In this spiritual battle against the world, the devil, and the flesh, we can oftentimes be our own biggest enemies. In Exodus 17, God called the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and led them through the wilderness toward Canaan.
Reading this story as Christians, we see Egypt represents the world, Pharaoh the devil, and Canaan the victorious life. There are four principles of victory found in this passage.
First, we must receive a gracious provision. In Exodus 17, the Israelites are in the barren land, dying of thirst. God instructs Moses to strike a rock with his rod, and when he does, water gushes from the rock. This is a glorious illustration of our salvation. Jesus, the rock of ages, was smitten for us. And blood and water that flowed from His side represent the Holy Spirit.
Second, we must realize God’s grand purpose. Adrian Rogers says, “God’s plan for His people was not merely that they come out of Egypt and go into the wilderness of Sinai. God’s plan for His people was that they go into the land of Canaan. God brought them out that He might bring them in.”
Many of us have been brought out of the world, but we’ve never experienced the victory of Canaan. But God has brought us out to bring us in.
Third, we must respect the grievous problem. Galatians 5:17 says, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh…” As the Amalekites came against the Israelites in their weakest moments, the flesh will come up against us in our journey to the “promised land.” But we must remember the glorious principle: victory is God-given. We overcome the flesh by the power of God.
Adrian Rogers says, “Holiness is not the way to Christ; Christ is the way to holiness.”
When you take the rod of God, which is the Word, the Power, and the Spirit of God, and hold it high, you will see victory.
Apply it to your life
Do you need to see a victory in your life — over your flesh? Remember: holiness is not the way to Christ; rather, Christ is the way to holiness.