It amazes me how God works! We get to see the short cuts the Israelites could of went through as we read the Bible, to get to the promises land! However, God knows what it would take to work out the old patterns in their lives as they learn to depend and trust Him with all their hearts! What the younger generation experienced must have been amazing with their parents while spending 40 years in the desert and extremely hard! They experienced God’s power and Glory as they journeyed to the promise land! He knew what it would take to grow the new generation up for Him as he met the old generation where they are and made sure they were completely taken care of! The flesh can be hard to please as the intense, hot and dry land must have been hard! They learned hands on lessons that they can trust God and depend on Him! He never left them! “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to given them light…Exodus 13:17-22NIV, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Moses took the bones of Josephwith him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”
God loves us so much, he doesn’t leave us or forsake us! God does and continues to do the impossible! As we try to escape the blistering sun, the cloud by day makes more sense! God protected them by giving them shade from the fierceness of the desert sun! It also, get so dark and cold at night and He led them with His guiding light as they kept warm! He surrounded them with His presence and great and wonderful love! Today, we don’t have the cloud or fire! The good News is we have the Good News “Jesus” who is the light of the world! His living Words through the Holy Spirit gives us guidance to our day. He is with us and He will never leave us, He gives wisdom, He gives us direction, so we never have to fear being left on our own to figure things out. He goes ahead of us, he walks with us, and He guards our ways! His Word is truth and life, it shows us the way to walk in this dark world. We are called to be the light of the world!
We all need to keep hydrated and need water to drink, especially in the extreme heat! I love how God teaches us through scripture how as our physical bodies need water, we need spiritual water where we will never thirst! What do we do, when we thirst in the hot and dry desert heat? What do we crave in the waiting for a rain that drenched us to the bone? Romana 12:2 NIV, “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.” What you chose to do in the waiting matters! Where we spend our time matters! We are not suppose to be just hears of God’s word but doers as well! James 1:22 NIV, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” God says don’t conform to the patterns of this world! What does this mean? When we break this down, you will see that what the world says is the opposite of what God says! God says, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous! When we seek God first, we are choosing to meditate on God’s words day and night as we live out what He says! We are filling ourselves up with His living words from the Bible while thinking and talking about them day and night! The world says empty your mind but God says fill it up with Him! But what we fill ourselves up in the waiting, matters and it must come from God! We need to guard our mind which flow into our hearts because out of the heart the mouth speaks! Philippians 4:8 NIV, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Not only do we fill ourselves with God’s living words while meditating day and night, we need to put them into practice in every part of our lives! Especially through the storms and trials in our lives! When you stand firm by being planted by streams of living water! You will be blessed because of God’s living words flowing into your life which gives you life forever in Jesus! Psalm 1:1-3 NIV, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” These dry and thirsty times are a reminder about who we hold onto while God walks with us as He molds us to be more and more like Him! We hold onto Jesus who is the author and perfectly of our faith! Who gives us living water where we will never thirst! In these thirsty days where the land even longs for a drop of rain! When the sand is so dense, the dust makes it hard to breathe or even see what’s going on around us! We need to remember, stay in God’s word and in relationship with our sisters and brothers in Christ! In Psalm 77, “I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
at night I stretched out untiring hands,
and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.You kept my eyes from closing;
I was too troubled to speak.
I thought about the former days,
the years of long ago;
I remembered my songs in the night.
My heart meditated and my spirit asked: “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion? Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. The waters saw you, God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the heavens resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
When the storms in life are raging and they come in So many different ways and you’re going through trials, remember, stand firm on the solid foundation of Jesus who is the vine” John 15:5 NIV, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Trust God, who cares deeply for you! His thoughts for you are as numerous as the sand in all the world and nothing can ever separate you from the love of God! Even if the dust in the air makes it hard to stay focused, fix your eyes on Jesus who makes a way when there seems to be no way! When you meditate on God’s living words that give life, day and night, you will be blessed! You will be rooted in Jesus and will able to stand strong in Jesus, You will know what the world offers is temporary and won’t last like a sudden mist that comes out of no where! If might feel awesome but don’t be lead away from what your suppose to do! The mist really is temporary because it evaporates in an instant. 1 Peter 5:6-9 NIV, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
Through the dust storms, we need to stay connected to the vine (Jesus)! As we fix our eyes on Him by staying focused on the kingdom mindset! We will have peace and joy that can never be taken from you! Even during storms in your life! The sand of the world will become an overflow in our lives as it shifts and moves! But you will not be moved! The sand washes things away! If your not on guard by taking the full armor of God, you will be swallow up by every distraction or care of the world! It’s like waves in the ocean! But remember, Hebrews 13:7-8 NIV, “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Even when it gets hard, don’t give up on doing good! Galatians 6:7-10 NIV, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Living out God’s love by living in His truth throughout our daily lives, will lead others to want to know God’s love too and we will be reminding each other not to give up! As we fix our eyes on Jesus and seek Him first in all we do, you do you will find Him, when you seek Him with all your heart! Jeremiah 29:11-14 NIV, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
We can’t depend on our own strength because nothing good comes from it! Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. It’s in our weakness that we bring God glory! 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 NIV, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” We must abide in Jesus who is the vine and God is the gardener! We will never thirst as our bodies do, because we are filled completely up with Him! We must cling to truth( Jesus)! Our bodies may struggles but we grow stronger as we grow spiritual fruit that bring God continual Glory! As I fall, I will stand, as I trip, I will remain! Everything we go through in life is an opportunity to grow more to know God’s love as we glorify Him!