Wanderings in the Wilderness

  • Deuteronomy 2:1-3:39
  • Luke 6:12-38
  • Psalm 67:1-7
  • Proverbs 11:27

I wrote this journal entry at the airport on the first day of my trip last week. Because I couldn’t get internet access while I was gone, I was not able to blog. This journal entry felt important, so I wanted to share it with you.

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.

Deuteronomy 2:7

In Chapter 2 God tells Moses, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. Give the people these orders:” (verse 3-4) Then God warns the people to avoid the descendants of Esau who lived in Sier because he promised that land to them. “They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war for I will not give you and of their land, net even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country…..You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.

Then God warns them to “do not harass the Moabites or provoke them to war, for I will not give you any part of their land” (vs 9) because that land belonged to the descendants of Lot.

The Lord had given the descendants of Esau and the descendants of Lot their lands, just as he was giving the Israelites the territory of the Promised Land, the land East of the Jordan. They were to bypass Edom, Moab and Ammon because of their blood relationship to Israel. Don’t take something that is not yours to take. Trust that God will provide for you just like he did the Israelites, the Moabites and the Edomites. God is a God of His Word!

What are you being called to trust God for today?

This number Forty Years of provision, is absolutely true of my life. God brought it to my attention in the airport the other day that 40 years ago I was about 16 years old. I was attending church in Waller, Texas with a friend whose dad happened to be the preacher. I don’t know what my motivation was that day to go to the front and asked to be baptized. Maybe it was to fit in with someone. Maybe it was a powerful preaching. Maybe it was truly God preparing me for the wilderness I was about to walk through in life. Because after this baptism, my life took a turn for the not so good. My parents got divorced, my Grandma who was really an anchor in our family, died, and my Aunt Nora died. It was a year filled with tragedy.

My mom decided to move us back to the city so she could be close to her work, and for the sixth time in my nine years of education, I was the new girl in school. Only now I was an angry, frightened, emotionally abandoned teenager. While I didn’t know it at the time, God was with me and protected me starting at that baptism. Even while I was making poor choices in effort of fitting in, I never lacked what I needed.

The readings go on to tell us about how God guided them through the wilderness and was preparing them to “take possession of the land of the Amorites. Many of the nations and kings would be afraid of the Israelites and it would be easy to PASS THROUGH those lands. But the lands they were to TAKE POSSESSION of would be different.

But Sihon king of Heshbon refused to let us pass through. For the Lord your God had made his spirit stubborn and his heart obstinate in order to give him into your hands, as he has now done.

The Lord said to me, “See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his country over to you. Now begin to conquer and possess his land.

Deuteronomy 2:30-31

So how do we know that a “land” is given to us? Because its hard. How do we know that a land is NOT ours to live in? Because the inhabitants are afraid of us….or its just easy to do. Its easy to be the smartest guy in the room, but being around successful people and those who are doing the right thing, that can be intimidating.

The first step in conquering something is to know that God will make its heart obstinate. That dream that goal that life plan that you have, that I have, that seems like its throwing us curveballs….perhaps that a difficulty that you have to overcome.

I read last years journal entry for 3/24/2020 in hopes of gaining some “wisdom” to share with my brother and his family on my trip. I read that I had asked God to keep me from bad habits, laziness, food addictions. And interestingly enough, I have been writing about the same thing this year. I am still asking God to give me a victory that He has already given me, but I must conquer it! Often times instead, I just insist on staying in the wilderness and whine about the effects of these habits that God has already delivered me from. Its my daily decision to step up and conquer them.

Having a healthy body is hard because it takes a daily decision to do the thing and eat the food required to have it. Sitting on the couch watching tv or playing candy crush feels more fun “right now”, but the hard thing is what God has in store for me to conquer. But what if its bigger than that…..

What if on the other side of this battle that I have with food and fitness are restored relationships? What if on the other side of this mountain is successful writing? A passionate marriage? What if these are the victories that God has in store for me if I will decide to get up out of the damn desert and conquer that which is hard!

Can I trust in God to deliver me from these sinful behaviors that separate me from a healthy Self that God designed me to be and have?

Didn’t God deliver me from cigarettes? Whew, that was hard, and yes, He did. But I had to choose NOT to smoke them.

Didn’t God make my Real Estate Career successful? Yep, more successful than I ever dreamed, but I had to make the choices for marketing my business and working it every single day.

Didn’t God save my marriage? Yes, thank God he did, but Jeff and I both had to make the decision to love each other through it.

Didn’t God save my Ashley from addiction and give me beautiful grandchildren? But she had to make the decision for sobriety and I had to make the choice to forgive and trust.

Didn’t God return my Dakota and I to a good relationship> Yes. yes. yes. But I had to choose to let her go….and trust that God would bring her back.

So why wouldn’t God deliver me from these new promises too?

How do we conquer the sinful behaviors? Well, it gets done each and every day we decide to make that happen. We have to decide that what we really want is more important than what we want right now. We get off work, and its time to go to the gym, do we go to the gym, or say….ohhh, it can wait till tomorrow (the tomorrow that never comes). Or its time to cook dinner, do we have pizza or gather the makings of a hearty salad?

Whoever seeks good finds favor, but evil comes to one who searches for it.

Proverbs 11:27

God wants to bless you, friend. God wants to give you the Promised Land of freedom. What land is it that God has in store for you? Is it overcoming fear and going for the big career move or going back to school? Is it taking the next step in a relationship? Whatever land that God has in store for you…..I promise it won’t be an easy path or one that “most people” travel. It will be worth it though!

Lord, thank you for these years that you have provided for me. Thank you for the journey through the wilderness….even though it was hard. I pray for the person reading this right now, that you would guide them to their Promised Land, and give them the freedom that you had in store for them all along.

How can I be praying for you today?

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