“Ephraim will return to Egypt” (Hosea 9:3)
Egypt was the place of Israel’s captivity. Some might say it was the place where they felt comfort and peace, because they knew it so well. Of course, this only created a false sense of safety and security, because it was the very place they lived as slaves for over 400 years.
You and I do the very same thing. God has freed us, but we keep going back into our old prisons of enslavement and bondage. Oh, how quickly we forget our freedom in Christ and once again we return to the very place of our captivity.
Why do we do this? I believe there are a number of reasons, but here is what I’ve observed in my own life and in the lives of others.
1. It’s easier. Moving towards our true freedom means we must do some hard work. It requires us to faithfully fight against the entrapments of our old life and to count ourselves as dross, holding fast to Jesus Christ for our deliverance.
2. I am not in the word. I remember a few summers ago I was burnt out, running around doing so much and resting so little. I wasn’t hiding myself in God’s word. This resulted in disastrous behavior, leaving me to deal with the consequences of my foolish rebellion.
3. I’m living in fear. We are not all that different from Israel who stood before the promised land about to claim God’s promise over their life, but coward in fear and found themselves wandering the desert for 40 years. I wonder how many of us have been given a promise, through God’s word, but we have allowed fear to keep us from claiming that promise. Instead of running with freedom and confidence, we lie hidden, wandering in fear and doubt.
4. I’m not ready to hear wise counsel. There have been times when a dear friend has spoken truth into my life that quite frankly, makes me angry, because I don’t want to hear what I’m doing, how I’m living is as a fool and I need to change.
5. I’m prideful. This one piggy backs off the last point. If I refuse to humble myself, heed the words of wise counsel and submit myself to the authority of scripture I will certainly fall prey to deception. It is without question. I will end up in captivity if I refuse to be humble.
Lord, we need your help. I need your help. I am quick to fall into sin, so quick to find myself wrapped up in what you have freed me from. Show me my foolishness, show me where I need to humble myself to walk as a woman who is free in Christ Jesus. Amen.