Pharoah, the ruler of Egypt, the enemy of the Israelites, detested the words of Moses and Aaron regarding God’s plan for the Israelites. He referred to their words as lies and told his overseers to “Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.” You might be familiar with the many plagues God put upon Pharoah and the Egyptians to force Pharoah to let the Israelites go – to leave Egypt. After plagues of blood, frogs, gnats, and flies, Pharoah agreed to let the Israelites go – but only a certain distance. “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far,” he said. Does our enemy, Satan, set limits on you, as well?
He stirs you to find fault in your Christian leaders. He detests the Word of God they are preaching. Oh, he lets you worship – perhaps pray – a bit – but not too often. “You must not go very far,” he says.
He doesn’t mind if you go to church, as long as you don’t get “religious.” Don’t listen to those who speak God’s Word. They speak lies, he says. The message is outdated. It’s not for today. He tells you it’s okay to go to church sometimes, as long as your church time doesn’t conflict with other events. You must not go very far,” he says.
He puts in your mind many faults with God’s plan of giving the tithe or more. Oh, it’s fine with Satan if you give a small offering to ministry, but he tells you the church doesn’t use the money properly – or you certainly need the money for something more important this week. You can “give” next week instead. “You must not go very far,” he says.
He makes the Christian look foolish – you know – the one who speaks to others about being saved. The one who prays in public. The one who prays with the sick or the grieving. The one who lives and raises his/her family according to the Bible, instead of according to the world. Then he tells you that you would certainly appear foolish in front of others by revealing your Christian faith. “You must not go very far,” he says.
He causes you to be totally worn out on Sunday mornings. Your children aren’t obeying your directions to brush their teeth and get dressed. An argument is brewing with you and your spouse. Going to church isn’t worth it. I don’t want to be a hypocrite, you tell yourself. “You must not go very far,” he says.
I’m familiar with these lies, as the enemy spits them at me quite often. But just as God willed Moses to lead his chosen people out of Egypt, He wills us to leave the burden of slavery to sin and to follow Him, just as Peter and the other disciples did when they recognized Jesus as Messiah, the one about whom Moses had written. Once we belong to Him, He offers us abundant life. The enemy doesn’t want that abundant life for us; he doesn’t want us to go that far. He tricks us into thinking we’re just fine with a little bit of Jesus.
I’m not. Are you?
 Exodus 5:9
 Exodus 8:28, italics added
 John 1: 35-51
 John 10:10