Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wilderness #2 – A time to refocus, refresh and get ready!

Have you felt like things weren’t going as you’d planned or hoped? You thought God was leading you somewhere better than where you are and yet it doesn’t seem that way at all?

Oh I have. I have left places that weren’t so great because I felt God calling me somewhere else. However, I have struggled with thoughts that the not-so-great was better than I realised because right now is no fun at all...

The Israelites felt the same way. They were set free and led out of Egypt. God led them through the wilderness on their way to the promised land. However, in the wilderness, they started complaining and wanted to go back to Egypt, forgetting how terrible it really was.

I don’t want to be a person shaking her fist at God and complaining about where God has me when he answered my prayers to take me out of the situation I was in. It’s just that the wilderness doesn’t look like the ‘promised land’... That’s because it's not!

I think the Israelites forgot that and I sometimes do too. The wilderness was a place they needed to go through to get to the promised land. The wilderness was a place that God took them through to show them who they really were and whose they were. Perhaps God does the same with you and me...

The wilderness is where God led the Israelites after rescuing them – to protect them. The wilderness was where God showed them who they were – not slaves but a great army and people of God – they had forgotten. The wilderness was the place that God reminded them who he was – leader, protector, provider – God Almighty! In the wilderness, God was drawing them closer to himself – to strengthen and fortify them as his people. In the wilderness, the Israelites witnessed miracles – they saw God’s power first-hand. God used the time in the wilderness to prepare his people for taking the promised land – to prepare them for the battles ahead – exposing sin and weaknesses that needed to be dealt with.


Is this what God is doing with us when we are in those ‘wilderness moments’?

I want to be careful that I don’t miss out on what God has for me in these times – I want to see God for who he is more and more. I want to hear him speak and draw closer. I want to experience his provision and protection in ways I wouldn’t otherwise (oh, and I have!) - but I also don’t want to extend my stay because of ignorance or doubt or rebellion...

The wilderness season isn’t meant as punishment but as a time to be refreshed, to refocus, to get ready...

My prayer is that my heart would be soft and my ears in tune with God’s voice, that I would follow where he calls. I want to get rid of anything that will stop me from taking the land that God has for me – that would stop me from fully living the life he has for me on the other side of this wilderness experience.

What about you?

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