Ready for the Wilderness?

The Passover begins at sundown this evening.  Even though I’m not Jewish, I am Christian, so I appreciate the heritage of the people of God.  Events like Passover are exciting to me, because they remind me of what God has done and what He is like.

The Jews remember Passover as a time when God protected their people and rescued them from Egyptian slavery in the days of Moses and the pharaohs.  The Passover account is recounted in Exodus 12 and is central to the story of how God brought His people out of Egypt.  But we would be wise to remember where He took them.

His desire was to take them from slavery in Egypt to the blessings of life in a fruitful land called Canaan.  But for a variety of reasons–not least the peoples’ own rebellion and fear–God led them into the wilderness where they remained for 40 years.  I wonder if, when we gear up for God’s deliverance, we are aware that we may be heading to the wilderness?  We shouldn’t distrust God–that’s not the point at all.  But we should celebrate God’s faithfulness and His deliverance soberly.  Life with God is serious business.  There will be lots of ups, but there will also be times of trial and fatigue and testing in the wilderness.  Ask Jesus.

After His baptism, which was a Passover experience of sorts, the Holy Spirit led Him into the wilderness for 40 days.  His initiation into ministry included a time of trial, temptation, and preparation for the days to come.  I’m pretty sure that God does the same thing with us.  But don’t lose heart.  Prepare.  If you know the wilderness is coming, do what is necessary to survive the rocky terrain.

Have faith that God who led you here will lead you out.  Discipline yourself now so that you have the endurance needed to survive hardships.  Learn from others who have made the journey, and rely on wise counselors who can encourage you when you feel faint.  But most of all, keep God in sight, and pray often.

The Passover is a time for reflection and rejoicing, but while we remember how God has delivered us, let’s also get ready for the wilderness.  It is a place every person of faith must go.  But thanks be to God, we do not go alone.  God is protecting us, feeding us, and confidently leading us to the Land of Promise.

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About PatrickBarber

Preaching Minister East Point Church of Christ Wichita, Kansas
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