The Heart of the Matter – 7/10/15

The Heart of the Matter

By faith Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE. -Hebrews 11:27

When Moses forsook Egypt he left behind security, reputation, riches, position, authority, power and more. Additionally, Moses would have to forsake something that would cost him more than the loss of these things. From the time of his youth, Moses had been trained and prepared in the courts of Pharaoh to rule as King. In his training, Moses learned that he would be the highest authority in all of Egypt. His mind was set on this and his mind had been trained to rule with all the “wisdom” Egypt had imparted to him.

When the burden of the Lord came upon Moses and the crisis came, Moses did indeed lose his rank and status, but this loss was the result his own actions, when he struck down and killed an Egyptian guard while defending a Hebrew slave. There was, of course, no deliverance for the Hebrew slaves at that time. The only consequence was pronounced upon Moses, who was stripped of his position and exiled to the wilderness. When Moses attempted to defend this Hebrew slave, it was not by the direction of God, but by his own direction and might. In order for Moses to truly “forsake Egypt” he would have to forsake the self-governing spirit that was bound in his “Egyptian” heart!

And so the burden of the Hebrews came upon Moses and with this new found burden, Moses had an intense desire to “stand in the gap”, to somehow make a difference. Initially this burden led Moses to take matters into his own hands, and by his own efforts he attempted to prevail over Israel’s taskmasters, thinking to free Pharaoh’s slaves through his own ideas and ways. Moses’ choice to murder was not God’s mind or leading but came from a heart that was not familiar with God’s ways. Moses was so conditioned to make decisions for himself, that taking matters into his own hands had become “second nature” to him. The result of this self-ruling spirit was murder and that crime led to his exile. Up to this point Moses had only forsaken the riches, prestige, power and comforts of Egypt, but God was never going to be able to use Moses as His instrument until he forsook the independent spirit that predominated his heart and mind.

From this point forward, Moses was driven into the blazing heat and barrenness of the desert. Although Pharaoh had decreed this punishment upon Moses, it was surely the hand of God that brought Moses to this place where the blistering winds of the desert would drive out the last traces of Moses’ self-reliance and arrogant, self-seated wisdom. In order to lead captives out of captivity, one must first see the burden of the Lord or receive a call as Moses had. But this burden and call alone is not enough to set captives free. Indeed, the hand of God must drive us into the backside of the desert where all of our own creative ideas and schemes are blown away by the wind of His Spirit to be replaced by His will and His ways!

Moses, of necessity, would have to forsake a life of comfort when the burden and reproach of his own people came upon him; for the reproach of Israel was God’s own reproach and so too, Moses would bear the same reproach as his brethren. Through this invaluable identification, Moses would become one who would effectively intercede for Israel. Through the wilderness experience, Moses was reduced to a mere shadow of the man he thought he was. As the howling winds of God’s Spirit blew upon Moses, the independent spirit was crucified and a new spirit; a righteous spirit, a new mind; the mind of Christ was brought forth.

If we are to become sons (uihos-a full grown son) of God, or placed (uihothesia) by God as those trusted vessels, those through whom He can move unhindered and unrestrained, then we must become totally dependent on God for everything! Jesus said follow me! Do what I do! Imitate me!

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. – (John 14:10-12)

Even as Jesus boldly stated that He could do nothing without the Father, so too did Jesus tell us that we could do nothing without Him.
In other words, we must become those that we are utterly dependent on Christ… For everything!! Many believers will say a hardy “Amen” to the above scripture, but this “Amen” will be proven false if we continue to direct our lives independent of the direction and wisdom of God. We are all born with a sinful and self-centered nature. Self-rule and an independent spirit are greatly valued by the world and therefore we are trained to exemplify these characteristics until they become “second nature” to us. Turning to Christ is the beginning of our salvation. Learning to die to our independent thoughts and actions, yielding to the Lord’s mind and will are the first steps to a surrendered life. Few of us start out willing to give up our right to rule or govern our own lives. When the burden of the Lord comes upon our life, however, then the working of the wilderness will produce in us a faith and dependence on God that will bring forth much fruit or the greater works that Jesus declared we would do!

In the desert Moses “died” to his independent spirit, his personal ambition and all self-centered motivation. In the wilderness he lost hope in his own desire and expectation of who he thought he might become; “the great and mighty deliverer of Israel”! In the wilderness he faced isolation, suffering, thirst, rejection and danger. It was here that he also began to identify, in reality, with the sufferings of the children of God. It was in the wilderness that Moses forsook the way of “Egypt” that governed his heart. Through all of these experiences, trials and temptations Moses would eventually become the instrument through whom God would use to deliver Israel. Moses had to forsake Egypt and Egypt, likewise, had to be driven out of his heart! These were the conditions God had set for Moses to become the deliverer of Israel.

Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, Leaning upon her beloved? – Song of Songs 8:5

When the process of the wilderness has done its work in us, and we have learned to lean on our beloved Savior and His wisdom rather than our own, we will begin to “see” the Lord of Glory seated and taking His rightful position upon His throne! When we truly forsake an independent, self-governing spirit and self has been dethroned, the Lord will take His place on the throne of our hearts! When Christ is enthroned as High King over our lives, when His ways and will are exalted, and when we give Him total access and power (dominion) over our lives, (our mind, our will, our emotions and our bodies) then and then alone will He be able to use us as He used Moses! Then we will see the “greater works” manifesting through His sons! Romans 8: states:

For the intense anticipation of the creation waits expectantly for the manifestation, the disclosure of the placed and trusted sons of God. (Rom 8:19)

These sons are those who are in submission to and under the direction of the Holy Spirit; they have the heart and mind of the Father. These sons (and daughters) are not needed in the great by and by but are needed, anticipated and intensely longed for now! But there is a cost.

If we allow the Lord to lead us into the wilderness so that our self-ruling spirit might be dealt with, we will begin to SEE God as larger than the dilemma of those we are burdened for! We will see Him mightier than the wrath of the King! When we SEE the Lord enthroned, we will joyfully and carelessly abandon ourselves unto His purposes. We will see Him who is invisible and trust HIM to accomplish HIS desires in and through us. Moses would spend 40 years in the wilderness with the Children of Israel who still had Egypt in their hearts….but Moses could endure, yes, he could remain in faith for them…as seeing Him who is invisible. Moses saw the King of kings enthroned on his heart as the Almighty, all sufficient One! -Amen
From Ghana, West Africa