Exodus 3:8 - “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of the land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.”
WHERE ARE YOU?
Everyone is either in Egypt, the wilderness, or the Promised Land.
Egypt is a symbol of the world (I Jn. 2:15), which is opposed to the things of God (James 4:4). When the Israelites were in Egypt, they were serving idols and they were slaves to the Egyptians. They were used and abused by their taskmasters, like Satan, who came to steal, kill, and destroy (Jn. 10:10). This is what it is like for the unsaved who are dominated by the sin nature.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Promised Land. This is the abundant life Jesus provided (Jn. 10:10) that includes being saved and living a victorious Christian life. This is a description of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and all of the benefits of the Cross being manifested in a believer’s life. It is the daily fulfillment of the promises of God as believers continue to deny self, take up the Cross daily, and follow Christ (Lk. 9:23).
The wilderness was only supposed to be a temporary transition from Egypt to the Promised Land. But because of their rebellion and unbelief, the Israelites stayed there 40 years, and lost a whole generation. Unfortunately, this is the picture of many Christians who are saved and have left the world, but who have not gone on into the Promised Land. God calls them carnal Christians (1 Cor. 3:1-4; Rom. 7:14), lukewarm (Rev. 3:16-17), and salt that has lost its savour (Lk. 14:34-35).
RESULTS OF BELIEVERS WHO STAY IN THE WILDERNESS
First, staying in the wilderness results in a waste of time, money, efforts, souls, and influence.
Second, if continued, it will cause spiritual death (Rom. 8:6).
Third, it means not pleasing God (Rom. 8: 6).
Fourth, the longer believers stay in the wilderness, the more likely they are to go back to the world (Ex. 16:3; 17:3; Num. 11:4-5; 14:1-4).
Fifth, any time they reject truth, they become more spiritually hardened, blinded, and insensitive to the Holy Spirit.
Sixth, their influence becomes more neutralized the longer they stay in the wilderness.
Seventh, because the wilderness is like a desert, it lacks spiritual food and water, so they will be weakened and eventually die.
Eighth, they will be unstable in all their ways (James 1:8).
Ninth, it is sin (James 4:7; Rom. 14:23).
HOW WOULD BELIEVERS KNOW If THEY ARE WILDERNESS CHRISTIANS?
First, they would be lacking in the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
Second, they would manifest works of the flesh repeatedly (Gal. 5:19-21).
Third, they would fulfill the lust of the flesh instead of walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16).
Fourth, they would be spiritually satisfied instead of hungering and thirsting after the things of God (Matt. 5:6).
Fifth, they would be giving a higher priority to seeking possessions, position, power, popularity, and pleasure than God (Matt. 6:33).
Sixth, they would be selfish and more concerned about their own interests than those of others (Phil. 2:4).
Seventh, they would rather be a taker than a giver (Acts 20:35).
Eighth, they would constantly be working and loaded down with religious works, but never doing enough to find rest (Matt. 11:28).
Finally, they would continually repeat sins and ask for forgiveness, but gain no victory.
HOW CAN A PERSON GET INTO THE PROMISED LAND?
The way out of sin and into victory has already been provided by Jesus Christ on the Cross, so there is nothing that can or has to be done to earn it. But, no one has to stay in Egypt or the wilderness any longer. It cannot be accomplished by fighting, trying to overcome, or saying no to sin, but only by saying yes to God. That means simply repenting, trusting that Jesus paid the full price for their sins to be forgiven and overcome, and to live in that faith daily for the rest of their lives (Lk. 9:23).