Do you think that the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years because they were simply lost? No—they turned down their ticket! When they were on the verge of entering the promised land, they saw the giants and said:
“The people are greater and taller than we. The cities are great and fortified up to heaven.”Deuteronomy 1:28
Or said another way: “Yikes—Run! These giants are too big of a problem for the God who conquered the entire Egyptian army!” Even Moses, tried to persuade them by reminding them of God’s powerful track-record:
“Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.”Deuteronomy 1:29-32
But the Israelites chose not to trust God. Not one of those doubters entered the promised land. Instead, they spent the rest of their lives wandering in the desert! How tragic.
How many of us are also in the wilderness when we could be walking in the promised land??? You see, it’s easy for us to judge the Israelites who refused to trust God even after He parted the Red Sea and fed them with manna and quail. But…we often do the same thing!
Believe me, I’ve chosen to wander in the wilderness enough in my life and—it’s a horrible way to live!
Failing to entrust my life to God, sent me wandering in the wilderness of dissatisfaction for over twenty years of my christian life! I was just like those Israelites. I knew God had won the big battles in my life—like providing me with THE GIFT OF SALVATION. I knew He had conquered death and hell; but I refused to entrust my PRESENT and FUTURE to Him. His millions of daily miracles—even down to the heart-beat in my body—were not real enough to persuade me to trust HIM with the details of my life. In the end, I also failed to allow Him to work the great miracle of transforming my heart.
But—God was so merciful and patient with me!
God’s goodness drew my heart out of the desert. His love was like an oasis. I was drawn to Him. Very soon after I tasted the refreshment of His presence, I began to passionately pursue Him. His goodness transformed my heart. The peace of His presence and His faithful care, assured me that I could fully trust Him. Now, I know what it means to “enter into His rest.” (Hebrews 3:11)
The peace of God’s presence is a foretaste of our life in the New Heaven and New Earth where evil will be banished and God will reign supreme.
“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.'” Revelation 21:1, 3-4
Believe me, my friend, God’s presence is so good that once you taste it, you won’t ever want to be without Him.
“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.” Psalms 27:13
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