Saturday, February 4, 2012

Israel in the Wilderness

God has a path for all of us to follow where He tests us to see if we will follow His instructions.

For the children of Israel the desert was the way to glory, but because they were not willing to follow their God through hardships and trials, the glory departed from them. They murmured and set themselves against His will, grieving the Holy Spirit. They refused to put their trust in God when they walked through the darkness.

This wandering was a trial to reveal what was in their hearts and teach them to look up to God and expect all things from above. Their 400 long years in Egypt they had received all the things they needed from the fertile earth in Goshen; but now they found themselves in the desert with the dry, hot sand under their feet.

Sometimes God has to take away all things from under our feet until we have nothing left but Him. Now it may be seen whether the heart and soul clings to the Lord--whether we really are or only appear to be--His followers. He always has our highest good in view. He wants to lead us to self-denial and on toward entrusting ourselves to Him.

Has God led you out into the desert? Has He plucked everything you depended upon from under your feet? He did me. He led me to about 12 years of illness where I was housebound and even in a wheelchair and bed rest part of that time. The doctors and my family thought I would not live, but God had promised me healing so I hung on. There is a saying: Take God's attributes, plait them into a rope and hang on until He lifts you up. That's what I did and it became a light unto my feet instead of darkness.

When you find yourself in that position, do not complain about what you have lost and do not yearn to have it back again. God will continue to lead you through days of darkness and difficulty until you put your trust in Him while in the desert.

Those who survived the wilderness found greater riches, a living hope, an undisturbed joy, a deeper understanding, a more inclusive peace, unbroken security, deeper soul-cleansing and an intimate fellowship with their God.

Moses saw beyond his reproach, the reward; Jesus saw beyond the cross, the crown. What do you see beyond your desert?

"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction."

The Word is our Bread of Life. We should "gather it" every day that we may know God's instructions for us.

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