I don’t often share things that others have written. In fact, I think I can count on both hands the times that I have done that since NLI Ministries was birthed. But this “word” spoke to my heart. And if my conversations with others in the Body of Christ are any indication, many are having similar thoughts and experiences.
Although Chris visited our home fellowship, I don’t know him or any thing about First Love Ministry. But what I do know is that this article really spoke to me. I pray you will be encouraged as you read it.
The Exodus Belongs to the Lord
By Chris Anderson
Rev. 15:2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. 3 And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God,…
There is nothing about the Exodus story that was conducted in a way that made human sense, was devisable by human strategy or was executable by human ability and capability.
The Exodus was a God thing, and it was a “new” thing. A new thing is a God thing. When God says “you must put away the old thing before you can enter the new thing,” He is telling you that there is nothing of past experience, ability or planning you can rely on to take you through what He is doing now. God says “I will do a new thing,” not “you will do a new thing.”
Creation is yearning for the revealing of the sons of God. Earth is yearning for the Revelation 15 Exodus of God’s people from the system of this world. But this revelation and Exodus are God things. As such, they require the reduction of our senses of strategy and capability. They must be conducted completely by faith through the Spirit.
In an exodus scenario, faith means awaiting momentary instructions for each new step. And the question becomes, do we want our deliverance badly enough to wait on those instructions? If you try to do anything to make it work, it won’t work. If you rely on what you are used to, you will be damaged. It isn’t going to be the way you used to do it.
All of us have lived in Egypt a long time. We have grown up here. And we have been trained here. Everything we do, we do based in the way we were taught to do it in our Egyptian public schools and our Egyptian Bible schools. But all that training is based on the premise of learning how to stay alive, to work and to minister in Egypt.
The Exodus can’t use any of that training. And whatever it chooses to use, it does not use for those purposes. Moses was trained in Egypt. He knew the court of Pharaoh. He knew all the wisdom of the Egyptians. But he wasn’t trained to use it as a medium for demanding release of the Hebrews under the threat of unforeseeable plagues.
From the burning bush forward, the Exodus story is one of divine instruction after divine instruction that has no precedent and no foundation in Hebrew Egyptian life and experience. Moses is given a magic rod. Moses tells the people he has heard and seen the God none of them has ever seen or heard or known. Moses goes to Pharaoh with demand after demand backed by threat of plague after plague he can’t predict. Moses never knows what is coming next or what the next instruction will be. How is Moses even supported or making a living during this time? Scripture doesn’t say.
In the interim, things go wrong. Moses is rejected by Pharaoh—not unpredictable. But things only get worse for the people, not better. So the people reject Moses too. Nobody believes Moses. All he has is the God even he can’t see. And all he can do is keep plugging away on whatever God shows him to do next. There is no end game in sight to this thing for a long time. The whole thing looks like a fool’s errand.
Then we get to the night of nights. It is Passover night. “Passover? What is that?” More unprecedented instructions. Instruction after instruction. Do this sacrifice. Do this with the blood. Make sure you use these herbs. Pack up and get ready to go—overnight, no less. Mayhem is everywhere. Nobody knows what is going on. It’s blind faith all around.
Pharaoh relents in the middle of the night. The people start moving out. Only hours later Pharaoh is changing his mind yet again in the light of day. “What have we done? Are we idiots? Why did we let those people go??” Everybody’s out in the desert and no one knows where they are going. It’s just this cloud and pillar of fire, also unprecedented. And the next thing they know is Pharaoh is at the back door, and there is nowhere to go. Everything is down to not just one day at a time, but in many cases one hour at a time.
This is what Exodus is like. This is what a God thing is like. This is what a “new” thing is like. It is all about blind faith in the living word and Voice of God because nothing you were taught to do in Egypt has any meaning here.
Over time, God has been patiently preparing us for the same “new” thing. We have heard about the “new” thing for a long time. Everyone’s been singing and dancing about it in church and putting out the CDs. Yet outside the worship meetings, our lives are in shambles as we try making sense of the calamities around us—families falling apart, losses of jobs, losses of houses, mounting debt, and—well, you get the picture. And nothing we have been trained to do in our Egyptian schools and churches is getting us anywhere.
“Well, you know—you have to just go out there and look for another job, or no, you just need to go back to school and get more education, maybe update your seminary degree, get in on the latest church strategy conference, read the latest book on relationship counseling…..” No. None of this works. Because these are the old ways. And the old ways don’t work in the new thing. They don’t work in the Age of Exodus.
The end times are the Age of Exodus, and the Exodus belongs entirely to the Lord. If you want to get out of this body alive and get translated, if you want to see the kingdom of God come to manifestation in your life and in the church, then you are going to have to forget everything you ever learned to do in Egypt. There is only one thing you can do anymore once the Exodus hits in earnest. It is to learn how to be a listener—a listener who, slow to speak, slow to wrath, waits out with perfect patience the answer that comes only by the spirit of wisdom and revelation in each situation.
In the Exodus, the spirit of wisdom and revelation is the only guidepost there is. It is the only marker there is. There are no other answers for what is going on or is happening to you or to your family or to your church or to your business. And that is where you have to stay. Forget about going back to school, or to seminary, or to anywhere else you think you can learn from that will rescue your situation. You are in Exodus. And it is one day, and one hour at a time.
Some of us have been coming to grips with this slowly over a period of years, without really understanding what’s been going on or happening to us. We’ve been too close to our Egyptian history to understand why things aren’t working anymore the way we learned how to do them—even in Christ. Four times in the last two weeks I have heard a word from somebody saying “God is doing a new thing with you…..It’s out with the old, in with the new…..Forget the former things, God is doing a new thing…..You can’t move into the new thing until you get rid of the old thing….”
It’s Exodus time, that’s why. Exodus isn’t firstly about getting out of Egypt. It is firstly about hearing God and depending on God in a way that is different from any way you have learned from God heretofore inside the cultural context through which you’ve learned to hear Him. THAT is the first thing Exodus is about. It’s no longer about going down to your local Christian bookstore to find the right author with the answer to your problem.
So we are all being trained in this. And we need to stop being baffled over why nothing works any more or why we don’t have answers for what is going on with us.
Exodus is about taking new directions in a new context of hearing. It is about laying down how you used to hear from God. “I used to be able to count on the Spirit speaking to me a certain way, but I don’t hear Him anymore. What is wrong with me? Everything is changing around me, but the way I used to hear God isn’t working anymore.”
Exodus is about burning bushes and magic rods now. It’s about displays of the unexpectable, the wondrous and the terrible. It’s about the Voice of God out of nowhere smiting you on the side and saying, “Get up, put your shoes on, and follow me. You’re walking out of this prison.”
Your job is smitten. Your business is smitten. Your relationships are smitten. Your church is smitten. And you’re still half asleep wondering if you’re dreaming. Yet you are walking out of a prison for whose corridors you have no floor plan. You don’t know where the gates and doors are. You just follow the angel.
Exodus is the time of following angels and watching angelic action you’ve never before seen. Where you should be falling and smashing the ground, angels are there to stop the fall. When you are walking and stumble, angels are there again—at each turn in the unknown corridors leading you out and holding you up.
And eventually we walk out of the prison, and out of Egypt, and we sing the song of Moses, still never really sure how anything happened. Nobody gets any credit for anything. Nobody’s training. Nobody’s skill at leading. And it’s all because….
The Exodus belongs to the Lord.