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Barriers to a Better Life Part 1: Mental Enslavement to the Familiar

“It took one day to get the Hebrews out of Egypt, but it took forty years to get Egypt out of the Hebrews.”            

  • Unknown

The beginning of a BETTER life doesn’t always originate in a context that is without challenge.  As a matter of fact it often appears that contradictory contexts seem to serve as birthing grounds for the requisite decisions that catapult us into BETTER.  Were we not forced out of our comfort zones through adversity, many of us would not have had the tenacity to reach forward to the promotion, advancement, and next level blessings that were before us.  Key to advancement in our lives was the ability to move beyond our current situation and embrace that which was before us. 


After enduring 400 years of slavery under Egyptian bondage, God directed Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt to the land promised to them as an inheritance.  Rather than leading them through enemy territory, He led them by a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night through the desert toward the Red Sea.  Once they were departed from Egypt, Pharaoh became upset and changed his mind about releasing them.  Pharaoh sent 600 of his best chariots after them.    

As Pharaoh’s army came after Moses and the Israelites, it looked like an IMPOSSIBLE situation. To the east was the sea. To the south and west, there were mountains, and to the north was Pharaoh’s army. The Israelites were trapped and despite the numerous signs and wonders God had wrought on their behalf in securing their release from Egyptian bondage in the 11th and 12th verses of Exodus the 14th chapter they say to Moses, “Why did you bring us to the desert to die? It would have been BETTER for us to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the desert”. In this moment their bondage was behind them (Egypt), their blessing was beyond them (Canaan – Promised Land), and a barrier was before them ((Wilderness and Red Sea). 

Rather than looking ahead to the Promised Land before them, the Israelites communicated that it would be BETTER for them to have remained in bondage to the Egyptians.  Instead of dealing with the discomfort of an unknown future, they were willing to default to an oppression with which they were already familiar.  Left unchecked, this tethering to the familiar would preclude them from walking into the Promised Land and BETTER life that God had prepared for them. 

The same is true for us today.  Your best days are not behind you, but rather, your best days are ahead of you.  In order to get to BETTER, however, we must release ourselves from the mental enslavement of the past and with eyes of faith trust the future that we have in Christ. 

It has been said that bondage or liberation will follow the state of mind of the individual regardless of actual context.  Those who see themselves as free and victorious will exemplify that in their actions and choices even in situations that would be confining and restrictive to others.  Conversely, those who see themselves as bound and inferior will play out the story of their mental narrative even in environments where they are actually free. 

The Israelites were free physically and geographically, but they were still mentally enslaved to the familiar trappings of life in Egypt.  Throughout the discourse of their journey to the Promised Land whenever difficulty would arise they would raise this romanticized narrative of life in Egypt and how it was BETTER in contrast to their current situation.  Ultimately, an entire generation would miss out on the blessings of the Promised Land because of their lack of faith which often expressed itself via an inability to let go of the familiar. 

What familiar things are you holding onto in lieu of the BETTER future that is ahead of you? What outdated methodology, familiar trapping, or obsolete mindset have you maladjusted yourself to continue to accommodate in place of God’s preferable future for your life?

If you are going to get to the BETTER place that God has designated for you, it is imperative that you be willing to leave the comforts of the familiar behind and embrace the new space to which God is leading you.  The road ahead may be intimidating and unfamiliar, but the grace of God has empowered you to navigate it in total victory!        

You will never get to BETTER with a mindset that is shackled to the familiar!  Push beyond your comfort zone and strive for BETTER!

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  • Kennetta posted by Kennetta Thursday, 15 February 2018 05:55


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  • Katherine Morrison posted by Katherine Morrison Sunday, 11 February 2018 18:56

    Amen! I accept and welcome this message that better is before me. Thank you.

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