Wander And Wonder
We’re all prone to wander and wonder sometimes in our faith. J.R.R. Tolkien once said that “Not all those who wander are lost” Hmmm, this got me wondering about the Israelites in the Exodus out of Egypt. To reach the Promised Land, they did a lot of wondering and wandering to reach their freedom. So, why is it that when God opens up a way for us to leave a place, we find ourselves going from wandering and wondering in our faith just like the Israelites?
I have learned that the promises of God always take a lot longer than we expect. I don’t know about you, but there seems to be an endless stretch of desert in front of me when I’ve stepped out in faith and followed God’s leading as I head toward my purpose and promise. The slavery that was left behind us now seems ever-present in the wilderness as we wander around wondering if God is holding us up as we embark on this desert journey toward the Promised Land. This is where Satan can get into our thinking. Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan will keep you focused on your lack rather than all the blessings. He will get you tied up in knots wandering around the wilderness, getting you to question God’s goodness as you wonder if you’re making the right choices through the trial.
But as Robert Fergusson suggests in his new book, Are you getting this? Deserts reveal our identity. The wilderness has a way of dimming the city lights and the heavens become magnified. And if we are to step into everything God has for us, we cannot be blinded by the trappings of our calling because it gives the enemy leverage to move. He knows when we lose our way, we don’t just lose our impact on the world, but ourselves in the process.
The Genesis story, as Stanley Grenz points out, “…gave a choice between trusting obedience or faithless disobedience – the same alternatives that face us…our failure lies in the path we choose to follow.” Once we decide we’re going to listen to the whisperings of the enemy, we have chosen to follow the path of fear rather than faith. Obedience to the purpose we were put on this blue planet to do and a responsibility to steward our gifts well are keys to our breakthroughs. Luke 12:48 reminds us of our duty as believers, “If you are given much, much will be required of you. If much is entrusted to you, much will be expected of you.’’ You have a responsibility because people who are wandering around in the dark, wondering if God is good are looking to you for guidance.
Yes, the wilderness has many tests within its sandy banks and blazing sun, but God is preparing you. He’s showing you your identity in the arid dryness that is the wilderness and He’s revealing Himself to you. Our dreams, purpose, and calling cannot see us roaming around like a spiritual vagabond, hoping to casually meander into the Promised land. God needs you, just like the Israelites, to turn from being a rabble of slaves to a great Nation. And if it requires kilometres of desert to train, mould and shape you from your slave mindset to living as a royal heir of God’s promises, then that’s what God will do!
Just remember this Scripture when you wonder if God is with you and you start to wander off the path He has mapped out before you. “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
Keep putting one foot in front of the other, dear friend and see your purpose through to completion!
When do you find yourself wondering or wandering as you step forward into the promises God has for you?