Walk this way...
After God brought me a breakthrough the other night (see "We're breaking you out..."), I sat down to read my Bible the following morning and, for the first time in I don't know how long, I opened the Bible up randomly and started to read and it spoke to me (*sigh*), as it used to...before I shut my heart down. :D Gotta love that! That was one of the things I'd been praying for prior to the breakthrough. I wanted to pick up my Bible with a desire to read it and have God give me insight when I did. I was so blessed and grateful when this happened...YAY! :D
Actually, I hadn't planned to open my Bible up on a random page and read, I was opening it and the first page it opened to was Exodus 1. I looked at Exodus as I reached for my coffee and thought, "Ugh! Too heavy. Let's go to the New Testament." ;) But then the Holy Spirit's prompting came and, receiving peace, I read Exodus 1 through to Exodus 2:10.
I was blown away when I saw my own journey in it. And not just mine, but a journey for many - if not for all - who follow Jesus.
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
The Israelites oppressed
1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. 5 The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy, in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.
6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7 but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.
8 Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. 9 ‘Look,’ he said to his people, ‘the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.’
11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labour, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labour in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labour, the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 ‘When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.’ 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, ‘Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?’
19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, ‘Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.’
20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own.
22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: ‘Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.’
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
The Birth of Moses
1 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river-bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. ‘This is one of the Hebrew babies,’ she said.
7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?’
8 ‘Yes, go,’ she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.’ So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, ‘I drew him out of the water.’
The Israelites Oppressed:
The Believer Oppressed/The Christian Oppressed/The
Follower of Christ Oppressed/The Church-goer Oppressed.
(Take your pick. :) )
- There may come a time in your walk, and church experience, when a leader in the church you're attending, or start to attend, fails to see your worth - no matter how fruitful you may be, or may have been prior to meeting them.
- This leader may fear what you have: Your gifting. Your freedom in the Holy Spirit. Your popularity. The power you've been given from God. So on and etc. (I have learnt over the years that not all leaders are as trusting of the Holy Spirit's leadership as one would imagine a leader in the church ought to be. Some do fear giving full reign to the Holy Spirit in their church or meetings. And some do carry fear and, or, jealousy.) They may feel threatened by you in some way. If jealousy, or fear, grips their heart, or if they feel threatened by you, you will feel oppressed, one way or another, by their leadership.
- BUT...the more you are oppressed as you continue on serving God, the more you will multiply and 'spread'.
- The enemy/Satan can come through the authority over you if their heart isn't right. If/when he does, he will seek to destroy your ministry. BUT...God will send people to favour you, help you, and ensure your ministry isn't killed. You will know these "helpers" can be trusted, and will know they are truly on your side, when you know they fear God over man...
- God will be kind to those who help you. (Bless them greatly, Father. XXX)
- I LOVE the way Exodus 2 starts: "Now..." Oppression has struck, you're being, or have been, mistreated, everything seems so wrong - is wrong, you're under threat somehow, then, "Now..." As I read 'now', I read "NOW GOD!" That screamed at me, so to speak, saying, "No matter what's going on, NOW GOD! God is still in control. God still has a plan. See it or not, this is a plan that will bring about good in more ways than you may ever know. God has not put "The End" over your story. You will succeed. You will help set the prisoners free. You will win. God will win - 'now!'"
- When it comes time to birth your ministry, it will be 'a fine' one.
- It's ok to hide 'your ministry', or giftings, or whatever it is that offends 'that leader', (Ex 2:2), but there will come a time, because of the growth God has caused, when it can be hidden no longer. You don't control the timing of the birth, the extent of the growth, or the revealing of your ministry, but...NOW GOD! :) God does. His timing. He sees the big picture. Trust Him on that. He has a purpose, and you're part of it. :)
- What really struck me hard here - and that in a joyful way, was how the enemy thinks he is going to destroy you, when, actually, God has planted you in the enemy's camp, so to speak. Satan wants you destroyed. He will use any leader he can get hold of to bring you down...but God. ;) God has a plan. Not only has a plan, He has the confidence to know He wins. So confident in this is He, that He plants you in the enemy's camp... You know the story of Moses, and how God uses him to help set God's people free? Well, welcome to that camp. :)
- I love that Moses's mother was called to nurse him - and the enemy did not know. :)
- Ah, the meaning of Moses's name. How great is that! :D "I drew him out of the water." When oppression comes, it feels like you're drowning, doesn't it. Ah, but God... :) God has a plan. God will draw you out.