Friday, November 21, 2008

Desert Places

My Bible Study group has been journeying through the book of Exodus with Moses and the Israelites from yore. We've gone through chapter 20 where God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. As we’ve studied, we’ve pondered the connections between the Israelites journey from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land and our own lives; how we’ve been rescued from the bondage to sin and death and our destination is a Promised Land, Heaven, Eternity in communion with God and each other… But what about the part where we, like the Israelites, find ourselves wandering in the desert. There are times when it seems all roads lead to the desert, and it is in these times we see what is truly in our hearts. These times are difficult and humbling, they test our faith more than any other time. Am I willing to be obedient in the desert times? When God feels far away? When there is pain and fear and doubt? Or am I only obedient when it’s convenient, when it’s easy, when things seem good…

When God leads us into the desert, he is humbling us, causing us to hunger and thirst for Him, for His righteousness, and then he feeds us with Him, His conviction, His kindness that leads to repentance. Maybe it’s a financial crisis and God wants to provide for me in different ways, like clothing that never wore out for the Israelites, and the manna God provided the exact right amount for each day. Maybe it is seeing God sustain us through circumstances we could not see ourselves through on our own strength.

I am understanding more and more the words of C. S. Lewis about how “pain is God’s megaphone”; we are so thickheaded and stubborn we just won’t let God have His way with us when things are going good! But when we are in pain, let us be quick to turn to Him. May we not fear the Refiner’s fire because we know Who is holding us. The Holy Spirit of God who is interceding for us with groans our words cannot express, is living inside of us, closer than our breath, closer than our heartbeat. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” God is drawing us closer.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Enjoyed the post. It is so true. God still speaks to us. We must decide if we will hear and obey. Keep up the good work, bud.
Looking forward to your visit to my blog and becoming a follower of my blog. :)