Contentment Day 24- Lessons from the wilderness Part 1 continued

Contentment Day 24- Lessons from the wilderness Part 1 continued

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(What peace is found in the middle of no where!)

That we may know our own hearts

“A man who does not know his own heart does not think what need he has of affliction, and for that reason is uneasy, but when God comes with afflictions to the man or woman who have studied their own hearts, they can say, I would not have been without this affliction for anything in the world, God has so suited this affliction to my condition, and has come in such a way that if this affliction had not come I am afraid I should have fallen into sin” Burroughs p. 60

“Perhaps the Lord takes away many comforts from them that they had before, or denies them some things that they hoped to have got. Now by knowing their hearts they know that they were not able to manage such wealth, and they were not able to manage such prosperity” Burroughs p.60

Deuteronomy 8:2-3:
“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 though wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which though 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.”

 

So as we saw from yesterday, God humbles His children, to prove them, that we may know what is in our own hearts.

He already knows what is in our hearts—-but we don’t, unless the Spirit of God opens our eyes to see what is truly in it. For as Jeremiah said, “the heart is deceitful above all else”.

That means that we think we can know and trust our own hearts, but really, it is the most deceitful thing of all!

Why do we need to know what is in our own hearts?
Well it says in Deut. 8:3 that it was to know whether the Israelites would keep God’s commandments or not.
We get a further insight into this principle when we read Exodus 16:4, “Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate everyday, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”
See, God was going to rain down the manna bread, and command the Israelites to only gather enough for THAT DAY. If they gathered more than enough for the day, it would turn rotten.
But do you see what God was PROVING?

He was proving whether they would TRUST HIM enough to ONLY gather enough for ONE day, or if they were going to be greedy and unbelieving, and gather more or save some because they didn’t TRUST God!
And we read on what actually happened, and what was found to be in their hearts:
“And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.” Exodus 16:19

ROUND 1 of the test did not go well, for they did not listen to Moses, and some gathered and left the bread until the morning, and they found it was rotten.

THEY DID NOT BELIEVE. In their hearts were UNBELIEF AND REBELLION!

ROUND 2
Round two of the test was when Moses told them that God commanded them to gather enough bread for 2 days on the 6th day, because the 7th day was the Sabbath rest, where they were required to do no gathering:
“And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the Lord: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” Exodus 16:24-28
See, God commanded them to do something, and they did not listen!

They did not believe Him when He said they would be fed. In their heart was unbelief, rebellion, and self.

They did not deny themselves, their own wisdom, their own judgments and reasonings!

No, they heard the command, and did what they wanted anyway. And thus, they were proved, and shown that in their hearts were unbelief and rebellion!
What was God trying to do? What are His ways with them revealing to us?
As Jeremiah Burroughs wrote in the quotes above, we must know what is in our hearts, that way we can know our own limits.
God knows what our limits are, and He also knows that we need to have utter dependency and TRUST in Him in order for Him to grant us the blessings of peace and joy on this earth.
When God humbles us, and drives us to our knees in desperation, He does it in order to get us to cry out to HIM alone for help and deliverance. And in the time of desperation, we are shown that we need to TRUST Him for everything. But if, like the Israelites in the wilderness, we continue to hearken to our own judgments about a situation, we ar quickly found in mistrust of God and unbelief, and ultimately rebellion!
The Lord was proving the Israelites, to show them what was in their hearts, because He knew that in order for them to take possession of the promised land, they were going to have to TRUST HIM, and BELIEVE HIM, and be utterly dependent on HIM. If they were not disciplined and trained in this way, then they would mismanage the abundance that the Lord was trying to give them in the promised land. They would forget that ALL things came from the hand of God alone, and that they did not earn any of it, or work for any of it—-it was purely from God, and all the praise and glory were to be to God!
And it is the same even to this day in our own lives.

We think we want something, or even need something…….

Whether it be:

  • children
  • husband
  • more money
  • new car
  • more possessions/material things
  • better job
  • nicer home
  • perfect, pain free life

But only the Lord knows what we need, and most times, its not what WE think we need at all. Most times, it is more of the Lord that we need, and not some earthly thing that is passing away.
TRUE STORY:
For the first year and a half of my marriage, I truly believed that my husband needed to fight for custody of his two children. I was passionate about it, and I believed in my heart that it was God’s will, and that it should work out and that there was no other possible way for things to turn out.
I thought we needed to raise them, and I took it upon myself to try to :::make it::: happen.
Well year and a half went by, and that plan was terribly frustrated.
THANK GOD.
After having his children spend a holiday with us, (and it was the first time I had met them and spent any time with them) I was the one saying Thank you God that you did not allow them to come under our care. For it wasn’t until then that I saw with new eyes that it would not have been for the best for anyone involved if we had gotten my way.
I saw that:

  • God knew best, and I did not.
  • I saw that what I wanted would have only caused so many more problems.
  • We would not have been able to manage all of that correctly at the time, seeing we would have only been married not even a year if we had gotten them when we tried to.

But at the time, all I saw was what I THOUGHT WAS BEST, and what I BELIEVED God wanted to happen, even though nothing was working out that way.

And I was proved, and made to know what was in my heart—whether I would keep His commandments or not.
I did not. I went on ahead in my own way and time and kept seeking ways to make it happen, even though the Bible says to submit to my husband, and lean not on my own understanding…….. did I hearken? No. I listened to my self instead, and went on ahead in my own strength and ways until I got absolutely NO WHERE.
And then I was made to see what was in my heart, and true repentance was granted me. And I let that thing go all the way—-and the peace of God welled up in my heart like never before, and I found true rest. Glory be to God 🙂

And I literally experienced what Burroughs wrote so many years ago:
“Perhaps the Lord takes away many comforts from them that they had before, or denies them some things that they hoped to have got. Now by knowing their hearts they know that they were not able to manage such wealth, and they were not able to manage such prosperity” Burroughs p.60

 

Tomorrow we will look at Trusting God.

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