Deuteronomy 8:2 The Reason For Tests

Taking a test

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Deuteronomy 8:2

Very few people like to go through testing. It is often a time of high anxiety and fear. The higher the importance of the test, the higher the level of fear and worry a person may have.

Testing usually determines what is next in the life of a person. If the person passes the test, he can move on to the next level in whatever field the test was for. If he fails the test, he steps back and either quits or has to re-take the test.

While the common thought of what a test is, is that it is a written test, the majority of tests people take are not written down. They are tests of character. When a person is working for someone, the boss is testing the person by watching how he works and reacts to things. This is done to determine if the person can get a promotion.

Moses tells the Israelites to remember what they went through in the wilderness. That time of wandering was a test from God. It was an unwritten test to determine what was in their hearts and how well they will follow God’s commands.

Even to this day God still tests people. Even though He already knows what is in their hearts, He tests them to see how they will react to situations and how well they will obey God. Although with God, He gives the answers to the test. He tells people how to act and follow Him. All a person needs to do is obey God’s commands and he will pass the test. Once a person passes God’s test, God will move him forward to the next level.

Think about the hard times in your life, the times of being in a wilderness. Those times are there to help build you up. They are a test to determine how well you will follow God.

Each time you are tested by God, you have to make a choice. Will you follow God’s commands in the situation? Or will you follow the ways of this world?

Following the ways of this world, will be failure. Following God will always be passing. God can then move you up and forward.

How are you passing?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will recognize the tests of God; that you will pass every test of God; and that you will follow God with all of your heart and life. 

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Deuteronomy 2:7 Never Lacking

Wilderness walk

The LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you and you have not lacked anything. Deuteronomy 2:7

Going through life, many people claim to be lacking things. It is very seldom that a person will say that they do not lack anything that they need. Often, however, the need is not really a need, but a want.

The world is constantly saying that a person needs more and more things in order to really live this life. One can never have enough stuff in order to make it in this life.

According to the standards of this world, the Israelites would have been lacking very badly for things, as they traveled around in the wilderness. They would not have had a house, newest camels or chariots, or the fanciest meals and clothing. Yet, God told them that as they traveled in a wilderness for forty years, they did not lack anything at all. God provided for every need that they had.

Although today people usually are not traveling through a physical wilderness, they are traveling through the wilderness of this world. They start out with nothing and have to survive.

Just like the Israelites, believers today do not lack anything. They may not have the fanciest meal, three times a day, but they still have food. They may not have the newest trend of clothing, but they still have clothes.

God always provides every believer with everything that he needs. Sometimes God will go above and beyond and give what he wants.

In order to see God’s provision, one must change the view. He must not look at what others have, but at what God has blessed him with.

Take a look at your own life and see how much you have really been blessed with by God. How much provision has God provided you with over the years?

You may not have all of your wants and desires, but you always have all of your needs. God will never fail you in providing what you need.

This world is your wilderness, and it is trying to tell you what you need. The devil is a liar and you really don’t need everything the world says you need.

Trust God for His great provision for you needs in this life. You will not lack for anything.

Today I pray that you will see God’s hand of provision in your life; that you will trust in God’s provision; that you will continue to follow and trust God; and that God will bring  you through this wilderness.

Exodus 40:36-37 Don’t Move Till God Moves

woman on a path

In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out: but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out–until the day it lifted. Exodus 40:36-37

The majority of people like to be on the move. They do not like sitting completely still and waiting in one spot for very long. In traffic, people will quickly honk their horns or get mad when someone does not move immediately after a light turns green. In the check-out lanes in a grocery store, people will jump to another lane, rather than stand for an extra minute.

For many people they feel if they are not doing something, they are failing or missing out on something great. They want to keep moving.

As the Israelites were traveling in the wilderness, God was leading them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They were to move only when the cloud had lifted from the campsite and began to move. If it did not move, they were to stay in place and keep waiting. During this time, they had learned to wait upon God for their next move.

There are many believers who have developed the attitude of the world, in that they must be continually moving. They often feel that if they are not moving at all, they are failing or missing out on something. In ministry work, many are quick to move forward with something, rather than wait upon God’s perfect timing to move forward.

While it is good to move forward, it is only good if it is in God’s time. There is purpose in stopping for a moment and waiting. God is always in the process of lining everything up to work together for His perfect purpose. Jumping ahead of Him, will not fulfill His purpose.

As you are going through life, there will be times God will guide you into something specific. Be sure to wait for His timing to move forward with it. Do not try to rush His purpose in your life.

Seek God for guidance and keep your eyes on Him for the perfect time to move. God will open the doors at the right time. Do not force the doors open before the right time.

God will guide you through the wilderness into the promised land, if you wait on Him and follow Him.

I pray today that you will see God’s leading in your life; that you will learn how to wait upon God’s perfect timing; that you will not move ahead of God, but walk by His side; and that God will reveal His steps for your life.

Ezekiel 34:31 You Are His Sheep

You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 34:31

In this passage God is upset with the leaders of the temple. They were focused on themselves, rather than the people. He calls them shepherds who are not taking care of their sheep.

Now God calls the people His sheep and that He is their God. He plans to take care of them and meet all of their needs. They are to live with no fear, because He is their good shepherd. This is ultimately seen in Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Jesus provided for His sheep the highest offering one can give, His life.

Going through life, is like walking through a wilderness that one has never been in before. For each person, each step is new and brings with it new challenges.

Walking in the wilderness can bring about things that appear to be dangerous. Things such as briars, poison ivy, and fallen trees. These are the immobile things. Then there are the wild animals and bugs that can cause harm. Some of these things are unseen, until one is right upon them and it is too late. There may also be limited light, because of the tree and bush coverage. This makes it difficult to see the path or things in the way.

As a believer, you can walk with assurance, because God is leading you. He will ensure that you have all that you need, just like a good shepherd takes care of his sheep. If a shepherd’s sheep get harmed or die, it does not do him any good. In the same way, if God’s sheep are harmed, it does Him no good.

God has given His word to be a light to your path. He has given His Son to take away sin, which is the sting of death. God has also given you a mission to do, which provides the nourishment you need. He also provides the peace and rest in the middle of the wilderness you are traveling in.

There will be a day when God calls you home, so that you will no longer have to travel in the wilderness. Until that day, you can trust Him to provide for all of your needs. You are His sheep, His pride and joy.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your shepherd; that you will trust God’s provision for your life; that you will follow God’s lead in your wilderness; and that you will know God’s peace in your life. 

Luke 4:1-2 Tough Directions

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2

Jesus had just been baptized by John the Baptist. He was starting to become known in the area as someone different. God spoke audibly that He was His Son.

Now the Holy Spirit gives Jesus some directions to go into the wilderness. This wilderness was a wild, uncultivated wasteland area. No one else would be there, except maybe thieves trying to hide from the authorities. There would be no food there to eat. No motels to stay at for the night. It would be harsh living.

What would your thoughts be if the Holy Spirit gave you those directions? Most people would think that maybe they heard God wrong. Many would be angry with God for sending them into such a “God forsaken” area. Others might think that God is punishing them for doing something wrong.

Jesus did not think any of these things. He knew that God wanted Him there for a reason. This reason was to make Him, who was perfect, even more perfect. In order to take away your sins and understand the powers of sin, He had to be tempted with it. In order to understand giving orders, He had to take orders.

Even though Jesus was God, He was also man. As a man, He had to go through everything that man goes through.

Today, God may be leading you into a wilderness. Although for you it is probably not a literal wilderness. It is an area of life that you feel all alone. You may feel like God has left you. You may feel like you are being punished, that there is no hope and that everything that could go wrong is going wrong.

If God led you into a wilderness, He will lead you through it and back out of it. He has a purpose for that wilderness in your life. Do not lose hope. Trust God. He is working on making you perfect like Jesus was perfect.

Don’t give up. Be willing to walk the path He has for you.

I pray today that you will allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you; that you will walk the path God has for you; that you will not lose hope in God’s leading; that you will trust God; and that God will make you more like Jesus.