Sometimes I Need to Be in the Wilderness
Scripture: Leviticus 27:1-34; Numbers 1:1-54
I almost missed them as I causally glanced over the first few verses of Numbers. Then, my eyes jumped back to the words a year. The very words I breezed over hung suspended in the air.
“A year after Israel’s departure from Egypt …” (Numbers 1:1)
The Israelites, so full of hope to move to a fairer land full of God’s goodness, had been traveling for one year. Their nomadic travels placed them somewhere between liberty among the physical riches of Canaan and slavery among the religious poverty in Egypt. A three day journey had lasted over a year! God, in His sovereignty, guided His children on the scenic route rather than the fast track.
Discouragement can easily take root when our expectations don’t align with God’s timing. Impatience replaces peace. Contentment turns to complaining. And before we know it, we adapt God’s plan to our ideas. Is it possible that God keeps us on the scenic route so we can truly see His greatness?
In the wilderness we:
- See His miracles more clearly
- Feel His presence more intensely
- Worship Him more authentically
- Obey Him more sincerely
When we try to advance our plans, we miss the Lord’s. James encourages believers who are going through trials to “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (James 1:2-4 MSG)
Sometimes I need to be in the wilderness. How about you? It’s there that our faith matures and grows. With this in mind, the wilderness doesn’t seem like such a bad place.
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