Most of the generation of Israelites that were freed from Egypt’s bondage never entered the Promised Land and never enjoyed the abundance of what God was giving them.
The thought of wandering in that wilderness called “life here on earth,” set free by our Savior but never REALLY EXPERIENCING THAT ABUNDANT LIFE that Jesus has promised us, is very sad. Tragic. But I suspect that is what happens for a lot of believers….
I’ve certainly wandered lost and bewildered by huge, perilous, depressing and scary circumstances that seem like they will never end – where the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” is nowhere in sight. Haven’t you? Of course, the Ultimate Promiseland, flowing with milk and honey, is already ours but what about THAT ABUNDANT LIFE? The one Jesus talked about? The one that is supposed to be ours HERE? On earth? I want that.
My life is pretty good…at least when the Spirit leads me OUT of those wilderness times. But abundant? I’m talking grapes-so-big-they-need-to-be-carried-by-2-men-on-a-pole-abundancy! Don’t worry…..I’m not referring to material abundance (although I pray for the easing of financial difficulties all the time). Jesus and I have been discussing this for longer than I’d really like to admit – yes, I’ve been learning about HOW to have it for a while. But I still long for those grapes….
The First Sunday of Lent, our sermon focused on Jesus being tempted by Satan. My Bible version says He was in the desert. My pastor’s Bible version says He was in the WILDERNESS. Very interesting. And to me personally, more profound. He was actually “led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” and we also are sometimes led into the wilderness by the Spirit. Our time in the wilderness is a time of testing, a time to learn, a time to grow. Seems like we would want to be good students and learn our lessons quickly, doesn’t it? The wilderness is not a fun place.
Are we destined, like the Israelites, to wander in the wilderness much longer than is necessary? It is [only] eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea [on Canaan’s border; yet Israel took forty years to get beyond it]. Deuteronomy 1:2 (The Amplified Bible)
Stay tuned for more….
Dedicated to my Life Group. Thanks for the discussions and the GCs!