Endlessly Wandering

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, April 5, 2015 0 comments

by Ami Samuels

The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years because of their disobedience and lack of faith. They didn’t reach the land they had been promised because they didn’t receive the promise in faith. They spent that time aimlessly traveling in the wilderness, grumbling, complaining, and frustrated. It took forty years to make an eleven-day journey. I have had times in my life that I would consider a wilderness experience like this. I can honestly remember crying out to God to please teach me or show me what I needed to learn to exit that dry and deserted place as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to stay there any longer than I had to, and I certainly didn’t want to continue circling the same route in my life making the same mistakes and ending up in the exact same place.

Are you wandering, never able to rest in search of a mirage? Do you find yourself in the endless pursuit of perfection, pursuit of the world’s definition of success, or pursuit of money, possessions, or fame? Are you endlessly wandering through life never finding rest, never finding true peace, never joy-filled? Are you chasing the ways of this world only to find that these promises leave you tired, empty, and frustrated, until you start chasing the next “thing”?

The Israelites took so long to get to where they were going because they didn’t listen to God’s instructions. Moses told them what they were supposed to do, but they didn’t obey the directions they were given. They complained and whined even though they had seen God’s hand in their lives. They saw the plagues in Egypt, the Passover, the parting of the Red Sea for their escape, and yet they doubted that God could or would provide for their basic needs like food and water.

What good does the word of God do if it falls on deaf ears? We need to read the Scriptures, trust the Scriptures, understand Scripture, and apply it to our lives. What good are the words of the Bible if we do not choose to grow and learn from them? Either we believe the Bible or we don’t! Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Having faith in God is trusting his word, trusting him with the situations in our lives, and trusting him when we don’t know the plan. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” The Bible is full of examples of people who took a step of faith out of their comfort zone when they didn’t know where they were going and didn’t know the plan. In Hebrews chapter 11 it says “by faith” twenty–two times. By faith Noah built an ark, by faith Abraham obeyed and went even though he didn’t know where he was going, by faith Joseph spoke of the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt, by faith Moses left Egypt, kept the Passover, crossed the Red Sea, by faith! All of these people and more are commended for their faith, because they lived by faith.

The Israelites started out living “by faith” but very quickly they began to doubt.

Do the promises of this world leave you empty, even after you have achieved them?

It reminds me of a time when I saved my money for a down payment on a car. I longed for that car, I planned and thought about myself driving that car. I had ideas of how I would keep it clean and care for it. After getting that car and having it for a few months, the newness wore off and the feeling of excitement expired. Isn’t that how it is with things of this world? We long for an object, a job, or retirement, but we find when we finally receive or achieve it we are left feeling hollow and unfulfilled.

God’s word is truth! God fulfills his promises. A peace-filled life is achieved by having a God-centered life, in a daily relationship with him through Bible study, prayer, and time spent quietly listening and focusing on what we have learned. As we study the Word we need to trust, believe, have faith, and obey.

Spend some time in prayer and ask God to reveal to you if you need to grow in one of these areas. Do you struggle with trust, belief, faith, or obedience? I know in my own spiritual journey, there is always room for growth.

If you feel like you are wandering or lost, seek out the answers or direction you long for in the Bible. If you would like to read more about the Israelites’ journey, this blog post was written based on passages from the book of Exodus.

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