When Israel was led out of slavery in Egypt God set them on a course to claim an inheritance of a beautiful land promised to their forefathers (Exodus 11). God called them out of Egypt and into a glorious new land.
I think the problem for many Christians is that we miss the second part of this story. Sure, we can recite emphatically that God rescued us from our sin; that Jesus died on the cross for us; and we take the Lord’s Supper each week to remember His sacrifice. Certainly, these are no small truths! This was God’s plan to redeem us. However, if we aren’t careful, we’ll fall into the same trap that the people of Israel did. We aren’t just rescued from something; we are rescued to something.
Let me say that again. God brought you out so that he might bring you in.
In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul tells his readers that when Israel was led by God’s presence in the cloud as they followed him out of Egypt and crossed the Red Sea, they experienced a baptism. They had left their old lives in Egypt behind and were washed in the waters of the cloud and sea and set foot into a new life. Israel’s sin was that they couldn’t comprehend that they had been brought out of slavery in Egypt so that God might bring them into something new.
I think sometimes we treat our walk with Jesus similarly. Nearly 800 times throughout Scripture our faith in God is described as a walk or a path. It’s a journey of trust one step at a time. However, often we live Christian life as if in a bowl and not on a path. Though we’re told otherwise, we go about as if it’s not a journey of increased trust and wild adventure as God calls us to us to ever-increasing surrender and trust. Instead, we live in a Christian bowl. We’re safely secured within the walls around us. Contained there are the rules we adhere to, the beliefs we claim, and the life we want to protect. Sometimes we are stretched to scale the sides. And, for a while, with some excitement, we may clamor for something. But ultimately, we slip back down into security and comfort.
But our Heavenly Father didn’t rescue us so that we can simply be rescued from sin and death. He brought us out so that he can bring us in; set us on a path for adventure and intrigue. We have been rescued for something marvelous.
When we step into a time of worship… we’ve been brought in for a heart-racing encounter with the living God!
When we’re asked to serve others… we’ve been activated for gift-sharing and we mimic the very nature of Jesus!
When we pray and interact with God’s Word… we’re invited into the throne room of the Holy One and at the same time we are sitting in on the couch with our Heavenly Dad.
Every relationship we’re in and person we encounter is a unique opportunity to show Jesus to someone.
Our Father personally invites you and me to experience Him, his love, his beauty, and his grace renewed each day.
Brothers and sisters, when Jesus met his two disciples on the road to Emmaus after his death and resurrection, he challenged them to get out of the bowl of religion and routine and step into the adventure of the new things God called them into!
I have a feeling in this season that God is calling our church family to come alive! Some of us need to wake up. Many of us have been slipping down the sides into the same old things for too long. God is up to something in and around White Oak and in our communities. Life in Christ isn’t about what you’ve been rescued from, it’s what you’ve been invited into. Don’t put off stepping into the new thing (receive forgiveness, forgive someone, give away something in radical generosity, serve the needs of others in our city and in our church family, jump into a life group and build community around you). Do something for God that challenges you and gets your heart racing!
What is God calling you into this week?
Stepping in with you,
White Oak Christian Church