(The skies were breathtaking in the ‘Wilderness’)
” Perhaps God sees it is better for you to live in a continual dependence upon him, and not to know what your condition shall be on the morrow, than for you to have a more settled condition in terms of the comforts of the creature. Do but remember what we spoke of before, that Christ does not teach you to pray, ‘Lord, give me enough to serve me for two or three years,’ but, ‘This day our daily bread.’
This is to teach us that we must live upon God in a dependent condition every day for daily bread. Here was the difference between the land of Canaan and Egypt: the land of Canaan depended on God for the watering of it with showers from Heaven, but Egypt had a constant way of watering the country, that did not so much depend upon Heaven for water, but upon the river Nile, which at some certain time overflowed the country. Knowing that the watering of their country depended upon the river and not upon heaven, they grew more proud.
And therefore the Scripture, to express Pharaoh’s pride, brings him in as saying: ‘The river is mine’: he could order the river as he pleased, for it was his.
Canaan was a country which was to depend upon God, and though they had rain at one time, yet they never knew whether they should have it at another time, and lived always in dependence upon God, not knowing what should become of them.
Now God thought this to be a better land for his people than Egypt, and this is given as one reason among others, that the Lord looked upon it as more suitable to the state of his people, who were to live by faith, that they should be continually depending upon Heaven, upon himself, and not have a constant settled way in the creature for their outward dependence.
We find by experience that when those who are godly live in the greatest dependence upon God, and have not a settled income from the creature, they exercise faith more, and are in a better condition for their souls than before. Oh, many times it falls out that the worse your outward estate is the better your soul is, and the better your outward estate is the worse your soul is.” Burroughs p.122-123
This is a long quote, but it expresses the present point perfectly—namely, that we as God’s people are to live by faith, not by things seen. We are to depend upon God Himself for ALL things, not upon man, or this earth, or any other thing except Him.
But the way of learning this dependence can only be found going through the wilderness.
Deuteronomy 8:3: “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.”
God suffered them to hunger.
He let them go hungry.
He let them feel hunger.
He allowed them to NEED something desperately, that only He could provide.
But this wasn’t the first time He did this. He led them out of Egypt, but do you recall what He allowed first??
When Moses was sent to tell them He would be delivering them, God allowed Pharoah to harden his heart and increase the suffering of the Israelites further until God was ready to deliver them. (Exodus 5-6)
The Israelites have a record for praising God when He comes through, and totally not trusting God when things don’t look like they are working out.
Are we any different?
Why is it that when things are going good, prayers are being answered, and God seems near, it is so easy to trust God? But when things start falling apart and it seems as though God is no where to be found, we find that our circumstances and doubt get the best of us, and trust in God seems to be the last thing we can do or need?
It’s because we don’t Trust Him!!! We are NOT convinced of His love, and we don’t believe He is truly sovereign.
But here’s the truth———-> We have never had control over our own life, and we never will.
But how do we reach the place of trust in God, and to the belief that He is truly sovereign over everything that happens, and that in the middle of the worst possible situation, we can find ourselves in peace and rest?
The wilderness brings us to that place because we find ourselves in total isolation from all human resources. When we have NO WHERE to turn. When we have NO ONE else….we start to look Up, and we hear God asking us, “will you trust Me?”
Will we trust Him when:
- the job is lost
- the husband wants a divorce
- the kids are rebellious
- the bills aren’t paid
- the car broke down
- the dryer breaks
- the vacuum isn’t working
- we suffer an illness
- we lose a loved one
- we can’t have our way
- things don’t go according to our plans
- our husband won’t speak to us
- we don’t feel loved
- we feel depressed and purposeless
- we have no friends around
- we have only enough food for the day
- we run out of gas
- the internet isn’t working
- the power goes out
- the world seems to be getting more and more evil each day
- evil seems to rule and reign all around us
- the dog dies
There are SO MANY situations in life that we have to decide, are we going to trust Him?
Every single day we are given the opportunity to trust God or not.
It is totally up to us what we will choose—–to either trust God, or not.
But let us examine why we don’t trust God when things seem to be hopeless and totally impossible.
WE ARE SCARED– The first thing we think of when we are faced with the question of trusting God in our situation is the utter paralyzing fear that so tightly grips our hearts. We are afraid.
We are afraid that:
- if we trust God, he will NOT come through for us
- if we trust God, he will allow HORRIBLE things to happen
- if we trust God, he will prove unfaithful
- if we trust God, we will be hurt badly
- if we trust God, we will lose what we love so dearly
- if we trust God, we will starve to death
- if we trust God, we will never get what we want
- if we trust God, He will allow others to hurt us
WE DON’T BELIEVE HIS WAY IS BEST– The next thing we face is the fact that we do not believe God’s way is best. We believe that in order to trust Him, we need to be able to know what He is going to do next, or how He is going to deliver us. But if all we know is that we need to trust Him, we believe there is a better way, which is OUR way in which we will set out to control whatever is going on and to make things better in our own power.
WE DON’T UNDERSTAND– Then we realize and face that we just simply don’t understand why this is happening. Why is this going on when we are seeking to live for Christ and according to the will of God in all things? Why is this thing happening and why does it totally contradict what the Bible says should be happening?
All of these things we go up against in the midst of our trials, and we have to decide if we are going to believe and trust in God to be who He says He is, or if we are going to play it safe and seek to save our own lives.