“And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: intreat for me.”
The great offer of Pharaoh to Moses to “not go very far away” is still the same offer that the world offers the believer today. As enticing as this offer was to Moses, it was still not acceptable to God. As the movement of Pharaoh to allow Israel to go worship God seemed to be progress, it still was not what God wanted for His people to do. God didn’t just want Israel to stay close to Egypt, but He wanted them to be let go so they could possess the land that He had promised them. Any distance from Egypt that was not in the Promised Land was never an offer that should have been accepted. The distance from Egypt did matter to God because He knew that just leaving Egypt to be close to Egypt only meant that they would eventually move back into Egypt, which is what Pharaoh wanted.
Egypt has always been a picture of the world. God didn’t save the believer to live in the world that God saved them from, but He saved them so that they would draw closer to Him. Yes, God saved the believer to keep them from going to Hell, but He also saved them so that He could have fellowship with them. The offer that Pharaoh made to Moses is still offered to God’s people today by the world. Sadly, many believers accept the offer because it is not what the world does, but it is like the world. The believer is not to do things like the world, but they are to do things like God. There are many churches and believers who are copying the world’s music, way of dressing, worship methods, and the world’s bibles and not realizing that the more they accept the world’s offer not to go very far away only causes them to get further away from God.
My friend, the world is always moving. You can’t accept the world’s offer not to go very far away and stay close to God because the world is constantly moving away from God. The more that God’s people try to stay close to the world the less impact that Christ will have on their ability to influence the world. You can’t influence the world for Christ by staying close to the world; you influence the world for Christ by drawing closer to Christ.
Moreover, God never changes. Malachi 3:6 says, “For I am the LORD, I change not…” The fact that God never changes and that the world consistently changes tells you that the world’s moving is away from God. To think that the world is going to get closer to God is to think that Satan will warm up to God. This will never happen! Because God never changes, if you didn’t draw nigh to God but stood stationary without getting closer to the world would mean that the world would leave you. However, you are never stationary in this walk of life; you are either drawing closer to the world, or you are drawing closer to God.
My friend, your distance from the world does matter. James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” From what are you cleansing your hands? You are cleansing your hands of the world’s way so that you can get closer to God. Let me encourage you never to accept the world’s offer not to go very far away. If your focus in your walk with Christ is to draw nigh to God, you will find that the world’s offers will never be attractive.