The 5 Things That I Learned From The Wilderness Of Sin (Part 3)
In our text today we see that the children of Israel have found themselves in another negative situation all because they have chided with Moses. They wanted water but they didn’t have instant access to it. They, in their minds, reasoned that chiding or complaining in a nagging manner would make Moses want to go out of his way to serve them. Their chiding almost took on a type of complaining or whining like a child would whine or complain when they don’t get their way. Notice that they chided (Exodus 17:2), then they complained (Exodus 17:3a&b) and finally they criticized against Moses (Exodus 17:3c).
We see that God answered their requests but not too long after, the children of Israel were terrorized by the Amalekites. The Amalekites are a type of the flesh. When you verbally complain, the flesh tends to rise up and cause long lasting problems. What will we learn from the wilderness today in our 3rd part of this series?
III. THE WILDERNESS IS DESIGNED TO TRAIN YOU TO KEEP THE FLESH PASSIVE
A. Glimpse Into The Past But Don’t Live There
The Hebrews keep looking into their past life that was in Egypt but they failed to remember that they prayed, as a people, for many years to be delivered. Now that they were delivered, they kept looking back into the past and desiring to move back.
All too often we will look back into the past and seek to “re-live” the glory or gloomy days because of various reasons. Here are a few reasons why we look back into the past:
1. People want you to jump through more hoops for them to make them comfortable
Sometimes, when people get hurt or even interrupted from a comfortable situation in their lives, they want you to jump through hoops in order to make them just as comfortable as they were before the transgression occurred. The bible is clear about this and it tells us in Proverbs 15:19 “The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns:
but the way of the righteous is made plain”. It almost seems like the ones that are slothful and have the characteristics, I described earlier, seem to be very rough and sharp to those that go against them. If you disturb their comfort they push back with sharpness in an unforgiving way. They usually do not even know that they do it! Sometimes, in order to avoid this hedge you have to completely go through all type of hoops in order to make them comfy. Are you a sharp hedge to others?
2. They have been hurt in their past so they use the past as a bodyguard
Those that have been hurt or have been dealt a devastating blow to their security will adopt the damsel in distress syndrome. They don’t want to be hurt again and they adopt this defense mechanism. When they feel like danger is present or near, they will call on this body guard to do research. This bodyguard will compare past situations to the present situation and see if they are similar. If a connection is made, then they will begin to prepare themselves for the horrible blow or news that they will receive. All to often there is no reason or valid justification for this behavior but that they feel like something isn’t right. In order to get over this is to follow what the bible teaches in this area. Proverbs 18:10 says “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe”. This means that we need to remove the bodyguard of the past and run to the safe tower of the Lord. When the past situation scares you:
1. Stop and Pray
2. Remove Your Mind From The Situation
3. Lock Your Mind From Remaining In That Situation
4. Don’t Let Your Guard Down Until The Dangerous Thought Has Fled Away
5. If It Comes Back Repeat Steps 1-4
Thats what that verse of scripture means to me. It’s okay to glimpse back into the past but don’t let something that you can’t change, cause you to change your present and wreck your future.
3. They are still hurt and not ready to leave it behind
People sometimes return to the past because they aren’t ready to let it go. It sounds so silly but because they were hurt it is hard to let it go. So then what is the fix for this? There isn’t a real fix for this issue! The ONLY fix for this issue is they need time to let it go. I remember a few years back when I pulled my hamstring, in my leg, it hurt me so bad that I could barely even walk. I tried to continue to run, after I pulled it, but I realized that it would cause incredible pain and I could not comfortably do what I was doing before I was hurt. I had to go home and take care of the injury before I could be used like I was used before. However, because I was stubborn, I didn’t give it time to adequately heal I reinjured it and never let it properly heal. Now today, I have chronic issues because of my own stubbornness not allowing myself to heal properly. Some people don’t allow themselves to properly heal and they become re-injured. Okay, so what if I become re-injured, what do I do now? In this case you need to remove yourselves from the things or conditions that will injure you or make the proper preparations to keep yourself safe. We will talk more about this in May 2016.
Are you living in the past? Does your past have a strong arm of control on your present? Does your future seem dark and dim because of a past situation? Let me ask another question. Can a dead man hurt you? No. However, it can make you hurt yourself. The past is not the issues, you may be the issue. What are you doing to yourself?
B. Go Forward Into The Presence Of God
The Hebrews had to go forward even in the presence of the battles that were to come. It’s interesting that overtime the Hebrews complained or showed unbelief that God sent something into their lives that would make them believe in God. Yet, they would use God as a fire escape and never think about Him until they had a major life crisis.
Spiritually, when we use God as an emergency plan and not as our primary plan we begin to see issues arise in our lives that nothing else can resolve. For instance, I remember a time when I needed a particular need met urgently. I tried to solve this crisis on my own for many hours. I even made a list of what I could do to solve this issue and even felt good that I had a plan to fix it. Then, just as I had the comfort and assurance it was all gonna work out, the condition fell apart and that option was no longer viable. I was crushed and without hope. My only option left was to pray and ask for forgiveness and to trust God fully. Right before the crisis was due, I got a phone call and it was resolved in a way that I had never even considered. God had moved and I was rewarded by coming to Him but I felt like a failure because I had wasted so much time being useless in my own power. I should have went forth in His power.
You see, we will waste so much time living somewhere that we cannot change and doing things that don’t even matter. What will it accomplish if you spend countless hours up at night stressing about something that happened in the past. I will tell you what will happen, you will goto work tired the next day in the same emotional condition. God wants us to put that burden on Him. How do we do that? We will provide that answer with scripture in tomorrow’s devotionals when the Hebrews battle the Amalekites. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.