujah! Can you hear the dinner table conversations as the 10 plagues (Exodus 7 - 11) are taking place? Euphoria. It was unquestionable that it was time to go. This was God moving on their situation. A blessing without sorrow. The longing of their hearts had now been fulfilled. They could not have escaped the control of Pharaoh on their own. We need God to get out of hard situations.
Freedom comes with a new set of responsibilities.
This wasn’t the end of the story though. They were no longer slaves, but free men and women. Now they had to go and fight for their destiny; God had given them the Promised Land. The Israelites had gone from forced labor working the land of the Egyptians to being handed their inheritance as the owners of a great land. Tables had turned!
“See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has told you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” ~ Deuteronomy 1: 21
This is the in-between; the excitement has died down and the reality of what lies ahead is humbling. It’s not a coincidence that the words ‘be strong’, ‘be courageous’, ‘do not be afraid’, and ‘do not be discouraged’ are repeated throughout this journey. This is what we need to take back our inheritance. Encourage yourself with these words. The promise belongs to us.
It’s time to seize all of what God has promised to His people.
They had probably talked about the promise of God to their ancestors. God was going to give the children of Abraham a land of their own, and it was now time. Have you ever talked about something that you knew was your portion for so long that you made a decision to stop thinking about it because the waiting had become a source of pain? Proverbs 13: 12 explains this perfectly, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” It’s human nature to get tired of waiting, but we have a promise that waiting will not be our stumbling block.
“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
Trust God, He has you in the right place at the right time.
The familiar is the old thing, the new thing is unchartered waters. Going somewhere you’ve never been can be exciting and scary at the same time. Our memory of the past can be greater than our expectation of the unknown future. This is why the Israelites groaned about having had a better life as slaves (Exodus 14: 12). The journey was just a wilderness to them, they couldn’t see where it was taking them and so they defaulted to what they knew. Ironically, the good old days were never good. It was the vision for the future that was too small.
“ Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” ~ Proverbs 29: 18
They couldn’t see it, but it was the greatest thing that would happen to them as a people. God was setting them apart.
There is a journey to every destination.
Embrace the process. Self-determination is one of the hardest things when we try and do it on our own. To move without knowing the next step is applying for a case of anxiety unless Christ leads the way. Without Jesus Christ, we can do nothing.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~ John 15: 5
Bring everything before God. Allow Him to establish your plans. Trust that God is at work for your good at all times. Keep His commands, the Holy Spirit will help you know which way to go.
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—” ~ John 14: 15 - 16
Be ready, do the work. God led the Israelites the long way to the promised land because they were not ready. In the face of any obstacle, they would have given up. God is so gracious! He is patient with us to allow for the readiness to conquer to be within us. The more blessed we are, the greater our responsibilities, the more we have to be ready to receive them. When you give something to someone who is not ready, you risk two things: either they will abuse the privilege because they don’t understand the responsibility or it will destroy them because they are too immature for the task at hand.
Embrace the process of being made ready. God has a perfect plan for you, and it’s for good.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29: 11
Make a conscious decision to smell all the roses along the path that has been divinely designed for you. Walk, dance, run, skip, sit for a little while, then get moving again. Faith is in the moving. Take consistent action.
Whatever problem you encounter. Jesus is the answer.
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. Noone comes to the father except through me.” ~ John 14: 6
Have a joyful life, filled with Lord-centered, inspired, faithful acts of excellence :)
WHAT HAS HELPED YOU TO GET THROUGH TIMES OF FEELING LIKE YOU ARE NOT WHERE YOU SHOULD BE IN LIFE?
Please share your experience for the benefit of others. You have no idea how it may help someone else.