Thoroughly Equipped: Slave Mentality

Today’s reading is Exodus 4:1-5:21, Matthew 18:1-20, Psalm 22:19-31, Proverbs 5:15-21.

But my studies are still in Exodus 2 and 3.  Moses struggled with a slave mentality, even though he grew up in a palace with all the rights of a son at his beck and call.  That slave mentality certainly showed when, in anger over the harsh treatment of his lineage, he killed a man.  And then, when found out, he ran for his life.  The chosen, royal one was now a murdering fugitive, once again barely escaping a death sentence. His royal status had suddenly come to an end.

True royalty does not come from earthly status.  I know many that seem to have everything that this world could offer, yet as much as they try to rely on their earthly status, it just never measures up. They are truly still slaves trying to dress up as royalty so that no one will know how they really are.  On the other hand, I know others that are true royalty, bought and paid for by the blood of the King, officially adopted into the royal family, yet they still act like slaves.  They do not tap into all the riches of the King, their Heavenly Father.

Unfortunately, I can relate to both extremes, for I have been guilty of both.  In the past, I have had moments of self-reliance, leaning on my own efforts, my own connections, and my own earthly significance.  But every time, this reliance left me empty.  And there have been many times that I have lived with a slave mentality.  Many times, I have forgotten who I am, and Whose I am.  And this tragic forgetfulness has left me feeling powerless and poor.

If I should receive a million dollars placed into my checking account, what if I never wrote a check?  What if I never took advantage of the gift?  It would not change the fact that I was wealthy, but I certainly could still look and act like a pauper.  And that is what Satan cunningly plans for us.  He does not want us to know who we are and Whose we are.  He does not want us to tap into the riches of God’s ways.  And he certainly does not want us to invest our riches in the lives of those around us, reaping a tremendous gain for the Kingdom of God.  In fact, as long as he can keep us living with a slave mentality, we cannot reach our full royal status.  Unless we encounter face to face the glory and love of the Lord, we will never be able to become all that God created us to be.  But once we truly encounter Him, we will never be the same.  However, we need to sharpen our memories because we quickly forget Him, His love, His power, His almighty dependability.  Worship helps us remember.

Moses then settled in Midian among a group of shepherds.  The Midianites were descendants of Midian, a son of Abraham and his concubine Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2). In the tradition of those days, shepherds were on the low rung of the social ladder.  They were looked down upon and snubbed.  So, Moses fell from a princely status and settled for mediocrity.  He was content to leave his past behind him.  He did not want to face his past, thus he stayed in that level of mediocrity.

Let me pause for a moment to say that I’m not knocking shepherds.  God chose this same type of mediocre shepherd to be the first to hear the joyful proclamation of the birth of Christ, and Jesus himself was called the Great Shepherd.  Once again, this is evidence that God loves the common man and adores the ordinary.  But He does not want us to stay ordinary. He wants to call us out of the ordinary and into His extraordinary plan.  He does not want us to stay in the life of mediocrity.  He has so much more for us than that.  I am not referring to temporary earthy treasures, which moth and rust will destroy.  I am referring to heavenly treasures—the pearl of great price, as the Bible puts it.  I am talking about experiencing the kingdom of God on earth.  And there is nothing mediocre about that.  Some may be thinking that the kingdom of God will only be experienced in heaven.  But why would Jesus have taught His disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10) if we could not experience to some degree the kingdom of God here on earth?  Today, remember who you are and Whose you are.

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