The 5 Things That I Learned From The Wilderness Of Sin (Part 2)
The children of Israel have been punished by God and sentenced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. This time will allow the generation that doubted & disobeyed God to die off so that the ones that will serve Him can go forth. There had to be a way for the children of Israel to get close to God without being defiled in His presence. God gave them simple methods to establish faith in small steps before He put them into the promised land. If God can’t trust us to take small steps of faith, then how can He allow us to set foot into the land that He promised us by faith?
II. THE WILDERNESS IS DESIGNED TO KINDLE PURITY
In our text we see that the Hebrews were given a simple task, that was to gather the manna and eat it that day for their needs. God advised them, through Moses and Aaron, not to leave any overnight but we see that they did and it bred worms and stank. I can almost imagine the odor of unbelief that next morning. The odor of unbelief is what drives us to seek purity before a Holy God.
A. Small Steps Of Faith
The Hebrews were told to do things in small steps. They were told because that was what God told them through His men. I am NOT God, but in my own life I know that when I tell my children to do more than a few things at once they become quickly overwhelmed and forget things. Could it be that God told them to do small things so that they wouldn’t get discouraged and give up?
In our lives, we need to have a habit of taking small steps of faith in order to please God. Most of the time we want to take baby steps of faith but we expect God to take giant leaps to meet us in our baby steps. If we take baby steps of faith then God will only reward us with baby answers in our baby faith. However, if you refuse to even take a step of faith then you cannot logically expect God to move mountains for you when you do not trust Him enough to move towards Him. Start with small steps of faith and DO NOT look for God to move towards you, but do it not expecting an immediate answer and you will see God meet your needs in His time. This is usually when He will answer or meet you just at the right time! Are you a spiritual paraplegic? Are your spiritual feet so weak that you are spiritually bound to a wheelchair? Or are you a spiritual marathon runner? Your feet are used to going long periods of time towards God without wearing out. Which one are you?
B. Small Steps Of Following The Leader
The children of Israel were encouraged to follow Moses not because God chose him but because they were afraid to goto God themselves. They followed Moses as a God and Aaron as a prophet. They listened to God through these men as they followed God. As long as they listened and followed the men of God, they were blessed and nothing terrible happened to them. However, once they began to complain against God’s man, God’s plan and God’s stand in their lives, they endured horrible times.
In our lives we must listen to God’s man as well. However, in that time, they didn’t have Jesus Christ to goto directly as we do today. They had to go through the office of the High Priest. This was a type of Christ, and this High Priest, was only able to go into the presence of God without being killed once a year. We don’t have to live that way but we still need to submit to and follow God’s man. There are many blessings to following the man of God but there are curses for NOT following the man of God too.
Listen, the man of God is JUST a man and will probably make mistakes. DO NOT, put him on a platform of perfection because he will most certainly disappoint you! Many people will put a spiritual leader on a platform of perfection and demand that they display 100% Christian attributes at all times. This is illogical, hopeless, immature and faithless. What you have done is put this person in the place of God in your life. So when they fail, in an area, you will want to criticize them and pick them apart. More times than not, they are usually the victims of verbal and emotional abuse by the aforementioned people. Im sure that you know people that say a Pastor has hurt them and they are very quick to tell everything that The Pastor has done out of a critical spirit. However, what if that same Pastor put you on blast and your business on front street. What would he have to say? Did you have a good attitude? Did you cause drama in the church? Did you tithe according to the bible? Were you involved in missions? What ministry did you have? Ultimately, what did you do to make his life easier for the cause of Christ? If you haven’t done more than come to church and listen to him preach and walk out the same as you entered then I would consider:
A. Unless you’re perfect then keep quiet because it’s only by God’s grace in him that The Pastor doesn’t blast you out to everyone. He has a right to but because of dignity he doesn’t. Does it make you more or less spiritual to criticize him?
B. Talk to the man one on one about the issues privately before you post it on Facebook or start gossip. Also, if you must gossip to someone, tell three people. God The Father, God The Son and God The Holy Ghost. They will not only listen but they will give feedback and fix the issue, if there is one.
C. Get into your prayer closet and pray about how to approach the man of God. If you aren’t doing all you can to reach God about the situation to include prayer and fasting, then is it really important to bring up? If something is important to you then you will do all that you can to make sure that it is well taken care of in your power. Do your part before you criticize him for not doing his. Otherwise, you will become the mayor of the city of Hypocritville.
C. Small Steps Of Failure That Are Quickly Reversed
The children of Israel probably had to smell the stinky manna and see the worms only one time to realize that God was for real and they didn’t believe. They corrected this behavior pretty quickly. How do I know this? How many times did the bible mention that they searched for manna on the sabbath or kept it overnight? As far as I can see less than a couple of times. They saw the failure of their actions and made previsions to correct that behavior.
In our lives spiritually, we must believe that NO one is responsible for us except for us. If you fail because of unbelief, doubt, disobedience or even worry it’s because you let it happen. I hear people often say “Well, I just can’t do ______ because I just don’t believe it or it’s scary”. My response to them is “Do your emotions control you, or do you have control over your emotions”? Too often we are controlled by our own irrational emotions and fall victim to a lack of faith because of our emotions. The bible says that the Hebrews saw God come down on the mountain, they felt and heard the mountain shake and they heard the sound of the trumpet getting louder and louder. They had an emotional response to the presence of God. However, they quickly forgot that this same God had delivered them from bondage and was feeding them in the desert. He only wanted them to keep themselves from being defiled and remain pure as they worshipped Him.
We see that the wilderness was a place that was supposed to create a thirst and purity for the people of God. The small steps are the things that begin a simple life of purity. What things in your life keep you from being wholly pure before God? Is it your stomach for the food of this world like: money, material things or your marriage? Is it your stubbornness to adopt a new lifestyle because your heart is still in Egypt? You have to take a step towards God and He will take steps towards you. You cannot stand still and wait for God to do the things that you should be doing. That’s like going to buy a car but refusing to leave your house to even look at it. Today, try taking one single step towards God and keep your focus on Him until you hear Him step towards you. In tomorrows devotional we will see what happens in part 3 of our series of the wilderness. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.