I’m pretty sure we all have read or heard stories about Moses and his journey with the Israelites from Egypt into the wilderness. As the story begins to play out we see a man who is warring with the mentality of his people because they cannot see or understand that what God has in store for them is greater than what they have been used to. Moses is in a constant battle, not with the Egyptians but with his own people. In fact, they were never meant to stay in the wilderness for all of those years but because of their mentality it locked them up there.
When we hear preachers or ministers of God tell us about the wilderness experience, the premise is often based of the off the idea that the wilderness is unruly, wicked and bad . It’s a place no one wants to go because we associate it with pain and trials. However, even though trials and struggles may find us in our wilderness, I believe that God is showing us something far deeper than that.
God told them to go into the wilderness to PROTECT them from the battle that was happening on the other side. God didn’t send them, you or I into a wilderness for no reason but he has already went before you and seen some things that could possibly detour, hurt or distract you and has deemed the wilderness as a safe haven. The problem most of the time is that we, just like the Israelites feel like we should know everything and when God all of a sudden changes our course that we feel we should be on than we have an issue with God. Instead of trusting that he knows all things and want nothing but good for us – we become like the Israelites and complain. Not only do we complain, we question God’s goodness, we give God the silent treatment, we shut up the bowels of our compassion and we start to do things our way. Slowly but surely getting off course and losing our way in the wilderness.
We make the wilderness a bad place – Not God. If we keep reading this story in the bible you will see how far off course the Israelites were. If you keep reading, you will find one person who didn’t let distractions or his flesh get him off course. We have an example of what the wilderness should be even though he’s connected to a body of people who won’t do right. Joshua stayed on course even in the wilderness. The wilderness, DRAWS YOU CLOSER TO GOD, PREPARES YOU, and is where often times PURPOSE AND TIMING MEETS.
How can I say this? Joshua, was the only one at the foot of the mountain. He was the only when Aaron and the rest of the Israelites where making idols that stood on his post. He was in the tents with Moses being trained and prepared. He was doing all of the things but because he stayed close to Moses, God was downloading and imparting into him. He stayed on course to the degree that even when his leader, Moses messed up and disobeyed God that he was still following God. His relationship with God was bigger than his leader and because of that he didn’t demote himself when God promoted him to stay in the wilderness with Moses.
He knew that all of this time in the wilderness has finally come to an end. He knew that he had been in training and preparation and now timing has met purpose. Now, because he stayed on course, he’s qualified for the promise land. He’s qualified for blessings and overflow. He’s qualified for abundance. He’s qualified for the promotion to lead.
There is no promise land without the wilderness. What qualified you for the land of promise without the wilderness? Your looks? Your watered down faith? Your belief? Nope… what qualifies you is your ability to grow and mature in your wilderness experience so that you can be developed for what you’re going to have to do in the land of promise. When Joshua went into the land of promise there was no kumbaya moment – he went in their to war and take dominion but he was learning these things in the wilderness.
As I close… I believe the time has come and God is looking at the Joshua’s who didn’t fold nor bend but stayed on course and surrendered their lives to training and development even when they didn’t understand the course that God was taking them on. The time has come for us to cross over into our promise land. The promise land is great but when we get to the other side, we see that the journey in the wilderness was greater.
Steward over your sphere and stay on course like a good soldier! Keep your eye on God and not the distractions that’s going to come to get you to sabotage you from entering into the promise of God. Greater is on the other side of this!