Here I was asking God why He hadn’t done certain things in my life.
God, don’t you care?
You said You would take care of me.
Then an opportunity that I missed years ago came around again.
And now I realize that God had answered my prayer years ago, but when the answer came, I didn’t recognize it because all I could see was fear and unbelief.
I’m not smart enough.
This is too good to be true.
I was like the church who was constantly praying for Peter to be released from prison, but when God released the answer – when the answer to their prayer knocked on the door, they didn’t open the door because they didn’t believe. Rhoda, a servant girl – a slave girl, recognized the answer. Not the church. And she just didn’t believe that it was Peter, but she knew his voice.
But thank God Peter knocked and knocked again until they opened the door.
And thank God that He caused the opportunity that I missed last time to knock again – until I opened the door.
For some of us, the answer has already been released and I pray that we all recognize it when it comes.
[Reference scripture: Acts 12:5-16]
Exodus 2:23 tells us that the cry of the Israelites went up before the Lord due to their bondage. They were tired of what they were going through. They were tired of the abuse, the beatings, the burdens, and unfair treatment. God heard and He answered their cry. The Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more forever (Exodus 14:13).
One moment, they were praising God for rescuing them (Exodus 15:1), but later they complained and wanted to go back to the very thing that made them cry. How could this be? According to Exodus 12:41, it had been 430 years of slavery. They had lived this way for a long time and they were set in their ways. Things weren’t that good, but it was the only life they had known. It was familiar.
They brought up the past a lot. They talked about what they missed in Egypt – the fish, cucumbers, lemons, leeks, onions and garlic. I believe they wanted what God promised, but I don’t think they liked the way He was taking them to get to the promise. They also weren’t patient, but it is only through patience and faith that one inherits the promise (Hebrews 6:12). One example of this was when Moses took too long on the mount. What did they do? They went right back to their old ways and asked Aaron to make them gods. If they served the Egyptians, it is possible that they also served their gods.
God wants to do a new thing, but some of us won’t give God a chance. As soon as it feels like nothing is happening or will ever happen, we consider going back to old things – old relationships, old conversations, old habits. We’d rather walk by what we see or feel than walk by faith. Some of us haven’t received the things God promised because we don’t want to let go of our old ways. Jesus warned against putting new wine in old wineskins because the old wineskin is not in the best condition to receive something new or something good. It is not fit for its use or purpose. You see, new wine forces the wineskin to expand, but if the old wineskin can only stretch to a certain point because of its poor condition, then it will be ruined and lose whatever it is given. But unlike old wineskins, we can stretch, grow and change – IF we want to.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
If you’re single and desire to be married one day, sometimes it will feel like you will never meet him or her. The devil will try to make you feel like there’s nothing better than what you used to have. For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness (Exodus 14:12). But the devil lied again. It wasn’t really that good. The temptation to settle or to go back to a relationship or something from your past (that wasn’t good) will come and although the wait seems long, I will tell you what God told the Israelites:
You must not go back that way ever again (Deuteronomy 17:16).
When a person considers going back, it’s because he doesn’t believe that there’s something better ahead. Unfortunately, some people have returned to old things not knowing that ‘one more time’ could be their ‘last time’. The very thing that God delivered you from is looking for an opportunity to come back in your life, but this time it won’t return alone. It will bring seven other spirits and you will be in worse shape than before. The King James Version describes it as the ‘last’ state (Matthew 12:45).
You will be left behind if you keep thinking about what you left behind. Let it go and let go of the way YOU do things. Your way isn’t always the right way and sometimes it is our ways that get in the way. Your ways are not My ways (Isaiah 55:8).
New wineskins don’t resist new wine. It allows the new wine to change its form. It works with it. It expands with it. When Jesus told Simon and Andrew to follow Him and he will make them to become fishers of men (Mark 1:17), He never told them what to leave. They just knew that what they had was no longer needed – not for where Jesus was taking them. And straightway they left their nets, and followed him (Mark 1:18).
Unless you’re going back to apologize or to give thanks, don’t go back. What God has is better than what you once had.