The Joy of the Wilderness – Part II

When we became born again, we were not immediately taken up into heaven to be with God, because we each have a purpose to accomplish here on earth for God’s Kingdom.  As soldiers in God’s army, we are being trained to be used by God to save others and to translate them from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of his marvelous light. Indeed, we don’t need to look very far to see that our generation desperately needs a Savior, even if more and more people deny the existence of Christ and his Lordship as God.

God has placed in each of us gifts, talents and abilities to be used for this purpose, “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” [Ephesians 2:10, NKJV]. It was for such a purpose that Moses was born during a time, when the Israelites endured great tribulation from their slave masters. It was for this purpose that Moses’ mother  “saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months” [Exodus 2:2b, NLT], despite Pharaoh’s decree to kill all Israelite male babies. God had made Moses special because He had raised him up to be the one to deliver the Israelites from Egypt, and to lead them to the promised land which He had promised Abraham.

Growing up in the King’s palace as a Hebrew boy, Moses knew that he was special and he had a purpose to deliver his people from the Egyptians. He was a skilled warrior and as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter he was an heir to the throne. Yet instead of trusting God’s timing and God’s ways for deliverance, Moses took matters into his own hands by killing an Egyptian.  He had thought that this would gain him allegiance from the people and become their leader, but he was wrong. This wasn’t the way God had planned and purposed to deliver his people. Yes, God was going to use Moses but He didn’t want Moses to rely on his own strength and abilities. He didn’t want to Israelites to believe that the arm of the Lord was too short to save or his ear to hard to hear. God had a plan and it involved Moses, but it didn’t involve the ways that Moses had in mind, so Moses had to endure 40 years in the wilderness.

During those 40 years in the desert, Moses lost every confidence that He had in himself as  he was demoted from being a prince, to shepherd boy. In God’s Kingdom, self-confidence only leads to causalities, but God-confidence is what brings about the victory. As you continue to read the story, you will realize that by the time God was ready to send Moses, Moses was so humbled that He asked God to give him an assistant. What had happened to the confident young man who believed his military skills could be used in God’s plan? It was this humility that God used to show the Egyptians that the Israelities truly served the one and true God. God hates pride and He cannot use a vessel that is full of pride. It was pride that caused the downfall of the first worship leader; Satan. If “God opposes the proud but gives more grace to the humble” [James 4:6, NIV], how can He use a vessel He opposes? The gifts and talents that we have are not for our glory but for God’s glory. These treasures that we have in earthen vessels is so that men may see and give Glory to God, and so that “that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us” [2 Corinthians 4:7, NKJV]. 

What are your gifts and callings? Has God blessed you with such a beautiful voice, with the ability to write, with the ability to speak or any other gift? That gift is not for you and is not about you, you are simply a vessel that God is going to use in His Kingdom. The joy of the wilderness is that it stripes away any reliance that we would have of ourselves and makes us totally dependent on God and His ways. Perhaps you are frustrated because you envisioned how your gifts should be used or how your ministry should be, but it seems it is not going the way you thought. Have you considered that, that might not be the way God wants it to go? Have you considered that God has not raised you up to deliver His people as a military leader but as a humble shepherd?

 The humbling process in the wilderness is not joyful but the joy of it is that the grace of God will abound so abundantly on your life and he will bring about great victories through you, just because you know that He is your source of strength. Just because you have become fully convinced that it is in him that you live and move and have your being [Acts 17:28].

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