Most often the establishment of the LORD’s purpose and plan for a person, a family or even a nation comes about through a period of separation. During this period, the LORD makes them aware where they currently reside cannot contain them any longer especially if they desire to see his glory. Such was the story of Abram when God called him out of his family and people into a place where he had prepared for him.(Genesis 12:1) Similarly, Abram’s descendants; the Israelites were also called out of a place they had known and grown accustomed to into an unknown promised land.
The question is why does God tell you to get out or leave to see his Glory and fulfilment of destiny whether it is out of a place of oppression and bondage or of comfort? If he is God and sovereign why does he not do what he wants to do regardless of your positioning or environment? I do not perceive to wholly know the reason or understand why he does that but I believe we can learn something from the story of the Israelites.
In Exodus 14:40-42, the Israelites leave Egypt their land of sojourn for the past 430 years. Pause and think about it. Researchers say that a habit is formed in 21 days, which means if you continually do or do not do something in 3 weeks; whatever it is becomes a habit. A habit in turn essentially becomes a way of life. So imagine waking up in the same place , and doing things in a monotonous manner for 430 years and then just one night everything changes. You leave behind everything you have ever known, liked or despised to begin a journey for which you have no sense of direction, this is no easy task but it is one we have been called to us people of God.
I believe the first thing that changes is the name. In Egypt, the Israelites were known and called as slaves. They were “second class humans” in the eyes of their oppressors and masters. When they called them by name; they implied they were their possessions and their only value was in what they did for their taskmasters. What name did you have in your past? When people call you by name, what identity surfaces? It is interesting to note that God gives a new name when he gives purpose. Abram was changed to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), Jacob was changed to Israel (Genesis 35:10) and the Israelites had to walk in the new name and identity that God had given them. They were no longer slaves but a holy people, redeemed of the LORD (Isaiah 62:12). You and I had a permanent name change when the LORD Jesus came into our lives. We are no longer called sickly, abused, fornicator, divorced, single, ugly or even sexy! Rather we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, his own special people (1 Peter 2:9) , how awesome is that!
God knows and recognizes that our environment can negatively influence us to become less of what he created and called us to be and hence when he asks us to leave or get out, he gives us a new name to signify our new beginning. Wherever you were, whoever you were with and God said it’s time to get out and go, get out and leave because he has a new name and beginning prepared for you.
Soon after the Israelites left Egypt they made a very grievous statement as recorded in Exodus 16:3; “And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meatand when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Huh? Really? You who were oppressed in Egypt,and cried out to the LORD. Are you now craving for what you could not bear? Mmm..yes but don’t judge them. When the LORD saved you from your sins, how often have you not said; “if it was those days, you would be sorry to have offended me”? when someone offended you. How many physically abused women when rescued from the men who abuse them, still want to go back to their abusers? Don’t point a finger because you and I are guilty as well; what about those unwholesome and ungodly relationships the LORD asked you and I to leave but we toy with the idea of going back and entertain “what ifs”thoughts. It is a sad phenomenon but because of sin and its wounds, the flesh always craves that which will cause it’s undoing. This is part of the “why” God changes the environment before he glorifies himself.
The tendency to be in the familiar rather than the unknown has kept many businesses and ventures only as ideas. It has kept the sons and daughters of the most High God from manifesting in the earth. Self Check; what has the LORD commissioned you to do, to go and what is he calling you out from? Get out of Egypt, get out of that company and relationship you know very well is not God’s will or best for you. Get out! Embrace your new name.Embrace your new beginnings. Get out and be separated unto that which the LORD has called you to.His mercy for you is new every morning and great is his faithfulness towards you(Lamentations 3:22-23), so get out and stay out.