Lifelines March 21, 2021

Welcome to the incredible journey.  It begins today.  Yesterday’s leg of the trip is over, and there is no do-over of those steps.  Tomorrow exists only in promise.  The here and now is all we have.  Our course is up to us, but remember that whichever we choose has never-ending consequences.  Many influences await to attract our attention.  Distractions drag our focus to the temporary while the eternal fades into the background.

We have come out of the darkness with squinting eyes into the brightness of the Lord’s light.  For some of us, it was decades ago and for others it was more recently.  Either way, it is a radical change.  The whole world appears different.  Once attractive activities lose their appeal.  We question the wisdom of certain friendships that add nothing to our ambitions in this new pursuit.  Some of our buddies pull against us or even put hurdles in the way.  This is unique and uncomfortable.  Old comfort zones are inviting.       

We learned that our lifestyles were out of harmony with the tune of our Creator.  The notes were sour and painful to hear.  His sweet melody drew us to the pursuit of something better, a quest that challenges our morals and tests our ethics.  This is a trip like no other.  The transformation from a purely fleshly perspective to a spiritual one is a struggle.  Those old desires still tug at us, and yielding is an ongoing temptation.

Everybody has their own version of Egypt.  God liberates His children from the slavery of sin just as He freed the Israelites from their captivity.  They wanted to return almost as soon as they crossed the Red Sea.  Freedom is unsettling and scary for people who are accustomed to captivity.  There are choices to make.  Different forms of enslavement always lurk around the next decision.  Resistance to old habits is hard.  We want to go back.

The children of Israel marched right up to the edge of the Promised Land and saw attractive land beyond the river…and massive opposition.  Faith wavered.  Fear took over, not enemies but fear.  They never engaged the battle for the territory that God had for them.  So, they wandered, four decades of shuffling around the wilderness.  How much time do we spend in a spiritual wasteland?  Fear will take us there. 

Everyone has to negotiate the turf between slavery and the Promised Land, but fear makes it a much more difficult trip.  Even Jesus had His own wilderness experience (Matthew 4).  Temptation greeted Him as the devil taunted Him.  He overcame with the word of His Father.  We can, too. 

It is a unique journey.  From a dark, dead existence into the light; out of enslavement to Satan and his troops into freedom.  The Lord leads us through the tough terrain that we cross on the way to our ultimate destination.  It is a wondrous adventure like no other.                

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