How To Turn An Eleven Day Journey Into A Forty Year Pilgrimage.
Can you imagine going on a trip you know takes less than two weeks and it consumes the rest of your life! This is what we are talking about here in this story of the Wilderness Wanderings. This generation that came up out of Egypt was as stubborn as it gets.
- Those over the age of 20 died in the wanderings and were not permitted to enter into the Promised Land.
- According to Judges 2:10, the generation that did enter didn’t pass along their faith to the next generation.
- Judges 2:10 “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done…”
The question is why? Just how and why does this happen? After all these people endured, how could the next generation completely forget everything God did?
Psalm 78 is a reminder of how stubborn and rebellious this generation was concerning the Lord’s deliverance. We don’t have time to cover this entire Psalm but focus on a few select verses. The summary of the story is found in verses 32-33. This verse speaks of the rejection of God, vanity, and years consumed. Listen to the words.
32 In spite of all this (God’s mighty works and kindness) they still sinned and did not believe in His wonderful works. 33 So He brought their days to an end in futility (vanity) And their years in sudden terror.
- Have you ever felt like you have wasted years?
- Have you ever looked back over a period of time and wondered why you squandered it so, and what you really accomplished of real value?
- How many times have you marched around the same spiritual mountain failing to climb and conquer the commands of the Lord?
What matters most…. the distance you cover or miles you travel getting there? It took 40 years to travel this short distance, as they went in circles, going nowhere, meandering their lives away!
Egypt is a picture of bondage and sin, but God delivered them. The Promised Land wasn’t far away. The Promised Land is a picture of the victorious life and rest. We can easily see how Israel turned a few days journey into 40 years. We could get frustrated with them and want something better for them…….until we realize that they are a picture of us personally, the church!
But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:5, 11-12
– Limiting God –
Can the creation actually limit the Creator? How can this be? He’s all powerful and can do anything!
God in His essence cannot be limited. But we all know God will not put His hand into a dirty glove to do His work. The scriptures remind us that many times God looks and looks for a person He can use for His glory, but cannot find anyone.
In spite of everything… God does work through us in spite of who we are…but He could do so much more if we would allow Him. We limit Him by not selling out and becoming 100% dedicated to Him.
– The Wilderness Experience –
The wilderness experience solves all this and it is God chosen process. As tough as Egypt was to escape, the wilderness experience is tougher still. In fact, it is the most difficult of all experiences in the believer’s life.
- We come to the end of ourselves and enter into rest, or
- we die in the process!
The Lord doesn’t provide another alternative process. The process of navigating the dry, dry dessert is from Heaven. It is God’s best! All of God’s legitimate children are in this process. You will come to the end of yourself and enter into His rest or die in the process.
If you struggle with a stubborn heart, refusing to let go of the issues that bind you… choose a different path today, the path that releases your heart fully to the Lord. Enter into His rest and walk in the blessings of the Lord.