Human slavery is over. Yes, gone are the days of trashing of overlaboured men and women in shackles and manacles by their unpleasing masters. Thank God for the individuals and organizations who made it possible. However, there is a form of slavery that yet exists. Unfortunately, this form of slavery cannot be abolished by any government. It is The Slavery Of The mind. And by far, it is the worst of all forms of slavery. It does more harm to a person than physical slavery. And the fact that only the man under its bondage has the power to liberate himself makes it more difficult for people to be liberated from it.
For more than four centuries the Israelites lived in Egypt as slaves, and then at the appointed time, the Lord remembered them.
And it came to pass in the process of time that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. Ex. 2:23-24.
God remembered His promise to their ancestors and liberated them from the hands of the Egyptians. But to get from where they were – the land of bondage where they have known nothing but sorry – to where they desire to be – the Promised Land, Canaan, the land that flows with milk and honey – they have to make a journey. In the course of that journey, they came to the wilderness, where there is less water and food to eat. And then, quickly they spoke up against Moses, the man God has charged to lead them.
And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? (Ex. 17:3).
They attacked the man with their words till his very soul was vexed. They even regretted ever following Moses out of Egypt. They blamed him for bringing them out. They remembered and preferred the crumbs they used to eat in Egypt.
We remembered the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: (NUM 11:5)
What was the problem? Certainly not the wilderness, nor was it the lack of fish and vegetables and water in it. Their problem – their real problem was their mind. For in their minds they still thought like slaves. They were not masters of themselves and could not control their yearnings the fish and cucumbers, melons and leeks, onions and garlic the crumbs of the masters. And so slaves they remained, though free of shackles and manacles and masters. They were slaves to the shallowness of their thoughts.
The Israelites shut their minds to the things they had – and could have in Canaan – and concentrated on the things they couldn’t have. They were suffering from the wilderness mentality.
Like the Israelites, every man must make his journey; except of course the man who has chosen to live an unfulfilled life.
Now, in this purposeful journey from where we are to where we need, desire to be – where God needs us to be – it most times becomes a necessity for us to pass through the wilderness. To make it successfully through the wilderness, one must overcome the wilderness mentality as displayed by the Israelites.