I have always found the bible story of the Israelite people walking in the desert to the promised land a fascinating story. A trip that should have never took forty years did. We look at this story and we all go “how could they complain, walk in circles, watch God do miracles and still want to go back to slavery.”
I began to look at this story in a different light in the last two years. I made the choice to obey God and pick up my roots and move across the country. It was something I believed God had told me to do so, I listened. I spent a lot of time the first year having moments where I wanted to just go back. Now, I don’t want anyone to think I am bad mouthing my life before moving but there was a lot of unhealthy situations that I needed to get out of in order to be able to grow. Some of the situations that created slavery inside me. God had been impressing on my heart a lot about walking into the “promised land” before leaving and of course I was initially so excited but then some of the slave mentally kicked in after being here a few months. I began to almost idolize my “Egypt” and wasn’t realizing why God had taken me out of there in the first place. Just because you leave “Egypt” doesn’t mean it leaves you.
God provided manna from heaven and water in the desert(a miracle) and yet the Israelite’s complained and wanted to go back. That is exactly what I was doing. There was this since of unfamiliarity and I was so uncomfortable that I hated. I felt like an alien in another planet. I was so used to living in a state of trauma, pain, and slavery that I had excused it and thought of all the good things and ignored the fact there was so many reasons I needed to leave. I was missing all of God’s miracles because I was in unfamiliar terrain and just wanted to go to what was familiar even if that meant slavery. God is so gracious and I am so glad I chose to trust Him and stayed planted even if I wanted to go back.
I wanted to give a couple tips and encouragement if you find yourself in a state of trying to walk into the promised land whether physically , emotionally, spiritually or all the above but keep wanting to go back to the past.
- Keep listening and meditating on His promises. Stay in your word, journal things he has told you and believe for those things to come. You need his voice to guide you.
- Break off ties with the old and let God restore your soul, mind, and body.. Sometimes that means relationships sometimes this means breaking off old mindsets. This ties in with #1, God has to transform your mind with his word to help break off the old. I have needed to go to counseling and seek wisdom to be able to heal from some old wounds and be transformed. This will take time and is a daily choice. We must break old habits and form new ones.
- Surround yourself with people who will stand along side you and help you keep on path. Good friendships bring strength and also honesty to help you walk in his promises. Find people who will pull the gold out of you and will also not be afraid to point out the dirt and help you clean it up.
- Stop romanticizing the past. There is a reason God ended things. Be honest with yourself and recognize those things and keep the past in the past.
- Trust in the promise giver. There were times where I knew if I had nothing familiar or constant that I knew God was. I knew He had brought me here not to leave me but to see me flourish. I kept my eyes on him and it took a good year before I began to see God brings His promises to pass. I know God is trustworthy so I held onto that and before I knew it I began to have a glimpse into what he had been doing all along.
God wants you to walk in the promised land. He desires to see you grow and flourish. The road isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to take forty years. I leave you with this verse.
“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
I pray you all will step into the promised land God has called you to and began to find healing and freedom God has for you to no longer live in slavery.