Thursday, April 28, 2016

Never forget where you came from.

“These are the commandments the LORD proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me. When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me.” (Deuteronomy 5:22-23)

The deliverance of Israel serves as an eternal metaphor of the deliverance New Covenant Believers experience. All of us have a story of God meeting us in the darkness and calling us out of it. Hopefully, that memory is unforgettably entrenched in your heart for it is a key to faithful living.

When we forget where we’ve come from, how God delivered us by his grace;  when our memory of how utterly broken, helpless, hopeless and poor in spirit we were at the moment we surrendered our heart to Christ and experienced the overwhelming warmth of his love and grace as he rescued us from the darkness, poured his love and life into our hearts by His Spirit (Rom. 5:5), and welcomed us into the kingdom of His Son (Col. 1:13)… If, or when we ever forget that, we are in danger of growing proud and self-sufficient in our own eyes.  This always leads to destruction.

The events of Exodus are Israel’s testimony. God came to them while they were slaves. He sent his deliverer (Moses) to lead them out of bondage and into a covenant relationship with Him--as his people, his children. He led them through the waters that forever set them apart from their past.

“I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. 2 In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses.” (1 Cor. 10:1-2, NLT)

Once their deliverance was complete and their past taskmaster was forever crushed, God gave them His Word. He became a father to them—teaching them how to live as sons and daughters of God. He disciplined them when they needed it, and he poured out his grace, comfort and compassion upon then every time they turned to him.

The key to Israel’s relationship with God was remembering who He was, what He had done for them and who He had called them to be as His people. When they kept their eyes on that—they flourished. When they lost sight of that—they floundered.

This is precisely why Scripture repeats this message to Christ-followers again and again in the New Testament:

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col. 3:2) 

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2) 

And many more! Friend, remember the darkness God has delivered you from. Fix your eyes on Jesus and follow Him with all of your heart today!

Until next time...