What I’m Reading: The Ultimate Exodus by Danielle Strickland

I wrote a several weeks ago about Danielle Strickland and the impact her speaking made on me at the Orange Conference. If you’d like to read it you can find that article here. At the Conference I bought her book, The Ultimate Exodus, and have been reading it and digesting it and thought I’d write out my thoughts.

The basic idea of Danielle’s book is looking at the story of the Exodus and what we can learn from it. The Israelite’s escape from slavery, while historic and true does point to some lessons that we can learn as we try to escape from the the many kinds of slavery we face in our American culture today. Some of our own making and some from other’s oppression. Danielle’s own testimony of overcoming substance abuse as well as her work with those in the same situation and those that are victims of domestic and trafficking abuse as well make her a strong and convicting voice when it comes to this subject.

Here’s a few of her quotes from the book and my thought on them.

  1. “How would we interpret this story (the biblical account of the Exodus) if we weren’t the underdogs crying out to God, but we were the arrogant oppressors confronted with the God of the oppressed.” —– This quote hit me pretty hard. I think often I read myself as the hero or the one being saved in the story. Sometimes it’s probably a healthy thing for me to realize that I might need to examine when I am the one needing to change.
  2. “What is striking about the temptations themselves is how closely they align with Jesus’ destiny.” —– In talking about the Israelite’s, Danielle made a point that I never considered. Often times when we read about the Israelite’s slavery we picture something out of America’s dark past. But remember, the Israelite’s owned property and livestock. Compare this with how much the Israelite’s complained after they left Egypt about the path God had them on. It’s possible I might agree to be enslaved to things in my own life because I’m comfortable in it. Looking at how Satan tempting Jesus, Danielle makes the great point that sometimes all I have to do is settle for slavery rather then fight for freedom.
  3. “Fear is the currency of oppression. To confront oppression is to confront fear.” and “If you participate in fear, you will either oppress or you will be oppressed” AND “the only thing that can drive out fear, the Bible tells us, is perfect love (1 John 4:18)” —– Basically, if I want to live God’s freedom for my life it might mean that I have to rely more on faith and refuse to follow fear.
  4. “One of the root problems of greed is a question of ownership.” —- If there are times I agree to settle for slavery and that settling comes from me wanting to be comfortable, then this leads to an uncomfortable question. “Who says what I have or what I refuse to give up is mine in the first place?”
  5. “I’d suggest the Sabbath is a way of defying slavery.”, “He is a creator who creates for pleasure and beauty.”, AND “How would your stress level change if you turned off your phone and didn’t answer emails for twenty four hours once a week?” —– So if I’m tempted to settle for slavery, even the enslavement of worrying, pride, or self-focus, then taking time to have a Sabbath where I stop and rest for a minute can keep me connected to my creator. Isn’t it interesting that God created without worry or fear? And he RESTED without worry or fear too!
  6. “I was saved from something for something.” —– Last but not least I’m created to create and imagine not to fear and worry. But I’m not created to create and imagine for myself, God has called me to do those things to love him and love others and ultimately point those people to him.

Full disclosure, I love posting about what I’m learning and what I’m reading. My thoughts and opinions on another’s work do not necessarily mean that I agree or disagree with everything in that work of by that author.



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