Think about a particular Egypt in your own life. Now consider how God wants you to both enjoy the good desire for it and also grieve its enslavement of you. Take some time to reflect and write about how God is inviting you to the true story of your life and identity. Leaving Egypt Chuck Degroat
Leaving Egypt is one of my favorite books. I read it a few years back, and it caused me to yearn for freedom. But I wasn’t ready to leave Egypt when I read it the first time. I also didn’t really understand just how enslaved I was.
I was in a relationship with a man that I believed loved me; a man who’d led me down a path as enslaving as the circumstances I grew up in. My life was completely wrapped up in what I could do to make him happy, and when I’d be able to see him again. I longed for the moments of what I believed were the only pleasures I could experience in life. He was my next drink of alcohol or hit from a drug. I was addicted and enslaved. I lived in Egypt and didn’t even know it.
It was clear to me, however, that I’d grown up in Egypt. I lived in fear of upsetting my adopted father. He was bearable when he wasn’t having a bad day, but things could turn on a dime and he’d be screaming and even though I sought refuge in my room, I couldn’t escape the sound of his voice or the negative emotions I felt inside my soul. I especially couldn’t escape the lie that whispered to my heart that somehow his being upset was my fault. It kept me under the constant pressure of if I didn’t do right I could bring about another dark storm of his wrath. I felt so responsible for everything and everyone. It was a heavy load to carry.
But I recognize now that the only difference between my adopted father and my former pastor was that one said he loved me. But the secrets my former pastor asked me to keep kept me enslaved to the same lie that if I didn’t do everything right everything would fall apart for everyone. And this time the load was heavier than any I’d ever carried, because not only did I risk harming his family and mine, but an entire church as well. Ten years of carrying this load almost killed me. I was tired, ashamed, and desperate for relief. And when I tried to back away from the relationship with him for the first time I saw the chains that bound me to him. And they weren’t chains of love, they were chains of control.
Chuck Degroat asks the question above what was the good desire that I really longed for behind my enslavement to Egypt. In the book, he explains that hiding behind every enslavement there is a desire for something good; true pleasure and purpose that God designed us for.
I longed for a Daddy who’d love, accept, take care of me and keep me safe. I longed to experience his approval and know that I was good. I longed for the same from my former pastor.
I am now able to see that my desire wasn’t the problem. It was a good desire that God placed in every human being. It’s also a desire that only He can completely fulfill.
I’m starting to recognize that I’m not a bad person with bad desires. I wasn’t created to bring out the sick and twisted desires in my abusers who’d use me and place the heavy burden of keeping them happy on my back.
I’m not a slave to Egypt.
I’m a human being created for good works and for His pleasure. I’m God’s treasure and special possession loved dearly despite what I do. He has a plan and a purpose for me, and it’s to take the burden of keeping Him happy off of myself. Actually, I make Him very happy just being myself. The only chains that bind me to Him are chains of love and I’m desperate to follow Him wherever He may lead. He’s more than a drug that gives temporary pleasure that leaves me longing for more. He’s an ever present source of life and I willingly place his yoke upon my back because His words are the only way to life and love.
I am a slave to Christ.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.