Listen to this devotional:
Exodus 14:12 – Didn't we say to you in Egypt, "Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians"? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert! (NIV)
When I first became a Christian, I found it tough to try to live up to Christ's standards. I wanted to remain the same, and Christ to be different. I wanted Him to accept who I was, instead of me accepting His terms of belief. I wanted Jesus to be my friend, my pal, my best buddy, especially during those times when I wanted to go out and get drunk, paint the town red, and do whatever I desired. In other words, I wanted Christ to save me but still let me do what I had always done.
But being double-minded just didn't work. I was always fighting within myself to overcome temptation, and then when I failed, I had to fight with my pride in order to fulfil my need to confess. One moment, I was happy with the Lord; the very next, I was angry with Him. I'm certain that there was some psychological scarring going on, and old wounds that had never been healed were beginning to fester, as well as pester me.
What was occurring was an ancient work of God. I was being convicted and afflicted by the Holy Spirit, but I didn't understand it at the time. I had given my heart to Jesus, but not my whole life. I was still keeping some things back, some things that I wanted to possess on my own. The trouble was this: the more I held back from Christ, the less able I was to deal with temptation. The more absorbed I became with my desires, the less faithful I was to God.
At some point, the struggle reached a stage where I had either to give up being a Christian or to go forward in faith. I had to let go of the past and move on with Christ. I had to let go of Egypt, and let God lead me through my spiritual wilderness to Christ's Promised Land. After struggling for months, I eventually surrendered my soul. It wasn't easy, but it was the best thing that I have ever done in my life.
Perhaps some of us are struggling with an issue from the past or are deeply troubled about our present circumstances. Maybe we're pining for the good old days or fearful of what lies ahead. Whatever we are experiencing, it's time to surrender it all to Christ and place it in His hands. Being depressed about the past or anxious about the future just saps our energy, well-being, and health. When we put ourselves in Christ's arms, He embraces us and all our baggage. He promises to help us through the emotional wilderness and to lead each of us to a better life, a more hopeful time, and a brighter day. I know this to be true.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to surrender our lives to You today. Give us the courage to let go of our fears and worries, so that we can replace them with faith and assurance in You. In Your holy name, we earnestly pray. Amen.