The Journey of Faith part 2
The next phase of the believer's life when it comes to the journey of faith is the WILDERNESS.
This is the place of just enough. It is a place where needs are met!
Exodus 13:17 (MSG) 17 It so happened that after Pharaoh released the people, God didn't lead them by the road through the land of the Philistines, which was the shortest route, for God thought, "If the people encounter war, they'll change their minds and go back to Egypt."
When we break out of Egypt - this world's system, there is need to have our minds renewed by God's Word. Egypt is a place where our spirits break out, the wilderness is where our minds are enlarged. This is where the pictures of Egypt are replaced with pictures from God's Word.
In Egypt you depended on the systems but in the wilderness you are taught by God to depend on Him without any external leverage.
There is no shortcut to anything worthwhile that God wants to do in your life. God wouldn't lead you through a short and easy route because there is a character needed for Canaan that has to be developed in the wilderness. FAITH and PATIENCE will always be needed to lay hold on our inheritance in Christ Jesus (Hebrew 6:12).
There are processes to be followed and lessons to be learned.
The book of Hebrews 5:12 says, "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food."
The wilderness is where you learn the first or elementary PRINCIPLES of God's Word. You cannot be productive without these principles. This is the place where your life is established on truths that are based on the Word. They should become things that you know and can teach by experience!
The only shortcuts with God are in His Word. You must be made by the Word. The earlier you learn these truths, the faster you move out. The Message translation says in Hebrews 5:12, "By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby's milk...!"
Until you have mastered the basics, you can't move into Canaan.
Deuteronomy 8:3 (NKJV) 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
There are times of hunger, customers not coming, church attendance being low! God 'allows' it but He didn't 'send' it. He knows what you are made of. Be humble, leave your wits and learn His ways! Eat His food and grow!
The food for the wilderness is Manna which today is a type of the revelation of God's Word. The Bible says in Exodus 16:15, 31 "So when the children of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “ What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “ This is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat." 31 And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.
Manna is heaven's bread. Allow God's Word to change your taste buds from lack consciousness to abundance. Let it become honey to you!
In the wilderness you must develop the discipline of receiving God's Word in a fresh way! You must wake up knowing that 'manna' will show up. It is first a conscious thing until it becomes an unconscious part of you. Every principle you live your life is driven by the Word.
You must also learn to have your trust and dependence on God as your SOURCE.
Canaan is a place of wars and you have to fight. If you don't see God as your source and you don't learn to depend on God, the 'armies' of the nations you go to face will swallow you. Canaan is not where your needs are met, it is where you meet needs but to be able to do that, you have to subdue the existing occupants and send them out.
The wilderness is about needs and God meeting the needs.
Look closely at the following verses:
Exodus 16:12, 21, 23 12 “I have heard the complaints of the children of Israel. Speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’ ” 21 So they gathered it every morning, every man according to his need. And when the sun became hot, it melted. 23 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Tomorrow is a Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord . Bake what you will bake today, and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to be kept until morning.’ ”
In the wilderness, God super abundantly meets your needs because that is your focus. You lay up manna for 'yourself' and according to your needs. In the wilderness, "Your garments will not wear out on you, and your foot will not swell ..." (Deuteronomy 8:4). It is about clothes and shoes!
Until your vision goes beyond having just your needs met to meeting the needs of others by creating goods that blesses humanity, you will remain in the wilderness.
Until a pastor sees himself as a blessing to his/her church, the pastor will always complain and wait for the church to meet his/her need.
Until your mindset changes, you will remain in the wilderness. Needs are like mountains that hinder believers from seeing the place of great abundance that God has prepared for them. Your mentality must change from 'THE NEEDY' to 'THE NEEDED.'
Every person goes TO the wilderness. While others go THROUGH it, some REMAIN in it and even die there!
Look at the children of Israel and Jesus.
Deuteronomy 8:2 (NKJV) 2 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Luke 4:1-2 NKJV 1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
The children of Israel were led into the wilderness the same way Jesus was led by the same God. The duration of their stay was dependent on how fast they learned. The Israelites were there for 40 YEARS while Jesus stayed there for 40 DAYS.
Stop arguing about tithes, offerings, sowing needs, whether God wants us to prosper or not and begin to act on His Word. Learn to SPEAK rather than COMPLAIN. Learn to PRAY instead of MURMUR. Develop character, have a vision and learn to trust God in ALL things. Like Jesus, you will come out declaring, "I AM THE ANSWER!"
Get intentional about how long you want to stay in the wilderness.