By Eric C. Wheeler

Do you ever wonder where you are going, oh Christian, and how are you going to get there? Two verses from the Bible immediately come to my mind when I ask myself this all-important question. These two verses are: [I’m] “… looking for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God… Those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland, and are confessing that they are strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:10-14). And, “Do not be terrified or afraid… The Lord your God who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you before your eyes… and in the desert wilderness you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went… who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go” (Deut. 1:29-33).

God says in His Word that He carried His people through the desert wilderness “on eagles’ wings” (Exod. 19:4); “and yet for all that, they still did not believe Him” (Deut. 1:32). Brethren, I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to have God faithfully be with me, deliver me through all kinds of adversities, at times even miraculously provide for me, and then turn right around and faithlessly deny Him, and complain and murmur against Him by losing hope, and by not trusting in Him, and in His leading and sovereign leadership over my life. Scripture says that God purposely led the children of Israel out into the desert place to humble them, and to test them, to see what was really in their hearts, whether or not they would truly believe God and obey Him no matter what they suffered and had to endure (Deut. 8:2-7,15-16). Yet, as we know, they didn’t pass the test; and consequently, they didn’t survive the desert crossing and enter into the Promised Land (which was a foreshadow of the Kingdom of God). Jesus Christ, as our example, NEVER complained. He NEVER quit believing, or gave up; He never gave in to feelings of hopelessness and discouragement. He never became cynical or disbelieving; and He never murmured and despaired because of His circumstances. He always kept His eyes on the big picture, and looked to God to help Him, to sustain Him, to vindicate Him, and to ultimately deliver Him. The Bible says that He embraced His cross and “learned obedience by those things which He was made to suffer” setting for us an example that we should follow in His footsteps – “who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God. Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. For you have not yet had to resist unto bloodshed striving against sin” (Heb. 12:2-4).

Brothers and sisters, I speak to those who are maturing in their faith and who are growing in their walk with Him. Don’t become discouraged. Don’t let Satan or the sands of this spiritually barren desert-walk suck you under or suck you in. Remember the admonition of the Bible, and the warnings given us in regards to our spiritual ancestors – those physical Israelites who went on this walk before us – and how it is written of them that “their carcasses fell in the desert” because they ultimately gave into their cravings – that is, what THEY wanted; and how they murmured and complained, and wanted things THEIR own way (I Cor. 10:5-11); and how they were not willing to wait upon God, or to put their trust in Him, and to believe Him. Therefore, He gave them up to their uncleanness, and to their vile affections and desires, and rejected that whole generation – giving them over to their unbelief and forever describing them as “children in whom was no faith” (Deut. 32:20). For as we know – “it is impossible to please God without faith” (Heb. 11:6). Brethren, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be another sad footnote in the long Biblical history of those who were once offered the glorious salvation of God, and His marvelous and monumental calling and anointing and benevolence; and who instead, in their human weakness and cowardice cheaply traded their destiny away, like Esau, for a moment’s comforting pleasure – that is, for a morsel of bread and a bowl of soup. Likewise, the Israelites also, all miraculously came out of Egypt under Moses, and experienced the amazing supernatural deliverances and provisions of God; but yet couldn’t see past the temporal daily discomforts and hardships of their desert walk and sojourneyings; and who consequently allowed their temporary dismal “desert mirages” – that is, their temporary human circumstances that they could see – to erode their fundamental and foundational belief and faith in God and their trust in His sovereign direction for their lives. They immediately began walking by sight, and no longer by faith as they were led out by the Spirit of God – that holy Angel and Pillar of Cloud and Fire that went before them – into the desert where it was hot and muggy, and where it was uncomfortable for their flesh to go. That special desert place where God Himself had determined and prepared beforehand that they should go in order to learn to wait on God and to trust in Him, and to be humbled and proven and tested – to see whether or not they would truly wait on God and look to Him for their security, safety, sustenance and provision, as well as for their ultimate deliverance into the Kingdom and Rest and Peace of God.

Brothers and sisters, and all who hear My voice and read this: Let’s not become discouraged in our sojourneyings and pilgrimages here. “Yet a little while, says the Lord, and I will shake both heaven and earth once more, and your sojourneyings will be done. And I will give you Rest. And no longer will you say, ‘Here it is or there it is’; but I will cause you to lie down, and from there you will no longer go out.”

Indeed, brothers and sisters, then we will truly be Home!


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