Wow! It's been quite a while since I've been on here. My only excuse has been life. My new goal is to write on here at least three times a week. I have actually been meaning to get on here and share something God showed me. I was reading in Deuteronomy and this chapter and specifically several verses just jumped off the page at me.
Not many of us enjoy the wilderness experience. We want to get to the promised land already! I know that is the way I am - impatient! But God has something to teach us in the wilderness that He can't in the Promised Land. In fact, if we don't learn our lessons in the wilderness, our Promised Land can become a temptation to forget God's goodness, provision and grace.
In Deuteronomy 8:2 it says, "You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not." Then in verses 15-17, the idea is repeated, "He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents nad scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. Otherwise, you may say in your heart, My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth."
So we see that our wilderness experiences, no matter what they are or how long they last, are to do a couple of things: humble us, test us to see if we will keep His commandments and to see what is in our hearts, and to do good for you in the end.
The first one is to humble us. I dont' know about you, but pride is something I have struggled with in the past, and it often rears its ugly head now, too. Whether that means the pride of being right or even pride in a God-given gift, I need to remember that God is the giver of all good things. My only job is to be thankful and use what He has given me wisely. As Beth Moore often says, it is far better to voluntarily humble yourself than it is to have God humble you. There really isn't any other choice if we are to fulfill our God-given destiny because God resists the proud. My goal is to keep as close to God as possible because the nearer I am to His Light, the clearer view I have of myself. And that's something that keeps me humble!
The second thing was to test us to see if we will keep His commandments and to see what is in our hearts. There are many Scriptures that talk about obeying God being proof of our love for Him. John 15 comes to mind and Psalms 119, too. However, the next part sort of puzzled me because God sees our hearts, so why would He need to put us in the wilderness to see what is in our hearts, if He already knows. It finally occurred to me that maybe it is more for US to see what is in our hearts. There is nothing like a crisis or adversity to reveal the real person underneath the mask.
The third thing is that it is for our good. We need to be humble; we need to learn to keep God's commands and that we can trust God enough to follow Him even if it doesnt make a whole lot of sense to us; we need to learn what is in our own hearts, even the ugly stuff. Finally, we need the wilderness so that we know who really brought us to the Promised Land. If the trip was easy, then the reward wouldn't be as appreciated. So, journey on and know that God has your triptik written out with a special destination in mind just for you.