For the children of Israel it became the Egyptians. They certainly didn’t start out as slaves. In fact, God delivered them from a severe famine through Joseph. Now living in Egypt, with Pharaoh’s blessing, Joseph then gave his family favored status and they grew in strength and numbers.
Perhaps they began to forget that this was not their land of promise. Perhaps they had grown comfortable in their prosperity. Or maybe they became complacent in their attitudes and dependent upon the favor of the Egyptians. Whatever the reasons, over the next 400 years, entitlement would gradually turn into slavery.
Finally, in desperation, Israel cried out to God. He answered and delivered them supernaturally through Moses. They became eye witnesses to some of the greatest miracles ever recorded. Yet, that generation never entered the promise land and often talked of returning to the land of their slavery when things got tough.
Hebrews 3&4 compares the rest that God has for believers today to the Promised Land of old. It says that the children of Israel did not enter in because of unbelief. In spite of all they had witnessed, the enemies seemed too powerful and the risk too great. The voice of the task masters were still in their head.
Are you crying out for freedom? Are you asking God to deliver you from the task masters of poverty, sickness and fear? If you are, you’re praying the wrong prayer.
Did you know that the only real task master is the one living on the inside; the same one that tormented the minds of the children of Israel? He is ruthless, unforgiving, unrelenting and he believes the lies of the deceiver. He holds you captive, preventing you from entering the rest that awaits you.
The promise is there, you can see it just across the Jordon. “But how can I rest,” you say. “I’m behind on the rent, my child is sick and I am afraid of tomorrow. When God gives me a better job, when He heals my child and when I am confident about the future, then I’ll finally be able to rest.”
And the whip comes down even harder. “You’re worthless, you’ll never amount to anything, you’ll never have enough, you’ll always be sick and you have no future; so get back to work.” That’s the mantra of the task master and the mindset of a slave. All of us have heard that voice.
But God has delivered us; He has set us free through Jesus. He is seated at the right hand of the Father where His enemies are being made His footstool. We are seated with Him because we are in Him and He is in us. That is the great mystery and it’s the door to our freedom and rest.
We do not wait until all is well before we enter the land of rest. We enter in by faith and then our enemies are destroyed one by one. Enemies like poverty, sickness, fear, anxiety, depression, abuse, worry and more are made our footstool and placed under our feet while we rest in Him.
It’s all so contrary to our human nature but in complete agreement with our spirit. Jesus has defeated the enemy. The only task master that can now exist is the one that you allow to remain in your thoughts and in your heart. II Cor. 10:3-6 makes it clear that we are to silence the voice of the liar.
I encourage you to meditate in Hebrews 3&4. Fight the fight of faith and enter into His rest where you will find peace and joy that passes all understanding.
We love you,
Jim and Shirley