Exodus – What I Learned This Time Around
I’ve always loved the stories in Exodus. What a powerful God we have! Each time I read them or hear them I am in awe of God’s miraculous and mysterious ways to get his people out of slavery into a life of freedom. Just like the people in Exodus so are we in deep trouble. Blessedly God’s story of salvation did not end at Exodus. Salvation is something God did (especially in Jesus) and is doing for us because we are unable to do it for ourselves.
What I learned this time around reading Exodus (or should I say what God was teaching me this time around while reading Exodus) is that just like back then it is GOD who is doing the salvation work. It’s not us. It was not Moses. It’s certainly not me. But we are all been called to do God’s work. Henri Nouwen puts it powerfully this way: “We seldom realize fully that we are sent to fulfil God-given tasks. We act as if we were simply dropped down in creation and have to decide to entertain ourselves until we die. But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.”
God has been calling me to spend more and more time with him (reading the word, staying in his presence, praying, listening) and it has started to take up a huge amount of my work time (my kids are at kindergarten 6 hours/day). This puzzled me because at the very same time I have so many work projects on my plate that I felt there is no way I can do all those things if I have to spend so much time with God. I know, I know. It does sound funny. But I really felt there is NO WAY I can do all that work in so little time left.
While reading Exodus and praying I realized: it’s not ME doing any of this work. It is GOD. It’s not about me. So, now I am happily (I enjoyed it previously, too, but I felt guilty) spending time in the presence of the Lord knowing that he is going to do all the work through me. Miraculously it has worked out just fine. I’ve learned this saying of Martin Luther to be very true: “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Prayer gets the perspective right. It’s not about us, it’s all about GOD!
Just like in Exodus God is the one who is today working to get people out of trouble into the saved, free life. Just like in Exodus God is today calling us from slavery into the kingdom of salvation. Just like in Exodus God is today teaching us how to live the salvation life freely and animatedly.
Just as the book of Exodus would not be complete without the stories of salvation AND the instructions for Godly living we are not complete if we don’t put the gift of salvation into practice AND if we don’t keep on learning what God has in store for us. We have an awesome God who wants to lavish his children with his love, his peace, and his joy. God is urging us to embrace the gift of salvation and live out our faith. God is calling us to start living our lives with the conviction that God really has a plan for us and God-given tasks to do.
That’s what I learned reading Exodus this time around.
Thank you for bringing us out of slavery.
Thank you for teaching us how to live in your grace.
Clear our eyes to see the tasks you’ve prepared for us to do.
Guide us to always keep the right perspective:
it’s all about YOU!
Equip us to do your work.
Enable us to share the gift of salvation with others.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What has God been teaching you lately?
Be blessed, fellow pilgrim! God loves you so much! He wants to spend time with you and show you why he has created you!
Photo courtesy of Carlos Restrepo