“Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.” (Exo. 33:3) “For our God is a consuming fire.” (Heb. 12:29)
Far too many in this age of grace presume far too much on the grace of God, they have changed it from unmerited favor into a license to sin, not in a grievous manner, at least not in their eyes, but in the way in which they order their lives. They presume that the Lord desires for them to be healthy and happy, to place their wives, children, and family above Him, to work hard at their jobs so they can toss change into the plate as it goes by.
They want to be loved, but they don’t want to be servants, they want to be cared for, they want manna from heaven and water from a rock, but they do not want to die to self, much less hate all this world has to offer. They do not want to be slaves to Jesus Christ, they do want to be His friend though. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8)
God does not think like us. “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” (Exo. 32:10) To kill everyone that He had brought out of the house of bondage in Egypt did not phase the Lord, but Moses stood in the gap. “And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matt. 3:9) But Jesus stood in the gap on the cross.
God is not vengeful and filled with wrath towards those people He has chosen for Himself, but He will suffer no rebellion, no wickedness, no evil from those He has chosen, your life here on earth is not nearly as important to the Lord as you might like to think. The law was given from Mount Sinai to teach obedience, the love that was offered on the cross was meant for the same reason. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) There is no clause that offers some love for some obedience, we are to obey the will and Word of God because He loves us, but many who have professed Christ as Lord have placed that clause in there. To fulfill our rightful duty cannot be done in part, one cannot “sort of” love God, either all is offered to Him, or we are unprofitable. “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)
The Lake of Fire is reserved for sinners, yet “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) And so grace is given to those who have called upon the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of their souls, and with the knowledge that no work they do can add to what was done on the cross. Yet many have left Egypt and still desire the world, they want to be happy, they want what it offers, and they have deceived themselves into believing that the Lord is content with just part of their lives, that it does not bother Him if they place their family above Him, that it is of no great concern to Him if they complain about the manna offered freely, if they resist the trials and tribulations that have been promised to appear in the lives of all whom He has chosen.
They search for a free grace, one that costs them nothing, save for the façade of the religious institutionalized prescribed order of Sunday morning, the required traditions and statutes placed upon them, and they do not see their lives as an offense to God.
“And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (Exo. 16:3) Until the quails arrive. “Take care of me, and I will serve you.” “Feed me and I will call you my God.” “Let me have some free time for myself and I will walk with you the rest of my time.”
No. You either die to yourself, to all your desires, you hate the world and love only Me, or you are not of Me.
This lesson is about to be retaught to those who call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ, and I fear that far too many will see it as too much of a burden to bear. You can either be close to Egypt in your travels, or close to the promised land, but until you die to self, you will not enter into your rest, you will not cross the Jordan river with any luggage from this world.