Fear Exposed. Day thirty-two...
The Israelites lived in Egypt as slaves, but they left Egypt as a free people with Egypt's wealth. Sounds like a happy ending… right?
And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed; they asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold. The LORD caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth! (Exodus 12:35–36 NLT)
Looking back on this period in the history of the Israelites, it's easy for us to be critical of their behavior in the wilderness. Why weren't they just grateful to be a free people headed toward their Promised Land with the wealth of Egypt? But we can see what they couldn't.
We can look back and see where they came from (the hardship they suffered at the hands of the Egyptians). And we can look forward and see where they were going (a land flowing with milk and honey). But they could only see a barren wasteland ahead, with no certainty other than the invisible presence of God in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire.
We can look back and see how God gave them favor with the Egyptians—leaving their existence as slaves with much of Egypt's riches. And we can look forward and see how God would eventually make them into a great nation of their own. But they could only see people ahead who were trying to kill them. (The Egyptians may have not been too concerned about working them to death, but at least the Egyptians weren't deliberately trying to kill them.)
It's much easier to enter into our future if we can see the outcome.
But we don't get to see the outcome. Faith doesn't have physical eyes. Faith is our evidence of God's promised future, but faith can't see a thing in any kind of a natural way.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)
If we are going to have any hope for our future, it will not come from what we see with our eyes.
It will come from the substance of our hope, which is faith in God.
Our faith in God cannot be based on what we see, because most of what we see ahead of us, with our human eyes, is a barren wasteland—nothing but a place of fear. As for me, here in the United States I can see nothing ahead but a wasteland of destruction brought on by people who are trying to meet their own needs without God.
And while this is completely and utterly depressing… it doesn't have to be. It doesn't have to be completely and utterly depressing, for those of us who have faith in God.
I'm not just playing around with words. Hear what the Bible says about our future:
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15 NIV)
How do we move from fear to faith?
We move from fear to faith by becoming convinced that our future with God is nothing but good news. Let me say it again: We must become convinced that our future with God is nothing but good news!
I don't have any different secular news sources than you do, so I am subject to the same reports about the barren wasteland ahead of us as you are. But I am encouraged even as I write these words, knowing there is nothing in my future with God except good news.
This is our challenge… not just saying that our future with God is nothing but good news, but believing our future with God is nothing but good news—and acting as if we believe it.
This, however, cannot be accomplished if we feel abandoned by our Heavenly Father as the Israelites did in the wilderness. Even as God was watching over them, they proved by their actions (such as building the golden calf) that they considered themselves to be orphans.
How do I know my future with God is nothing but good news? How do you know your future with God is nothing but good news? Where's the proof. Where's the evidence?
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! (Romans 8:14–15 AMP Bible)
To live my life, led by the Spirit of God, is to live my life as a son of God—not as an orphan. While my future as an orphan on my own would be a little scary at best, my future as a son of God has absolutely nothing in it but good news.
Have a good day,