“…Let My people go, so that they may worship Me in the desert.” Exodus 7:6
You might think that I’m going to pick up where I left off in “Stressed Spelled Backwards…” and you would be right! When I wrote that one I had no intention of it being a two part post, but here it is.
Before this morning I had never noticed why God wants Pharaoh to let His people go. Well, I knew the other reason…the one He gave Moses at the burning bush about a land of milk and honey, but I had never seen this one: “so that they may worship.” He says some variation of it several times during the Exodus story: Ex. 5:3, 8:1, etc.
Well, that certainly puts a new twist on the Israelites time wandering in the desert, doesn’t it? They were there to worship. What? Huh?
Don’t argue with me about it. It’s right there in the “Great Big Book of Everything”. Read it for yourself, ”so that they may worship.”
Yeh, I know that they started out in the desert because they had been set free (look for an upcoming post about being set free to worship) and that they wandered around for forty years because of their disobedience. But, those are causes (because). Causes are seperate from purpose. They were in the desert to worship, but just because God, or our own behavior (read: disobedience) puts us in a particular situation doesn’t mean we fulfill our purpose while there.
The Israelites’ misery was a result of their attitude not their circumstances. God had sent them to worship. They decided to whine, instead. And, their whining was just self-imposed bondage. From God’s perspective the desert was a place for them to be free to worship in their circumstances. What God intended as wide open spaces of His boundless provision, the Israelites turned into a death march. Too often our short-sightedness holds us captive inspite of God’s freedom.
In our conferences and training sessions at Worship Concepts Network we emphasize the difference between “have to” and “get to”. When doing Kingdom work we don’t “have to” we “get to”. We don’t have to spend extra time rehearsing our part…we get to; we don’t have to get to church early to set up mics…we get to…; we don’t have to visit the shut-ins…we get to; we don’t have to work at the soup kitchen…we get to.
Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous; we don’t have to clean the toilets…we get to. Get the idea?
Think I’ve gone over the edge on that last one? Even after their disobedience, and I recognize that it was a punishement, the “children of God” didn’t have to wander in the desert for forty years…you guessed it, “they didn’t have to…they got to!”
What isn’t going your way? What are the unbearable consequences of your actions? What weight are you carrying? What overwhelming circumstances are you sloggin through? What toilets are you cleaning when you wish you could be doing anything else? What bricks are you making without straw? What desert are you wandering in?
You don’t have to…you get to. Regardless of where we are we have one purpose…to worship…to be worship. Worship isn’t the result of where we are. It’s the result of who we are…children of God.
We don’t have to be His children…we get to!