Returning to Egypt?

So you wanna go back to Egypt, where it’s warm and secure.
Are you sorry you bought the one way ticket
when you thought you were sure?

It’s strange how we only remember the good parts of the “good ol’ days”; all the bad events become lost in the vast space of gray matter. Perhaps that’s why drug addicts have a hard time shaking the habit — it’s because they forgot the hangovers, jail time, and wasting all their money on a stupid habit that takes and takes but never gives back.

I think this is another on satan’s short list of favorite tactics. You see, first he persecutes you for being a Christian, and then reminds you what a great life you had before you were a Christian. The temptation to give up and return to the old life exists simply because many people travel that friendly and social path — the end of which is death. A Permanent, eternal, unpleasant end.

So you wanna go back to Egypt, where old friends wait for you.
You can throw a big party and tell the whole gang,
That what they said was all true.

“Yeah, I tried that God stuff — it didn’t work for me”. How many times have you heard that? How many times have you thought that? I thought so. Your old friends always remind you of the good times (conveniently omitting all the bad), trying to pull you back while wishing they themselves could climb out of the tar pit they fell into.

We always desire to go back. The Israelites faced a similar problem as they departed from Egypt; upon arriving at the promised land they decided not to go in. Why? It’s too tough — there are giants in the land! And Egypt — my how our life was better back then! Slavery? Well, yeah, that was a bummer, but the food was good! (And we know from the story of Esau what people will sell for a pot of stew, or drink, or fix).

Not believing the promises of God they wasted 40 years. This is another of satan’s tactics — getting us to waste our time. Instead of pushing on in our service to God we believe what we can see with our eyes (the giants before us) and forget what we can’t see (the invisible warriors lined up beside us). If you need a review, read 2 Kings chapter six — Elisha knew what was there all along, while his servant only believed what he could see. (We need to be aware of the multi-dimensional space we inhabit. While we are aware of only four dimensions, we live in at least ten. Second Kings chapter six shows what goes on in the other six dimensions).

You wanted to live in the Land of Promise, but now it’s getting so hard. Are you sorry you’re out here in the desert, instead of your own backyard?

When God calls you out of the world and into the promised land it’s time to get moving! But we get too much of our theology from TV. Oh, you’ve seen the type — just come to Jeeeesus and life will be good. Marriage in trouble? Give it to Jeeeeesus. Want a bigger house? Pray to Jeeeesus. And of course they imply if you’re still in trouble it’s because you didn’t have enough faith. (I wonder what these guys would tell Paul — did he lack faith to get his thorn removed? I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell Paul).

These rose-colored glasses cause the problem. (I must point out this problem exists primarily in the United States as Christians in other countries don’t have it nearly as easy as we do — they don’t fall victim to what Walter Martin called “easy believism”). Somehow we believe the Christian life is supposed to be easy. But it’s not. Triumphant, yes, but easy, no. The Christian life is a battleground — but sometimes we think it’s too hard and want to go back to before we were born again — we’re always drawn to go back.

But by who? Certainly not God. Could it be perhaps satan? Israel remembered the leeks and onions and forgot the slavery. What about you? What is satan reminding you of? Something you’d be better off without, I’m sure. Satan has a way of making us forget the bad stuff while reminding us of all the good times. You know, the life of the party while forgetting about the great white porcelain god (or the next morning). And sure, if you quit satan will leave you alone and stop bothering you, so in some sense life would be easier. Sin is always easy — for a season. But when the bill comes due, look out. It must be paid in full, no monthly payments allowed. It might be tempting to go back, but why listen to satan for advice? He’s a liar and deceiver.

Israel’s (and our) problem is we don’t understand the analogy used in the Old Testament. The promised land is NOT an analogy for heaven as many people think. Battles loom, along with some defeats, setbacks and casualties. Do you think heaven will be like that? I don’t think so. Once you get the analogy straightened out you’ll begin to understand your current situation much better. Don’t expect an easy life as a Christian — you’ll be disappointed. Expect trials, problems and persecution.

Life is hard. But you and God are a majority in any group; you’re in the promised land — why go anywhere else?

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV)

“So you wanna go Back to Egypt” Keith Green, Sparrow Records 1980

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