The topic is Going through the wilderness — all may seem lost, but God is still there and provides for you.
I have gone through many “wilderness” times in my life, as I’m sure you have. These are times of deprivation and famine, times of despair when it seems everything is crumbling in around you and you are powerless to stop it.
It could be a financial wilderness, health related, relationally, or anything else. The bottom line is it all feels the same — if feels like you are doomed and nothing can save you.
It’s much like the Israelites felt when they were against the Red Sea with the world’s most powerful army, the Egyptians, bearing down on them with every soldier they had. From their perspective, there was no way out. But Hebrews tells us it was by “faith” that they walked through the Red Sea. In other words, by “faith” God made a way out.
This podcast walks you through what’s going on when you go through your own wilderness and what God is doing. You’ll also learn how to respond in a way that gets God to “show up” and blow your mind in how he takes care of you.
Wilderness experiences are never fun. But when you walk by faith through them, you will have immense joy in the process and look back fondly as you recount God’s gracious goodness.
Transcription (was completed by automated process. Please ignore any speech-to-text errors)
00:00:01] All right. Hi, everybody. This is Penny Thomas again, and welcome to this next session of sellers calling you with Beatty Carmichael. Beatty is the CEO of Master Grabber and the creator of Agent Dominator, one of the top marketing experts in the real estate field. Beatty, I am super excited to be chatting with you again today. What do you have for us?
[00:00:23] Today we’re going to be talking about going through the wilderness.
[00:00:28] Narrowing it down. And for those who are destroying in on the podcast column, you’re listening in for some great real estate marketing tips.
[00:00:40] This is one of those calls that we do that is focused on Christian living as opposed to real estate growing. So if you’re not interested in Christ Center thing, you can get this episode. But we’re gonna talk about going through the wilderness and what that really means. Some people may not have heard the term the wilderness, but let me let me bounce it over to you. When I talk about Penny going to the wilderness, what comes to mind on your own?
[00:01:10] While a dry season is the may be just a season where there’s nothing happening. I’m not saying anything and everything bad.
[00:01:22] Yeah. Yes. So the wilderness so God works in patterns like this one. Things that we see as we go through his scriptures. Everything is a pattern and those patterns are replicated. For example, here’s a very simple pattern. By faith. Righteousness was reckoned to Abraham. OK, so we have the pattern that by faith, righteousness is reckoned. And then throughout scripture. That same pattern shows up. Another pattern that we see is we see it display mostly in the chronicles of the king’s first and second King’s first and second chronicles where when a king serves, the Lord God protects the land. When a king turns away from the Lord, God allows the enemies to attack the land. Does that make sense?
[00:02:21] Ok. So another pattern we see. We talked about this kind of briefly to a degree in a previous podcast. But as the children of visual are coming out of Egypt and headed toward the promised land, they go through a period called the Wilderness period.
[00:02:39] And this is a pattern, again, on our own spiritual life. We come out of bondage from slavery to sin. We’re set free. We go through water baptism, which is the Red Sea crossing for the Israelites. Then we go through a period of time where we start to mature in Christ before we reach the promised land that the Lord has given us. That making sense so far. OK. And so we take this pattern. And this pattern is both in the macro of our own lives and all the way down to the micro of individual things within our lives. In other words, it seems like part of the pattern is when God gives us a blessing of some sort here, a promise of a blessing to come. There is usually a wilderness period that occurs before that blessing. Has the Lord ever given you and or your family’s kind of promises that you know are coming, but you haven’t received them yet?
[00:03:42] Many times where I want to.
[00:03:45] And as you as you’re in that time of having been given kind of the promise of where a guy’s gone is directly, but you haven’t received it. Is there a period of wilderness time of testing, trials, struggles that forces you to lean on the Lord before you receive that blessing?
[00:04:09] So that is the wilderness that I want to talk about. And and kind of a little sub phrase with as we go through the wilderness is all may seem lost that God is still there and will provide for you. And I want to walk you through a pattern that we see from God’s word and start to unpack it and kind of show you what this wilderness experience is like and what you can expect as you go through it. Ready? I am. Okay. Great. First off, I’ve got to ask you, do you have. Because I notice you’ve changed versions of the Bible is in some the previous ones. Do you have the version called the Living Bible?
[00:04:54] I believe I do.
[00:04:55] Okay. That’s what I’d like you to read from. OK. And we’re going to start in Exodus 17 and we’re going to read the first six verses. I want to show you something. Exodus 17 verses 1 through 6 in the living Bible as you’re getting there. Let me just kind of give the background of what’s going on. So this is obviously part of the exodus of the children of Israel. They’ve left Egypt. They’re now in the wilderness. The lord has already brought forth water from a. They went to a place called Mara. I believe this is a name and it was a better water. And Moses threw in a tree and the tree of life turned the water of death into water of life. OK. Then they become hungry and God feeds them with manna. And now this is another part of the journey. And as we read this, I want to give the backdrop to always be what’s going on. And that is God. The Lord is introducing his people to a deeper relationship of intimacy and trust with him. In other words, this is what we would call maturity maturing as a Christian, or we call it to some degree, maybe the sanctification. I’m not sure my theology terms are exactly proper without bertice maturing process as we grow. So if you’re ready, I’ll let you read from Exodus 17.
[00:06:30] All right, one sec. Now God commands the people of Israel, left the sin desert going by easy stages to rescue them. But upon arrival, there was no water. Once more, the people growled and complain to Moses. Give us water! They wailed. Quiet, Moses commanded. Are you trying to test God’s patience? But tormented by thirst, they cried out again. Why did you ever take us out of Egypt? Why did you bring him here to die? With our children and our cattle, too. Then Moses pleaded with your home. What shall I do? They are almost ready. Dunley then Jehovah said to Moses, Take the elders of Israel with you and lead the people out. Not horeb. I will meet you there at the Rock. Strike it with your rod. At the same time, the same one you struck now with water will come pouring out enough for everyone. Moses did, as the Lord told, and the water gassed out.
[00:07:35] Great story.
[00:07:37] So let’s talk about this a little bit, because this is really a story of our life as the Lord leads us into going into the wilderness. Same pattern. So first off, what we find through this passage is this wilderness is a time of testing. It’s a time when God teaches us to trust entirely on him. It’s part of the process of receiving God’s promises. You know, a picture comes to mind. It’s not the exact same picture of what’s happening here, but there’s maybe a correlation. You know, God gives a blessing. There’s a period of maturing. Then there’s a period of typically intense trial as we then move into the receiving of the blessing. So if we look at it in the you know, if we look at it in. In children, OK? The promise of a child coming, maturing. The child grows in the womb. Period of intense tribulation during childbirth. And then you receive the promise. Same thing happens here that people have been given a promise of a land of milk and honey where everything is wonderful. They’ll have houses already built in cisterns already dug. They go through a period of time of maturing. Then there’ll be an intense period of tribulation as they fight for that promise, and then they receive the promise. And that’s said to be kind of the pattern that we see in our own lives a lot of time as well. So it’s a time of maturing on the way to the promise that the Lord has given us. We’re not going to talk about the tribulation part. We’re going to talk about the maturing part today.
[00:09:26] So from this passage, there are four things we can pull out of it about going through our own wilderness. And the first thing is an first one. And it says now at God’s command, the people of Israel left the sand desert to refer them. Okay. And and the key thing with this is the Lord who leads us into the wilderness is the Lord who leads us into that place of testing and trials. It’s not that we accidentally fall into it. It’s not that we go out and we make some stupid decisions along the way. And now woe is me. Okay. The Lord is leading it. And therefore. It’s his will for us to be there. Okay. One of the things that we need to be sensitive of is being content to be in the center of his will because a lot of times we get frustrated. Ever felt that way? Kind of frustrated where you are, but then you.
[00:10:30] You know, I think of Daniel in the Lion’s Den. You think Daniel was frustrated? He’s down there in lines in this lion sitting there growling at him all night.
[00:10:40] It’s a little bit. Yeah, but that’s the center of God’s will for him. Right.
[00:10:46] And so we need to be content there. But this time of wilderness is not to be confused. Worth the time of discipline.
[00:11:00] Or a consequence. Okay. So there are times in our lives that we make stupid decisions. There are times in our lives where we act sinfully and we go through a period of time. That’s a time of discipline or time of consequence due to poor decisions versus a time of wilderness. The challenge. Is it hard to discern the two?
[00:11:31] Have you ever gone through a period of discipline or consequence?
[00:11:35] Yeah, absolutely.
[00:11:38] Ok. And you’ve gone through a period of wilderness, right? Yes. OK. How do you discern the difference between the two?
[00:11:48] Well, for me, the wilderness, though, it may be frustrating. I feel a sense of God’s love and care for me. And then and discipline. It’s not that I don’t feel God’s love. But it’s more of a this is something that needs to be corrected in you rather than this is just where you are right now. But it’s not a bad thing.
[00:12:12] You know, that makes sense. Know it makes perfect sense. I was reading a book. It’s a little book called The Secrets of Divine by a guy named Bruce Wilkerson. Have you ever read that book by chance?
[00:12:25] I have not. Libraries?
[00:12:28] Yeah, he’s a he’s a fabulous teacher. And he he drew this out of John 15- and it really hit home for me years back. So John 15- is the passage. I kind of set the stage as Bruce did. Let’s say that you have a really dear friend who loves you greatly. Very wise. And that dear friend is about to die. He’s on his deathbed. And he calls you to say, Penny, come here. I want to talk with you about something. When you get over to do you think he’s just gonna shoot the breeze and do small talk or do you think whatever he’s going to say is gonna be really important? It’s really important. Yeah, exactly. Really important. That’s where we find John 15-, John 15-. Is after the Last Supper is the night Jesus is about to be betrayed, betrayed, and less than 24 hours from the time he will die on the cross. He’ll give up his spirit.
[00:13:36] And so he’s teaching the last things to his apostles. And one of the things he teaches is the parable of the vine dresser. My father’s a vine dresser.
[00:13:49] I am the vine and and die and every branch that doesn’t bear fruit. He lifts up with the picture. He’s lifting up to clean it off and and give it a chance to produce fruit. And every branch that’s producing fruit, he prunes and felt when he pruned that branch. What happens in pruning? Do you know?
[00:14:17] Well, it’s creating that allowing a plant or the fruit or whatever it is, actually grow better and more healthy.
[00:14:27] Yeah, yeah. And in the case of the grapevine, when you prune it, you prune off leaves that suck out the sap so that more the sap goes into producing the fruit of the grape. OK. So by pruning it, you get rid of the things that distract it from producing fruit. The other thing that the vine dresser does is he cuts off branches that do not produce fruit. OK. So we have this we have the snipping. One snipping is to prune and one snipping is basically to discipline. And here’s the thing that happens when you go through difficult periods in your life. Sometimes it’s a wilderness and sometimes it’s consequence or say to be said in the John 15- version. Sometimes it’s pruning. Sometimes it’s discipline. And the way you discern it is very much like what you you shared. You have to look at your life and say, here’s an easy way to do this, is what Bruce commented on. This was the aha moment for me. He said, you look at where does it hurt? Because wherever it hurts is either where the pruning or the disciplining is going on and wherever it hurts, you ask yourself. Is it hurting because I’ve done bad? Or they’re hurting because it gets me to where the Lord has me to be in these promised blessings. Does that make sense? War. And so that’s how you can discern if you’re in the wilderness or if you’re in a consequence.
[00:16:16] But we’re going to focus on the wilderness. But I just wanted to make that statement. Tough times is not always the wilderness. But when those tough times are the wilderness, then this is the pattern.
[00:16:28] The pattern is the Lord leads you there. And because he leads you there, it’s where he would have you to be because he’s taking you someplace very special.
[00:16:44] And so it’s a time to perfect us. So that’s the first thing we get out of this passage in this pattern that we see over and over and over again through scripture. The second thing we take out of this passage from Exodus also comes in verse 1 is to the universe one. And it says, but upon arrival, there was no water. OK, so the first thing we say is God commanded them to go to refer them. And then the second thing we say is when they get there, there is no water. Now, let me ask your question. Do you think God knew that there was no water there?
[00:17:26] Do you think he may have taken them to a place of deprivation on purpose? Really?
[00:17:33] Is that a loving God to take you to some place where you had totally deprived of what you need?
[00:17:40] Wow. Paul, God knows what the outcome is, what the outcome of what he’s after, not your temporary satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
[00:17:52] Yes. And the outcome is what he’s after. That’s the whole focus of what I want to talk about. What is the outcome? Do you think the outcome is so he can give him water or do you think the outcome is something a little bit richer in their lives?
[00:18:09] Definitely less super. Much richer.
[00:18:12] Yeah. Yeah. It’s this wilderness. What I’ve learned, it’s usually a time of deprivation of some sort. It could be financial deprivation, relationship deprivation, health deprivation, usually not health, because I don’t think God brings poor health upon someone. But there may be in rare circumstances that he does. But it’s going to be a deprivation of something that’s dear to us and a deprivation of something that we feel we need. Okay.
[00:18:45] You know, for me to be deprived of my nineteen eighty Ford AXP that I had many years ago is not any problem because I haven’t had it for years and I could care less about it. So it’s only those things that we’re deprived of that we truly desire or value. And and part of this I think is to teach us that what our eyes tell us is true is not to be believed. Okay. Let me see. What happens is if we look at reality with our eyes, we look at this deprivation, that reality says there’s nothing here. Okay. If we believe that is true, rather than believing God’s word as truth that overcomes that reality, then we will always be afraid and always fear. And that’s actually what happened here. The Israelites come to refute them and there is no water and they look around for water with their natural lives. And what did their natural allies tell them?
[00:19:59] There is nothing more that there is nothing there. Now, what the scripture tells you remember when we went through the exodus and different things and we talked about the rock. Remember that episode?
[00:20:11] Yeah. Okay. What is the plot? Is the rock represent? What is the rock? Remember? I think. Yeah. Jesus. Was there a rock there. Referred him.
[00:20:22] Jesus was there waiting. But there are natural allies. Totally missed it. Do you think if they look in their spiritual eyes, they would have seen that rock?
[00:20:35] Possibly, yeah.
[00:20:36] Yeah. And so that’s what’s going on, is God places us in the wilderness to teach us not to look at our natural lives and our circumstances. Not to be afraid, not to fear of what our natural eyes tell us is reality, because now we had this conflict. OK. And this is in the wilderness. The statement I’m about to make, it’s in the wilderness. Okay. Reality is always a lie because it is contrary to God’s truth. Reality is not always a lie. But in the wilderness it is definitely a lie because what the Lord is teaching us is to not rely on what we see, but to rely on his word.
[00:21:28] That making sense?
[00:21:31] Ok. So, you know, his truth is his word and his promise to take care of us and probably in some direction, you know, to obey. And the picture that comes to mind is the thing called virtual reality. There was a recent James Bond, a recent for me, as you know, it could have been the last eight years ago. But I think it was with the new series of the franchise where they took all the James Bond stuff out and just turned it into an action movie. But at the very beginning of this of the movie, James Bond, the actor, is going through this building and it’s very intense. People coming out right and left around the corners and around the doors. He’s shooting at them. There’s someone holding a hostage and he shoots the person and hits the hostage. Remember that scene by Kent?
[00:22:30] Well, OK. I don’t know that I’ve seen that one.
[00:22:33] Ok, so here’s what happens. He shoots the hostage trying to shoot the terrorist and then immediately the entire room disappears. The hostage and all the people he shot disappears and he pulls off his goggles and now he’s just in an empty room. It was all virtual reality. Does that make sense where I’m going on this virtual reality right now? OK. Yeah. So his eyes told him it was real because everything looked real. But the reality is, it was all fake.
[00:23:09] That’s what happens when we’re going through the wilderness. Our eyes tell us. Oh, my gosh. I don’t have enough water. I don’t have enough money. You know, I don’t have this relationship. I don’t have whatever it is that we’re being deprived of.
[00:23:26] The God thing.
[00:23:27] Don’t look with your virtual reality goggles. Look with the real eyes. I’ve given you the eyes that see my word of truth. Because my word of truth overcomes reality. And this is what we find at his truth is invisible. His truth is invisible because it’s in the spiritual realm. But is that spiritual realm that has the authority over and governs the physical realm? Okay. I think we talked about this on a session on heaven.
[00:24:02] First or second things happened first in the heavenly room and then they get manifested into the earthly room. Does that make sense?
[00:24:12] And we talk about believing that you’ve received. And then it happens because it happens first in that heavenly realm. And that’s what’s going on here. God’s truth is spiritual. It’s in the heavenly realm. But that heavenly room is what overcomes and shifts the reality of the physical realm. And that’s what God is trying to teach us as we go through this wilderness, is that we’re to trust on his word alone and not on what our eyes see save for the Israelites. They looked with their eyes and they saw there was no water. And they got afraid and they started to complain to God they weren’t content where God sent them. They did not trust God to love them enough to provide for them because in their naturalize they couldn’t see how it could happen. And so they started to complain. They were on the verge of dying. This is usually what happens with us. They were on the verge of dying from thirst before. They sought out the Lord. Do you think that ever happens in our life?
[00:25:35] Yeah, we usually do everything in their natural work harder, work harder, scrimp and save if it’s financial or or engage more and more if it’s a relationship or whatever the process is. We usually try to apply all the physical, natural solutions and we get desperate and then we finally fall on our knees to God and say help. What do you think God would prefer to us to have done in those situations?
[00:26:08] Relied on him from the beginning.
[00:26:10] Yeah, exactly. Because that’s what he’s teaching us to do. So they go to Moses, right? And is Moses afraid of dying from thirst? Well.
[00:26:23] Are the people afraid of dying from thirst? What’s the difference between Moses and the people?
[00:26:30] Moses has his eyes on God.
[00:26:32] Yeah. Moses doesn’t fear. Does Moses know how God’s going to provide?
[00:26:40] No, not always. But in this particular situation, I was going to provide one one beginning who said that water would matter.
[00:26:52] No, that’s not in the beginning. That’s at the end of the passage.
[00:26:57] Yeah, yeah, you’re right.
[00:26:59] Right. So Moses is there with the people he sees with his natural eyes. There’s no water, but he’s not afraid. He’s perfectly content. He’s is a complete peace because of one thing. He knows the heart of his father. And so that then brings us to now number three that we pull out of this passage, this comes from versus five and six goes in living by what kind of combines those verses together and versus five and six. God tells Moses lead that people out to Mount horeb. I will meet you there at the Rock. OK. And here’s the third thing that we find out. God is always there. And he has not left us. We can meet him any time, but he waits for us to seek him out. He doesn’t.
[00:27:57] Seek us out. Makes sense.
[00:28:01] Okay, so our eyes are telling us that God has left us here to perish. But his word tells us that he’s always there and he’ll provide and he’s trying to teach us. Believe my word. Don’t believe your eyes. And so for the Israelites, you know, God led the leaders. The leaders representing the people over to Mount horeb. Which is where God is now. To bring some historical perspective. Let’s test your working knowledge that we talked about once before. What happened in Mount horeb, do you remember? What’s significant about it?
[00:28:43] I don’t remember. Okay.
[00:28:46] My heart is where God first introduced himself to Moses. Remember what happened then?
[00:28:54] I felt there was a bush. Remember what happened? Yes, I can. Okay. So there is this burning bush.
[00:29:03] On Mount horeb. That’s where Moses gets his commission. To go lead the children of Israel out. And now it’s about a year, give or take. And Moses is right back in that same spot. But with the children avirtual and God, that’s come back to me. Bring the leaders back to me. In other words, God wants us to seek him out. Where we found him. Where do we find a word today in our lives?
[00:29:37] Where do we find the Lord? Yes. Everywhere in the Bible. Yeah.
[00:29:45] So let’s seek him out. Let’s open up his word. He’s found in his word. His presence is in a good church. OK. He’s found in our time when we simply seek him. OK, back then they had to seek him out because he was not always there. But today, if we have you know, we’re true followers of Christ. He’s in us. OK. So we need to seek him out. That’s what happened here. And the other thing that’s interesting, this is real interesting just from a on interesting perspective. God is always presenting himself as on a mountain. And the reason for those mountains and scripture represent governmental authority, the authority to act, the authority to rule, and in God’s realm, the authority to create. OK, so we go back to God in the place of government where he rules and acts and creates and we search him out. So that’s the third thing. The fourth thing. Fourth and final thing we learned from this passage is there in verse six. And it says Moses did as he was told and the water gushed out. OK. Moses did as he was told and the water gushed out, and it seems like when we feel we’re about to perish, we’re in this wilderness of deprivation and everything seems to be falling apart. And the things that are important to us and dear and we fill in this SASE tend to just not be there. The Lord always provides. At one instant. And that is when we act by faith, by his direction. But have you ever known the Lord to dramatically act before we act by faith?
[00:31:56] Now there’s periods of grace. OK. But sure.
[00:32:00] Generally speaking, as a pattern in which the Lord operates, does he usually act before we act in faith or does he usually act after we act in faith? After we act and.
[00:32:11] Yeah. And that’s what’s going on here, too. Moses acts. In faith at the Lord’s direction to strike Iraq rock and then the Lord brings water out of the rock, OK. And here’s what’s interesting about this says the water gushed out. Now, we know previously that there are about six hundred thousand Israelites soldiers, foot soldiers. So that’s 20 and above. And then you have women and children. OK, so there’s somewhere between 2 and 3 million people plus cattle and herds and all of that. This life-giving water comes out of the rock meeting all their needs. But here’s something interesting. We never read about them being thirsty again until much later in their wilderness journey.
[00:33:07] So what that means is that when God provided he didn’t just provide sufficiently, he provided abundantly for millions of people continually in that kind of home.
[00:33:21] So then we come into and talk about what are the big takeaways from this passage? I think the biggest takeaway. Well, first, let me ask you, what do you think are some of the takeaways from this?
[00:33:34] Going for me just the opportunity to look forward to what’s coming.
[00:33:42] And to me, this is a lesson in Israelites. How did they handle it versus how I need to handle it? You know, instead of, like you said, instead of complaining and thinking, there’s nothing there. Actually being excited about what’s already there. Because I know the words are provided and choosing to look at that with joy. Choosing to be like there’s a treasure chest out there. I don’t know what’s in the treasure. I don’t know it’s going to be a treasure.
[00:34:10] It’s gonna be all, you know, raise me. Two little girls come down at Christmas time. Christmas morning. Come downstairs and want to see what Santa brings. And there’s this big pile of doo doo there. Right.
[00:34:26] And the girls react totally different. One gets all upset, really ticked off, really sulking and just, you know, starts to complain.
[00:34:38] And the other girl gets all excited and starts running around the room. What do you think? The differences.
[00:34:46] The girl I got. Was looking at the product as something else. Wouldn’t you rather Nazarov then only focus on what he saw, whereas the other girl knew there was something that he hadn’t yet put into that pile?
[00:35:05] That’s right. So the very Tasso girl that’s, you know, running around. You know what? What are you looking for? She said there’s got to be a pony around here somewhere. And so when we go to the wilderness, there’s got to be a pony around here somewhere. Right.
[00:35:22] And to be excited. So. So you’re some kind of takeaways that I get out of this. Number one, apologize for the jet plane going about its Godi leads us into the wilderness. Right. He put us in a position where reality says we’re about to perish, but he tells us, don’t fear. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. He says all you need to do is obey my direction because usually go into the wilderness. He’s telling us things that we need to be doing OK. Lifetime’s The Wilderness is a time of trusting to act on. What he’s told us to do is not just a time of being content and trusting that he’s gonna get us through, but actually doing something that may be stepping further out in faith. And he says, you know, believe my truth, trust me. And that’s kind of what I think the big takeaways. And as long as we believe as long as we don’t doubt and fear like the Israelites doing, then God always provides. He always provides because that’s his pattern, because as his character, it’s simply who he is. He loves us. He loves you. He’s always going to take care of us. All we have to do is trust him for it. And he’s that rock that follows us around to always provide. There’s a couple other things I want to talk about on this. Tying it into it, because sometimes this is where I think a lot of us kind of get afraid and wonder if we really got what it takes. And I didn’t that acting by faith, going through this wilderness and being faithful and not fearing and all that is not necessarily having unwavering belief. Okay.
[00:37:17] And I know that sounds crazy, but I want to kind of bring some perspective, because faith in the Bible in many instances is displayed simply by following the Lord’s instructions, not necessarily feeling like you have unwavering belief. Okay. The way I like to talk about is it’s acting in obedience rather than simply acting with unshakable belief. And I want to walk you through a couple, you know, some stories through the Bible, just kind of bring focus to it and see if this makes sense. You remember when Jesus fed the 5000 men plus all the women up on the mountainside by the warm galley? So how many how many loaves of bread and fish did he have to do that with?
[00:38:07] I think it was five loaves of bread and burritos.
[00:38:10] I have five loaves and actually two fish. OK.
[00:38:14] Ok. So he blessed the food. And then he broke it and gave it out to the disciples. Right. And then the disciples passed it out. Let me ask you a question. Do you think those disciples had unwavering belief that as they handed out that food, it was just going to be miraculously multiplied to feed ten or fifteen thousand people? Do you think they had unwavering belief?
[00:38:40] That’s that’s a tricky question.
[00:38:43] We have to get this way again.
[00:38:47] Jesus, bless the food. Put some of it in the basket. And then says.
[00:38:55] Well, when they go home, I’m trying I’m trying to think of a scenario that’s not what happened. Do you think at that point they would put their life on the line is they all go.
[00:39:05] I’ll be crucified on a cross that this doesn’t multiply and feed this whole crowd. Do you think at the moment he put that bread and fish in their basket and say, go ahead and say that they would be willing to take the cross if it did not multiply the thing down?
[00:39:20] So they did not have unwavering belief. Would you would you grant me that? Yes.
[00:39:25] Ok, but what did they do?
[00:39:28] They obey it and obey. They obey. And they start handing it out. And unbeknownst to them, as they were handing it out, it started to multiply. Does that make sense? Yeah.
[00:39:40] So even they do not have unwavering belief. I don’t believe you remember back in the Old Testament, aplysia, who was Elijah’s successor. He comes to this widow whose husband had died with a bunch of debts, and she’s all distraught because the people her husband owed money to was coming to take her children away as slaves. Remember that story? Okay. So aplysia says, well, what do you have in a house? And she says, remember?
[00:40:18] Yeah, a little flour and some oil.
[00:40:20] Yeah, a little bit of oil. Okay. You remember another word I’m going to talk about in this moment with the flour, but this one only had some oil. And so aplysia says we’ll go out and get all of the containers from the village that you can get every single one that you can. Okay. So she sent her kids and they go and bring all the containers. And you remember that one.
[00:40:44] Okay. And he tells her to start pouring the oil in those containers. Do you think she had unwavering belief with these 20 or 30 containers and all she has is a little bit of oil left in the jar? Do you think she had unwavering belief that that little bit of oil would actually fill all of those jars to the brim?
[00:41:03] No, no. But what did she do? Here they kilbey. And the Lord did arrest, right? Now let’s talk about that other weirdo. So this is now Alija and the widow Zahra fest during the drought.
[00:41:21] And she has a little jar of oil and a little bit of flour. And Alija says. Make me a bread cake first and she says. I don’t have enough. I was gonna go make something for me and my son so we can eat and die. And then Elijah says, will make me a break first. For Here’s the word of the Lord. When she made him a bread cake first, I think she had unwavering belief that that little bit of oil and flour would last the next couple of years.
[00:41:54] No, not at all.
[00:41:56] But what did she do here?
[00:41:59] Yeah, last couple of once. OK. Just not to pound this into a dead horse, but just to show the pattern is consistent. When the father brings his epileptic boy to the disciples, this is when Jesus is up on a mountain transfiguration. Jesus comes down. There’s a commotion there. And he says, what’s up? And this father says, I brought my son to your disciples to cast out this demon, but they can’t remember that story. And and and the father says, help me if you can. And Jesus says, all things are possible to him. Who believes? When the father said, I believe, help my unbelief, do you think he had unwavering belief?
[00:42:48] No, no, but he’ll obey the prompting of the spirit to bring his son to Jesus now. Now, those are all biblical. Let’s talk about something real life. You pray for people and you’ve seen God healed him, right? Okay. When you pray for someone for healing the unwavering belief that that’s been God’s going to heal that person.
[00:43:14] I do, and sometimes I don’t. Most of them I knew. But there are times I’m being honest. Well, I don’t know.
[00:43:22] I’ll be honest. I go out and pray for healing a lot. I see God heal a lot. Very few times. I have unwavering belief.
[00:43:31] I go in there with the expectation. I think God’s going to heal. But if you were to say, would you state your family’s life on it? I’m not sure there’s a single time I take my family’s life on it when you have. Yes, but would you say the same thing? OK, so. So we don’t have unwavering belief, but we have a high level of expectation, but not an unwavering belief. Right. Yeah. Okay. And so what we find in all of this. Is it doesn’t take unwavering belief. What it takes. Is the faith to obey? And obeying it’s OK to have some doubt as long as it doesn’t keep you from obeying. Does that make sense? OK. So when we go to the wilderness success, if you want to use that term in getting it’s getting through the wilderness is simply acting on guy’s direction, on what he’s told you to do as you go through the wilderness. And maybe one of those things he’s telling you to do is don’t fear. Don’t be afraid. Trust in me. There can be some anxiety, but it’s got to be rooted. You know, you’ve got to be rooted in just trusting him. OK. Sometimes he’s actually directed you in specific things to do and you need to do that. And inthose acting on what guys told you to do and not really worrying about the outcome because you can’t control the outcome anyway.
[00:45:07] So you move forward with what he’s told you to do. It’s okay to be afraid. As long as it doesn’t cause you to doubt and not do what you’re supposed to do. Remember, Gideon. Remember getting is one the judges in the Old Testament. OK, so he is sent out. He goes to meet the the enemy army. Right. And I think if the Assyrians, there’s one hundred and thirty five thousand Assyrians lined up against them and God has taken all of his troops away except for 300. So now Gideon is told to pass out with 300 men against a hundred thirty five thousand Assyrians. Do you think Gideon was afraid? Do you think he had unwavering belief that God was going to destroy the Assyrians or he was expecting? But the most important thing is he acted in obedience. Does that make sense? Okay. And so the other thing here is it’s not until you act. And that albeniz that God brings forth that miraculous provision. And here’s the other thing that’s really interesting in all of these situations that at least the biblical situations that I’ve encountered that I recall. I do not recall a single instance of a miraculous provision.
[00:46:41] Whether it’s multiplying food or destroying an army or calling down, far on to sacrifice or anything like that. I don’t recall a single time of God’s miraculous provision that occurred before you needed it. I don’t I don’t recall a single time when you needed more food and you had a store if a bunch of food stored up and then God provided additional.
[00:47:15] It was always when you use up what’s remaining in at the point that you use it up. That’s when God multiplies it. Is that making sense? And in our own lives, when we go through this period of deprivation, it’s when all of our resources are used up where we think there’s absolutely no way out. This is the last of the last. That’s when God shows up in the wilderness. And that’s the test. That’s the test that God is taking us through. He says, don’t trust what your eyes see in the natural. Don’t trust if it’s a financially don’t trust your bank account when it shows, you know, three $3 left.
[00:47:55] Don’t trust it and worry don’t trust it when it shows three thousand dollars left and you got $4000 in bills. Because I’m the guy who multiplies, but I’m not going to multiply when you have an abundance. I’m not going to multiply when you have all that it takes. I’m only going to multiply when you step out and trust me and act in faith when you give the last of what you’ve got. I remember a story. This was a church member, not in our church, but I remember reading this pamphlet is just always touch me. It’s called The Last $20. Here’s the bags, too. Here’s a story. So this husband and wife are going through a really tough time financially and they’re down to their very last $20. Nothing in the bank account. They got bills that are due. They’re a member. They’re part of the quiet church. And at church, they’re in the choir. I think it’s like Wednesday night. You know, they go to choir practice and all that stuff. And the choir director said, you know, we want to take up an offering because there are some folks in our church body that are suffering financially. And so just give anything that you want if you want. We just want to little love offering. So they pass around and in this guy’s heart gets touched. And so he gives his last $20 because he knew he could trust the Lord.
[00:49:25] And that. Cool. Wow.
[00:49:27] Or let me tell you the rest of the story, because there’s always the rest of the story, right.
[00:49:33] So they get a knock at the door at their home later that night. And it’s the choir director. And he says, can I come in? And so he came in. He said, I just want you to know, I know the struggles you guys are going through. And when you gave that $20, when we’re taking up that offering, I want you to know how much my heart was touched, because I know you don’t you guys didn’t have it to give. The folks who really touched my hardest, how faithful the Lord is. Because at offering we took out was for you. He handed that couple an envelope with about $2000 in cash. Well, it’s not until you’re at the very end. And you trust the Lord that the Lord shows up, but he takes you to the very end to see if you’ll do it. This is the same thing that happened with Abraham. The one that he trusted in for the promise was Isaac. And God says, Give me your son, Isaac.
[00:50:48] And it wasn’t until Isaac was about to come down with a knife. The very last moment when all was extinguished that the Lord provided. It’s the same pattern. Are you seeing this pattern?
[00:51:03] Ok, so this is the pattern of the wilderness. It’s a pattern.
[00:51:10] A guide to self losing all that you gain really important. Trusting entirely on the Lord for your provision, not fearing what your eyes see. But only believing what his word says.
[00:51:30] And then when you add at that level, at that moment, that’s when guy shows up. So three final thoughts about all this. No one in the wilderness. You’re evidence of living by faith. Acting by faith, trusting by faith is gonna be the peace and the joy in your heart. If you’re in that wilderness, you’re all anxious.
[00:51:58] There is no faith, there is the peace and the joy. And as one person said, you know, the evidence of faith is the mountain moving, right. You know, you can say to this man, it can be taken up in cash and see if it if you do not doubt it, but believe in your heart and it will happen.
[00:52:15] So the evidence of faith is the mountain moving here? The evidence of faith as you go through the wilderness is the peace and joy in your heart in the process. Second final thought is the distance of your wilderness is not measured by time. It’s measured by faith. I was asking the Lord, as we go through our own wilderness period on something. I was asking him how long will it be? And he said it’s not measured by chronological time. He said it’s measured by your obedience and faith.
[00:52:58] If I get afraid in doubt. Kind of started all over again. OK.
[00:53:05] So once you obey and faith, then you’ll complete that wilderness journey. And that’s when you enter into that promise. Blessing that the Lord has given you. If you do as a Israelites, did you disobey you get your eyes off the Lord, you keep him only on the face with a naturalize. You see natural reality and you count natural reality as truth. And sorry, God’s word is truth. In other words, you shun the Lord. Then what that means is you start to act by fear. Fear is the opposite of love. Because of perfect love, cast out fear. And so you’re acting in sin. You’re disallowing. Guide to work in your life. You’re turning your back on God. That’s all this is happening when you disobey what the Lord tells you to do. And what happened with the Israelites is if you remember this.
[00:54:05] So it was about two years after they left Egypt that they were at the border, the promised land. God had taken them through the wilderness and said, you’re ready. And he tells Moses, send out twelve spies to spy out the land. To confirm that it’s all that I’ve told you is going to be you remember that story.
[00:54:27] So twelve spies go out, spies come back and they tell. It’s a land of amazing abundance.
[00:54:36] But 10 of those spies also told another story.
[00:54:41] Remember, that other story was just giant in the land. All they saw was the negative or the bad or the scary or the impossible.
[00:54:53] That’s right. They saw with their natural lives and they caused all of Israel to fear. How the Bible puts it. And so all of Israel gets upset and complains to the Lord what happened at that moment to the wilderness journey.
[00:55:17] Thirty eight more years were added to.
[00:55:21] All right. OK. So this is what I’m talking about. They had made it through the wilderness journey and then the final test. And they failed the test. So God says no.
[00:55:33] Got him on that mountain again. Yeah. You go, you keep going. Ring around the mountain. That’s absolutely right.
[00:55:39] And. And so what we find from this is that, you know, partial obedience. Yes, disobedience, right? Delayed obedience isn’t disobedience, and it’s not until that we go through in faith. It’s not chronological time. It’s based on how we respond by faith. The other interesting thing too about this is if we look at the pattern of what happened with Israel. They had those who’d been given the promise lost a promise. God’s promises will never fail. But if the promise is tied to you making it through the wilderness. Now I want to give you my my son was our guide showed my son his will for my son. Okay. In the spiritual places and the grandeur of it all. And then God also showed my son what was needed for him to go through the wilderness and God made this statement I thought is really cool. My will. For what I have for you and my will. How you need to go through the wilderness. Is one and the same.
[00:57:07] And just as the law if you break the law in one part. You break the entire law. Right.
[00:57:15] He says, if my will is not accomplish in one part, my will is not accomplish in any part. My will is one. And so what happens as we go through the wilderness? It’s just because the promises they’re. It’s a promise based on us making it through the wilderness. And if we, Feilding, make it through the wilderness, we fail to receive the promise. Okay, so it’s kind of that if then if you do this, then I’ll do that. But if you don’t, then this happens and you’ll see a lot you see God’s promises throughout the Bible. If you do this, then I’ll do that. But if you do this, then I’ll do something different. It’s always an if then statement. Not always, but generally speaking, I’m speaking in pattern, not in absolute specificity, because there are some promises he gives us that we are unable to to lose out on. But a lot of times these promises that are things that we really desire are based on if we respond properly as we go through the wilderness. And so that’s the other. The second thing that we start to learn is that the distance in the wilderness is not time is based on us acting and living by faith on his word. And we can lose out on the promise if we choose to reject living by his word. Okay. And by that faith. So not everyone makes it through. Only those who mature to the point of getting through. And the third thing conclusion on all of this is to be patient. God has his timing. God has his process. He has his purpose.
[00:59:03] We don’t know how long that walking by faith is all. You know how long chronologically that is. It’s up to him. And so we need to be joyful in the process.
[00:59:18] And as Psalms 46 says, be still and know that I am God, you know. Just be still. Be patient. Don’t get upset.
[00:59:28] Don’t get. Because this is I think, you know, speaking personally for my own life, it’s easy to get frustrated. Because you see circumstances hit your life and you look at the circumstances with your natural lives and you get fresher. How dare that person do that? You know how you know, I can’t believe that happened. But yeah, that got it. Does this ring a bell with you?
[00:59:53] Oh, no. Matter of fact, I was thinking. I feel like the time that we get the most started is when we start focusing on what other people are getting that we’re not getting. You and I are both crying out for the same thing. And you get it. And I download. Then my focus becomes the fact it compares. Then I start comparing. Well, why did he get it? And I didn’t. And I was by the ward.
[01:00:17] Yeah. And so we have to be content that where we are is where the Lord has us. And a lot of times the circumstances that caused deprivation are caused by other people and other things outside of our control. If we’re not careful, we look at those things with our natural eyes and we can and we say and we use a term right now. Let me see if it follows A causes B, which causes C.. If you think about it for table for a moment, you hit the cue ball. And the cueball hit the number two ball at an angle which causes that number two ball to then go into the pocket. Okay, a cause is because a C? Does that make sense? So we look at life as a causation, life a cause and effect that that person did something which caused this problem in my life. And now I get upset and frustrated. What we need to do is we need a backup and look at that pool table of our life with our spiritual lives. And see that underneath that pool table is gone in some sense and not in a one to one relationship, but in some sense it’s as if he’s underneath that pool table and he’s got these big old magnets and inside each pool ball is an iron sphere. And when we hit that pool ball with our cue to acoustic, it’s the Lord that’s driving that cue ball to the number two ball. And he grabs another magnet on the number two ball and moves that number two balls. So from our perspective, it looks like it’s all cause and effect. But if we get down into the spiritual side, we see that there’s a power underneath that’s actually moving the balls that makes it look like causation. Is that it? Was that clearer? It was that kind of fuzzy?
[01:02:21] Yeah. No, that’s clear.
[01:02:23] Ok. So that’s the spiritual influencing the natural. So when we go through this wilderness, we have to be patient. We have to look at these things that happen in our lives and realize that God brought us there.
[01:02:38] If it’s a wilderness, not consequence. But if it’s a wilderness, God brought us here and he brought brings us here through the appearance of natural circumstance.
[01:02:51] And therefore, we do not get upset with the natural circumstance because we realize that ultimately this is how God’s providential process works to bring us through the wilderness, to create a time of deprivation in our lives. To test us and see. If we’ll be still and trust in him. And if we continue to act without fear. Without doubt. But enjoy. Going through this period time, because we know. That is all a test. We know it’s all that virtual reality. He’s just testing to see how we do so that we can receive a greater blessing at the end.
[01:03:39] So as we go through this, we want to be not tempted to shortcut the process. Don’t try to force it. Remember, Abraham tried to shortcut the process from waiting on the Lord for the promised child. And he took his wife’s maid and had Ishmail with her and God said, no, that wasn’t my process.
[01:04:04] I process this for you to wait and be patient. And in my timing, I’ll bring forth the promise and I’ll be up. There’ll be nothing you did.
[01:04:15] I mean, you’ll do the physical acts, but the accomplishment of that promise will be all mine and none of yours. All you have to do is.
[01:04:26] Have faith.
[01:04:28] And believe and trust. So embrace God’s timing and enjoy the journey. I want to make one comment on yours because I heard this comment I thought was really great in social media.
[01:04:41] Comparison is the thief of joy. When you made that common yourself to people seeing the same thing and God gives it to one person and you get frustrated. Right. I’d like to suggest that in a natural comparison is the thief of joy. But in the spiritual comparison, is the catalyst for growth. What I mean by that is. When you see someone living out a life of faith, of absolute self-denial and trusting on the Lord and you compare yourself to that person, it makes you uncomfortable, doesn’t it?
[01:05:28] Does it rub your joy or does it create a catalyst in a firing you to grow more?
[01:05:36] It should do the latter.
[01:05:38] Yeah. Yeah. Therefore, it should do the latter if we see it with our spiritualized. It’s only when we are naturalized. So we need to compare to those that will help us grow more. And not compared with our natural lives. So yeah. But that’s that’s the. Journey will go into the wilderness. Any thoughts or comments.
[01:06:03] Gosh, it’s so good. I just. I just really want to look for those opportunities. And to me, I just. That was what I was hearing the whole time. It’s like I have an opportunity to choose. It’s a choice that I can be excited about the provision and the answer that the Lord already has out there for me, because that was something you and I talked about in a previous podcast. I think you know the answer already being there. Yeah. But it’s an opportunity I had to choose to look forward to it with joy. Like you said, being excited. This is kind of what we taught our kids, you know, that it’s kind of like you get to go through life. Like your seeking out, a treasurer, like a pirate seeks for a treasure. X marks the spot. You’re going to have to go through all this stuff to get there. The cool part is the treasure is already there. You just get to go on the journey to get to it. And that’s fun and that’s exciting. And so you don’t know what the treasure is, but, you know, it’s gonna be good. So to me, it’s just using it really as a mental shift. It’s a decision, a choice to look at those opportunities of growth with joy.
[01:07:14] Hey, man, that’s a great way to put it.
[01:07:18] All right. This is great. David, thank you so much. I think we’re about out of time. Today we have all been elsewhere.
[01:07:25] Before we say goodbye, only thing is please subscribe to the podcast. You get more of these, please tell others about the podcast so they can benefit. And and if you haven’t listened to the first sessions of what is faith and radical faith, let’s start to really lay the foundation of this whole understanding of faith. Okay. They’re the foundation of which pretty much everything rests on that we’re talking about. So I would encourage you to go backwards in our podcast episode library and look for what is faith. I think there’s four episodes, about 30 minutes each and then there’s another session call getting out of the boat. And I think there’s two sessions of one hour each. So be sure to listen to those. Yeah.
[01:08:20] All right. Well, you’ll be blessed and have a very great day.
[01:08:23] Thank you, Beatty. We appreciate it. We just love to hear your wisdom and we’re excited about our next session with you. Have a great day. Thank you. Goodbye.