Our Journey in the Wilderness (4)

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Moses–>Shadow of Jesus

Moses lead God’s chosen from Egypt under the direction of God, in submission to God. Moses left a life of absolute luxury as the child of the pharaoh’s daughter to join his people. God presented Himself as man (Jesus), leaving the luxury of Heaven to guide us from our bondage in the same way. Moses walked with the Israelites through the wilderness to lead them in the ways of God, in reliance on Him. God walks with us stationed in our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit to guide us toward reconciliation with Him (Promised Land). The Old Testament account of Moses represents God leading His people even today away from a life in the wilderness. He wants us to come into His presence (Promised Land), but He wants us to do it be choice, to choose Him over this world. He want to populate eternity with people who want to live in His presence and praise Him and give Him all glory.

(Deuteronomy 18:18-19)  I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him.

Our Journey in the Wilderness (3)

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Promised Land –> God’s Presence

The first inclination is to think of The Promised Land as a metaphor for Heaven. I think that would be an acceptable conclusion, but there is more there. The Promised Land refers to the Presence of God, which includes Heaven but also His presence in a believer’s life which begins here on earth. Your walk in God’s kingdom begins here as you serve Him, guided by His light. Far too many people look past the time on earth and consider God a source of salvation through Jesus. While that is true they fail to honor His presence in their lives and wander from His desire for them. They choose to live in the wilderness with God’s grace and Mercy as provision instead allowing faith/trust to bring them into His presence/Promised Land.

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Our Journey in the Wilderness (2)

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The Wilderness –> Walk in reliance on God

The time God allows us to wander this earth acts as a filter for those who don’t want God. They seek themselves and the luxury of this world instead of trusting God. God has made a perfect place for His people to live through all eternity and wants the people to enter to do it by choice and in faith that He is good in His provision. The wilderness represents how we are supposed to live without worldly provision and influence. To truly live in reliance on God is to focus on Him and not seek the comfort of the world which gives gratification that falls exponentially short of God’s desire for us.

 We have to remember that some of the people who wandered through the wilderness did so because they were led away from God’s promise by elders and leaders. Those leader were and still are human. We have to keep in mind how important our personal relationship with God is. He speaks individually to each of our hearts in union with His written word to clarify and guide His faithful.

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Our Journey in the Wilderness (1)

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Slavery in Egypt –> Life without God

We are born into a life of slavery. We are a slave to sin and subsequently the master of this world the devil. Our sin separates us from the light of God. We continually fall short of God’s glory as we struggle for meaning and happiness in a world that provides these things in shallow and fleeting amounts. God pursues His people now just as He did then. He sent Moses to guide them out of Egyptian slavery just as He became man (Jesus) and came to earth to lead us out of slavery/sin. He want to reconcile us to Him and bring us into His light. For the Egyptians it was the Promised Land, for us it is His presence in our hearts (Holy Spirit) and eventual existence in His eternal kingdom.

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Our Journey in The Wilderness (Intro)

 

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As I journey through the later parts of Exodus I find the parallels to our journey prying at my heart. I hear many people ask: ‘Why doesn’t God just show Himself to everyone in an undeniable way?’ or ‘Wouldn’t a just God save everyone?’ I believe that Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers provide us a story that answers many questions about our current state. I want take the time to show the parallels that exist between the Israelites that followed Moses and the people of today. We have to remember what God did for the Israelites as they came out of Egypt and traveled through the wilderness. These people watched God plague Egypt, part the Red Sea, guide them by pillars of smoke and fire, provide all provisions they needed, and punish the unfaithful. They actually saw God in action and we still see them repeatedly turn from God and grumble in their desire to return to slavery. Not much has changed. We as fallen humans still struggle the same way. We still try and turn to this world for comfort. We still think that we can choose a life better than God can provide. Let’s see how the unchanging God acted then and now. I will present this in four parts.

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Instead of God’s Kingdom (7)

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Longevity/Life

Seeking longevity in life is common. If not longevity for the individual, it may be longevity for someone close to that person. God places people on this earth to serve His purpose good or bad. Their time on earth is used for His purpose however long that is. What each person should look to do is to live life to its fullest in the pursuit of the purpose that God place them here. We can’t focus on ‘our life’ we have to focus on the breath God placed into each of us and the significance of that fact. The main reason to mourn a life taken by the will of God is if that person didn’t know Christ and that they hadn’t found the eternal life Jesus pointed each of us toward by the will of God. (John 12:25) Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

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As a follower of Jesus there is a decision to be made. Do we seek earthly rewards and pleasure or the abundance that awaits in heaven? This question pertains to many things: 1) possessions, 2) status, 3) recognition, 4) affection, 5) acceptance, 6) control and 7) longevity. This list is limited but should suffice in awakening the senses to the other ways people seek this world over eternity in paradise.

Instead of God’s Kingdom (6)

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Control

God doesn’t override our free will. Even when that will is to take control from Him. Its human nature to try and use our own power to control what happens around us. God is always in control but when we forget to let Him lead us, we fail to reach our full potential. That potential is found in the counsel of God and the guidance of Jesus. There are people who thrive on that control and go so far as to control other people. We are called to lead the blind and our jobs have us managing those placed in our care. This speaks to something dangerous for us. Some people put themselves into a position where they require control and then wonder why they fall short and are left emotional unfulfilled. They miss the abundance found in Christ but due to the hardness of their heart pursue other avenues including stronger pursuits of more control.(Ephesians 1:11)  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will

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As a follower of Jesus there is a decision to be made. Do we seek earthly rewards and pleasure or the abundance that awaits in heaven? This question pertains to many things: 1) possessions, 2) status, 3) recognition, 4) affection, 5) acceptance, 6) control and 7) longevity. This list is limited but should suffice in awakening the senses to the other ways people seek this world over eternity in paradise.

Instead of God’s Kingdom (5)

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Acceptance

Being a follower of Christ requires sanctification and a shift toward the holiness of God. That holiness sets us apart from the fallen world and rules out the world’s acceptance. It is important that we not lose sight of God and His will for our lives. Our behavior should not conform us to the sinfulness of the world. That includes conforming in order to be accepted by those around you. This temptation to conform should be thwarted by living life in the light of God and His guidance. The faith that His guidance is for your good, and will provide the path for your life that will help us be content with His plan and the inevitable distance between us and the world. (Romans 8:28-29a) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son (John 15:20-21) Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.

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As a follower of Jesus there is a decision to be made. Do we seek earthly rewards and pleasure or the abundance that awaits in heaven? This question pertains to many things: 1) possessions, 2) status, 3) recognition, 4) affection, 5) acceptance, 6) control and 7) longevity. This list is limited but should suffice in awakening the senses to the other ways people seek this world over eternity in paradise.

Instead of God’s Kingdom (4)

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Affection/Lust

The fallen world has developed a focus on physical pleasure. They fail to see how seeking that pleasure leads them deeper down a hole that never leads to fulfillment. The only way to find absolute fulfillment is in the assurance of your worth as a child of God. The affection found in human emotion is fickle and dependent on the current mental status of the other party. When the mood of another person waivers, so does the affection they have toward the people in their lives. Being dependent on that sort of attention will inevitably lead to turmoil. The only way to avoid this is to focus on a love and affection that never waivers even in our worst moments. A never-ending and unconditional love from our heavenly father. (Psalm 136:26) Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

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As a follower of Jesus there is a decision to be made. Do we seek earthly rewards and pleasure or the abundance that awaits in heaven? This question pertains to many things: 1) possessions, 2) status, 3) recognition, 4) affection, 5) acceptance, 6) control and 7) longevity. This list is limited but should suffice in awakening the senses to the other ways people seek this world over eternity in paradise.