Where Are You on God's Spiritual Map?
For the past 2000 years, the effect of Jesus in the lives of those who believe Him is undeniable. If you look around you, around the world, and back through history the fact is that millions upon millions of lives have been changed by the power of Jesus Christ. Those who were formerly weak have become strong, those enslaved by selfishness have become selfless, those who lived so long morally and spiritually defeated have become radiantly victorious, those ensnared to fear and worry have become peacefully serene, and those whose lives were nothing but evil have become full of Christ's goodness, gentleness, and kindness.
"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone."
Now, the question is where are we in our spiritual walk today? Are you living in this power of Christ's salvation? Or is your life heading in the wrong direction? God's Word is a historical atlas that charts the lives of saints and sinners. In the Bible we see right and wrong decisions and the good and bad consequences. We see all of this in an inspired record, unedited by human pride and undistorted by human error. The Apostle Paul once summed up the whole record of God's dealings with Israel in this way in 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11 "Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come."
Now, think with me just about Israel as a nation. God summarizes all His dealings with Israel by four specific geographic locations that were not only places that Israel lived, but also in God's Word represent their spiritual condition. What do I mean? Well 1st let me share the four places that will make it clearer. When you think of God's people you will always find them in one of these places: living in the land of Egypt, living in the Wilderness of wandering, living in the Promised land of Canaan, or living in the land of captivity called Babylon.
The four geographic locations seen in the history of Israel illustrate four spiritual experiences.
1. Egypt was the place of death and bondage from which Israel was delivered at the 1st Passover. This reminds us of Christ's death and resurrection, which delivers the believing sinner from bondage and judgment. = Unsaved and before salvation
2. The wilderness experience of Israel was the 40 painful years in the barren wastelands of Sinai. This depicts believers who live in unbelief and disobedience and don't enter into the rest and riches of their inheritance in Christ, either because they don't know it's there or they know and refuse to enter. = Immature Christian lives
3. Canaan was the place of promise, blessing, and riches. = Mature Christian lives
4. Babylon was where the nation of Israel endured seventy years of captivity because they disobeyed God and worshiped the idols of the pagan nations around them. = God's chastening
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