Exodus 1-15, Numbers 9–14
We believe that this course through which God lead the children of Israel, out of Egypt and through the wilderness, is a symbolic shadow of the trip God would lead those who come to be His through Christ. When a person does not know the Lord, they are a slave of the kingdom of darkness to the same degree Israel was a slave to the kingdom of Egypt. The same as Moses lead Israel out of Egypt, the Spirit of the Lord leads us out of this world’s kingdom and sets us free. The Red sea is referred to as the baptism experience by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. (I Corinthians 10:1) There then follows a church experience that is meant to train you for your ‘promised land’ - your purpose in Christ. However sadly, many Christians follow the same lack of faith as their Old Testament counterparts and when it comes time to cross the Jordan, they decide to stay in the wilderness and never take possession of their land. Often the local church encourages this response, since this is what has become status quo for so many years. What remains is not nearly as dynamic as what God plans for His people. Instead of slaying giants in the promised land, they remain residents of the wilderness. They often become professional church goers whose only purpose is to take care of the tasks left in the wilderness. Ask yourself these questions. "What is my ministry meant to be in this world?" and "Am I moving toward it?"
In the days of the Pharaohs of Egypt, long after Joseph died, the children of Israel were enslaved by Egypt. God heard their cries and brought Moses to bring them out of Egypt. Lead by a visible column of smoke or fire, they were set free from their slavery and traveled to the Red Sea. Egypt, regretting the fact they had been freed, pursued them to force them to come back into slavery. The armies of Egypt caught up with them at the Red Sea. God parted the sea and lead them with a column of smoke and providing a rear guard by a column of fire. Israel, following God with their natural eyes, were lead through the Red Sea and into the wilderness. Once through the waters, when Egypt continued to pursue, God released the waters of the Red Sea, effectively washing away their connection to Egypt.
This began a two plus year training period in the wilderness of the Sinai as God trained them for obtaining the land He had promised them. The plan was that they would follow the visible leading of God – cloud by day - a column of fire by night – and learn the lessons that would prepare them for taking the land that God had already promised them. They were given the word of God that they might learn God’s ways. They were taught to fight and to work as a unit. All went as promised until they came to the Jordan. At the Jordan they refused to cross and none of that generation went in to their promised land.
How it Relates
In our fallen state, we are slaves to our nature. Before God’s spirit comes to one through salvation they are trapped in their sins. Slaves to ones nature. When they hear the gospel of the Kingdom and believe in a way which changes their course in life it is a parallel to the children of Israel being led out of Egypt. When someone accepts the Lord as their savior, and repents of former lifestyles, very often the enemy will lay traps for them to try to get them to turn back from the course they decide upon. Friends from their old life style will try to encourage them to go back into whatever had entrapped them before. Test their commitment to begin a new life style. Water baptism is the New testament parallel to the Red Sea, and a new believer is prepared in the waters of baptism to have the ability to overcome sin.
The wilderness journey is that transition and preparation a person has between salvation and their purpose in the kingdom. This time in their Christian walk is meant to prepare them for use in the kingdom. Their foundation gets set. They become part of a local fellowship and begin to build the relationships that will be necessary for them to rely on as they begin to do what God has called them to do. (Matthew 28:18-20) Learning to become a citizen in God’s kingdom takes shedding much of the strategies that one picked up before they were saved. This process takes place in the wilderness as one prepares for their purpose in Christ
‘the Place’ is a church which would like to encourage you to make your Christian experience as dynamic as the Lord intends. We have a wilderness church and we have the “focus groups”. The central ‘base’ camp if you will, the wilderness church mirrors the Israelite's journey through the wilderness… a time of introduction to God, establishing firm foundations in scripture and a true understanding of the one you follow. It more closely resembles the traditional churches we see today. Many of you may have come out of Egypt - either into a focus group or by coming here directly. You now are here to begin your journey to the promised land, While here, you will learn what God expects of a Christian and the foundational truths that make up your new Christian experience. You will learn the value your Lord puts on faithfulness and the rewards that come with it. You will learn God’s order for family and relationships - how He wants us to build solid families and to help others in a dying world. You will need to become close with the other members of you church family and learn to build kingdom relationships. You will find out how to increase your closeness to the Lord and how to be lead by the Spirit and not by your senses. You will become good at talking to the Lord and hearing what He is saying. You will find out how critical it is to be attached to the vine and also to the “body of Christ” which is what the bible refers to as “the church”. If you have come out of some other church family and have been walking with the Lord so as to have obtained some maturity in your faith, your initial time in the Place will be bring life and support to those who are just coming into Christianity. You will develop relationships and help disciple those who are just beginning their journey. It will be a time of relationship building and finding new friends in Christ who are excited to walk to the journey with you and build toward fulfilling your destiny in Christ. Jesus said, “He who is faithful with what he has, will be given more.” The desire of ‘the Place’ is to help you find the “more” He has for you.
The role of the leadership of the Place will be to help each of you follow the Lord into whatever He has called you to do when you cross the Jordan and to serve as oversight and encouragement to you, both on the way and when you begin to take possession of the land. The length of the journey will be up to the Lord and your obedience to the Lord. However we believe the two + years it took Israel to prepare is more close to the time frame than a lifetime. Jesus ministry to Israel lasted three and a half years and produced disciples that changed all of history. We believe Jesus still wants us to change the world by being ‘in it’ and not ‘of it’ but not by developing professional church goers.
When your wilderness journey is complete the leadership is prepared to facilitate your move into your calling and help you step into your personal place of promise. You will be blessed and ‘sent’ to the purpose for which God has called you. ‘the Place’ will grow in this fashion and once a month, we all will gather together with all the “focus groups” and celebrate the land of promise to where God has sent each one. It will be a time of rejoicing and testimonies of the cities taken and the giants slain and victories won against the spiritual enemy in the kingdom of darkness. It will encourage those who are still on their journey to the Jordan. It will serve as a time of worship, fellowship, prayer, and continuing in the apostle’s doctrine. We believe it will become a very exciting day of the month.
If this journey is why you have come to the Place or if you simply came wondering and believe God is telling you to stay and journey here, please let us know so they we can begin to help you in whatever way would enhance and quicken you progress to what God has called you.
And welcome to the Journey Church of the Place.