WILDerness

The following is an excerpt from a recent sermon series I did @APCofCburg.  I have had frequent conversations with people from our church who have referenced the fact that they have been able to easily identify that they themselves in fact have been going through a WILDerness in there life.  I hope that this will be a blessing to someone, and that it will encourage them to NOT STOP in the midst of their personal WILDerness that they are going through.

Exodus 16:1-4 (KJV) 1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

I think we’d all agree, that out in the wilderness, well, I guess there’s no other way around it…but it’s WILD out there!  It’s definitely WILD out in the WILDerness.

At first glance, it appears that the wilderness is the deep, dark, mysterious place that only bad things happen.  We frequently use that analogy in our preaching and teaching…we equate the wilderness with death, with dying, with despair.  We use the wilderness to illustrate that desperate place where we don’t want to ever be, where we must stay away from…it’s that hopeless place, it’s that place where nothing good or positive can happen.  But yet…if you’re normal, if you’re human, and if you’re breathing, you’re going to go through, endure, and experience more than your fair share of wilderness moments in your life!  So if the wilderness is a place that we will inevitably end up, I want to make sure that you know how to survive in the wilderness!

The fact of the matter is this, we often miss out on the provision of God because we’re so used to relying upon the provision of man!  When the children of Israel were enslaved by the Egyptians, sure they had to work, sure some were beaten, even to the death, sure it was exhausting, sure they never got a break, but, it was always advantageous to the Egyptians to give them shelter, and food and water!  So, in essence, even though they were in bondage, they still were able to rely on man’s provision.  It wasn’t until they were forced into the wilderness that they had to trust in, rely upon, and depend on God’s provision.

Don’t be afraid of the wilderness. Don’t let it intimidate you. Let’s read Exodus 16:10 one more time…Exodus 16:10 (KJV) And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.

Do you see what just happened here? The Bible says that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud!  Now I don’t know if the Bible ever really mentioned the glory of the Lord appearing to them in the cloud when they were in bondage, but oh, out here in the wilderness?

  • You’ll see God in ways you’ve never seen Him before!
  • You’ll hear God speak to you in ways that you never heard Him speak to you before!
  • You’ll feel God move in your life in ways that you never felt Him move in your life before!

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