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Perseverance // Part 1

“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).

I am guessing that many of my brothers and sisters in the Middle East read this verse and are encouraged. It is important to remember in prayer those who daily face great persecution. Many are in places where they cannot openly worship the Lord. They never know, as they secretly meet each week, if all of their brothers and sisters will show up or if some might have been arrested or killed. One of the things these saints battle in prayer is whether or not to leave their country. Most have no opportunity to do this. However, some have the means and an avenue to flee and move to a safer place. I am always deeply moved by those who could leave, but they stay in order to continue to preach the gospel. They do what God wants them (and us) to do. We are not on this earth for our own purposes or comfort. We are here to carry out the Lord’s Kingdom plans. For some, this comes at great cost.

What choices did Moses make in the face of persecution? In Exodus 2:11-15 we see Moses as a young man beginning to look beyond his comforts and paying attention to his fellow Israelites suffering in slavery. Being deeply disturbed by their pain, Moses murdered an Egyptian soldier who was cruelly beating a Jewish slave. The next day, he discovered that his secret sin was actually seen by others. It was only a matter of time before the king would find out and try to kill him. So Moses fled from the palace and went to Midian.

From reading Exodus, we might think that Moses left in fear. Though Moses was afraid (see Exodus 2:14), Hebrews tells us this was not the reason he left Egypt. Rather, “By faith he left Egypt” (Hebrews 11:27). He obediently followed the Lord’s will to move on to the next place in God’s plan for his life. This story reveals two important truths. First, it is not a sin to fear. God has created us to naturally move away from danger. However, the second truth is that fear must not be the factor that determines our decisions. We must be honest with God regarding our fear. Then, as we surrender that emotion to Him, He gives us freedom from fear and faith to follow His will.

Today’s Bible Reading: Hebrews 11:27; Exodus 2:11-25

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