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Provision To Prison

Provision To Prison

21 January 2010

Today’s Reading: Exodus 1-2; Psalm 88; Luke 21

Scripture:

8 A new king came to power in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. 9 He spoke to his people in alarm, “There are way too many of these Israelites for us to handle. 10 We’ve got to do something: Let’s devise a plan to contain them, lest if there’s a war they should join our enemies, or just walk off and leave us.” 11 So they organized them into work-gangs and put them to hard labor under gang-foremen. They built the storage cities Pithom and Rameses for Pharaoh. (Exodus 1:8-11 The Message)

God’s provision for yesterday can become your prison today. I know that sounds a little edgy, but consider the situation. Jacob and his family were nomadic herdsmen who lived off the land and followed the pastures through the seasons. When the famine came, they moved to Egypt and became farmers who lived near the Nile and grew crops and irrigated their pastures from the river. They settled down, built houses, and got comfortable in a controlled environment. When a new king came to power who perceived them as both a resource and a threat, they were subject to bondage because they had lost the ability to move with the seasons.

This can happen to Christ-followers. In a time of need or a season of life, God may provide a relationship, a job, an income, an idea and we joyfully embrace it as God’s gracious provision. Over time, things change and God may want to lead us out into the adventure of following his seasons of blessing and provision but we get comfortable and dependent on the thing, position, or pattern.

The past provision becomes a present prison. It becomes a prison because it keeps us from taking the risk, stepping out of the boat, following the season God has for us today.

Prayer:

Father, I thank you for past and present provision. You have faithfully provided for me and my family for all these years. Some of your seasons of provision have been as miraculous as manna and others have been more like the irrigated land by the river. I thank you for all of it. Please don’t allow me to confuse the provision with the provider. Help me to trust you and not the present provision. Help me not to get so comfortable that I lose the ability to sense your leading, to follow your direction, and to risk stepping into the adventure of faith. Amen.

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