Get that THING off your back!
It's time to get that thing off your back. (Vid 1 replay 19 min.)
At The Deck we looked at two very different passages of Scripture that are linked together and speak to this.
Joshua 5 - After crossing the Jordan and entering into the Promised Land, Israel is required to camp out and get circumcised. (Ouch!) This is to 'roll back the reproach of Egypt.'
John 21 - Post Resurrection and the disciples are still shell shocked but Jesus has a strategic encounter waiting for Peter - he'll be wounded and healed so he can move forward.
Both of these come after the crossing over - after the victory and release but before they can advance.
And so after breakfast on the beach, the "relentless tenderness" of Jesus is up in Peter's face. Three times the question is pressed - Do you really love me?
Peter can't seem to grasp that he's actually being promoted here - it's the wounding that he feels - the cut that cures. A process to roll away of the shame of failure
It is Jesus showing us how He rolls off the 'reproach of Egypt' in this new day It's grace and truth once again but the truth still stings. (Vid 2 - 21 min.)
The reproach of Egypt is not about having been a slave. If it was God would have dealt with this in the wilderness right after Egypt.
It's about not allowing God to take them into the new land - to fulfill His Promise. That is why they had to wait 40 years until they were finally there to have this cut away.
But there's another angle - The reproach is also against the Name and the faithfulness of God.
The question as to whether the God who pulled them out could also press them through. The Egyptians would have heard the report of their wanderings. 'Maybe the god of Israel is only a half-way god? You know, not able to finish what he started?'
How well did we walk in all the promises of God last season? Did we move forward with everything He presented?
Did others see our lives and go, "Wow! Your God is amazing! Who IS He?"
Like Peter, were there times when we denied the reality of Jesus' presence and power in our lives and the lives of others? Have we denied our deep connection to Him - maybe not even in words but by actions and emotions?
As for me, it is often by my inaction - my refusal to move forward on something out of fear. (I would have fit in a little too well in the wilderness...Manna, anyone?).
We need this reproach removed to move forward. And, like Peter, God will press us about our level of deep-heart connection to Him or lack thereof.
It's not a time when God's asking if we're praising Him enough, thanking Him enough, or worshipping Him enough: God is simply asking this -
'Do you really love me? I mean, do you LIKE me with affection? Do you want My Presence or to keep me at a distance?'
Be sure of this - if God is in the wounding, it is for your freedom. (Vid 3 here: 17 min.)
And BTW - There is rest and recovery involved as well. God didn't rush Israel to Jericho, nor
Peter to Pentecost. There is time for the cut and time for the healing.
Allow the process to work.
Come before Him, seek His face, and ask what needs to be cut off to remove the reproach of Egypt. You can't run the race with that thing on your back.
Remember what's coming soon - the fresh deluge of Pentecost.