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8th April 2020

The Wilderness - The Place of Abundance 3

Greg Simnor

This may surprise us all, but there is an eternal purpose for why God leads us into the wilderness. God is so in love with us and so intent on bringing His beloved creation into the life He has predestined for her, that He took Israel and He takes the church out of their version of God and just like He placed them into the wilderness, He places us into the same place, to reveal our true heart state. 

Deuteronomy 8 is a profound chapter of life and describes what the Father has been doing for the last 10 years in our family called The Rock. Let’s have a look at what God has been doing in the hearts of the people who call the Rock their church family.

Deuteronomy 8:1-3 “All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. 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. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

God has been speaking to us profoundly over the years about whether we are able to keep the 2 Commandments which all the Law and the prophets hang on. God commands us to do something we can’t do in our own strength. Just like the Israelites couldn’t keep the 10 Commandments because they weren’t empowered by the Spirit, neither can we unless we are empowered by the Spirit. 

The problem that the Israelites faced and that we also face, is that in not being able to keep these commandments, we are not able to enter in to the life that sits behind the commandments, accessing and possessing the life the Father has promised us. An eternal life in His Son. 

Because of this reality, God has to lead us into a place we have not been before, to perform a very deep work in our hearts. This place isn’t a place we would naturally chose to go from our own free will, so He leads us there so we can receive ALL He has for us. Things in God are never as they appear. 

Here are the reasons why God leads us into the wilderness.

1.   To humble us - to create in us a spirit of humility. Blessed are those who are

poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom.

2. To test us - God needs us to see what is in our own hearts. God taking us into the wilderness is a time of the heart being uncovered, for what’s truly there. He tests us to see if we can keep His Commandments - 1 John 2:3-6

3.   He lets us be hungry - God takes us to the wilderness to starve us of the current food we are eating. Food we trust in but food which perishes, fleshly food which doesn’t produce an eternal life. He takes us there, to humble us and make us aware of our true need for true food.

4.   He gives food - it’s in the wilderness that God starts to give us the food we need, to live as Christ and receive all of the life that is in Christ. This is the food we need, to be able to keep the 2 Great Commandments. It’s a food that we and our forefathers have never eaten before. Only the Father can give this food.

5.   He makes us understand - through the Father giving us this food, we come to the realisation that we do not and can not live on bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. 

This is the process we must all be in and follow as this is the ONLY WAY, if we want the incredible life which verses 4-18 (READ) speaks of. The Israelites never entered into the life in the promised land because they did not heed what God taught them, and we too will be the same if we don’t either. 

We must live the Way we are commanded to live, if we are to access and possess all that is in Christ for us today.