I woke up this morning with the wilderness on my mind. I first “encountered” this passage of Scripture in John Bevere’s book, Victory in the Widerness. John Bevere states that the wildness is a place of preparation, not punishment. I am so grateful for the Word and modern-day forerunners who are transparent enough to encourage others on the path. I would file this passage under a tab I’d call “God’s ways.”
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee. Deuteronomy 8:2-5 KJV (emphasis added)
The bible says in Isaiah 55:8-9 that God’s ways are higher than our ways and in Isaiah 55:8-9 and the secret things belong to God (Deuteronomy 29:29). God wants our attention. He wants us to think of Him. He sent His son to redeem us so that we may have a personal relationship with Him as Our Father. This is so important that God led His people, the Israelites and the Spirit led Jesus to and leads us to and through wilderness seasons in our lives.
In the wilderness, we are humbled and proven. We become attentive to God’s instructions when everyday distractions are removed by the discomfort of adversity. Humility is not marked by low self-esteem but by obedience. And to be proven by God is an honor. Proofing requires care. It requires close examination of our motives, desires, habits, integrity or lack thereof. To be proven by God is not without a purpose. The wilderness is a path to the promise.
God did a “new thing” in the wilderness . God supplied manna from heaven, fresh each morning for over two million people. Manna was a nutrient rich food the world had not known before. In our wilderness seasons, we are allowed to hunger , but not lack, so that God may feed us. We are dependent upon the Word of God instead of full cabinets, bank accounts, physical stamina or personal prestige. We hold on to God’s promises instead of our own plans. God preserved the clothes and shoes of the Israelites and His Word will preserve us.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. __Matthew 22: 37-40 KJV
Lastly, God gave the Israelites, Ten Commandments for guidance, correction, wisdom and protection as any loving father would. Jesus has given us the two Commandments –which in a changed heart and renewed mind — will lead us to our Promise lands!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.__ Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. __(Deuteronomy 29:29 KJV