Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil Matthew 4:1 (NIV)
The best place to be prepared and set apart for God’s purposes is in the wilderness. It is a time and place of brokenness, isolation and desperation.
It is also a breeding place for temptation, quitting, vulnerability and a Devil’s playground!
If you are in a place like that I pray that you will be strengthened knowing that it is only a season, but there is alot of learning to do, please do not take short cuts, learn from all that is presented to you voluntarily or otherwise.
If you are not yet in a desert place, please know that sooner or later you will be there, not as a sign of failure, punishment or judgement but for preparation for the future, sharpening, renewal and Revival!
Be careful which voice you are listening to. Is it yourself , the devil or God?
In Psalm 23, David says , ‘ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me….
God is with us through it all and is waiting on the other side of our victory.
They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Exodus 14:11
The presence of hardship and struggle is not proof of being outside God’s will for your life. In our verse today, the Israelites had been in slavery for 400+ years, finally God rescues them, but almost immediately they are faced by some big challenges and they start looking back to their life in Egypt, where they atleast slept in their own beds at night, ate delicacies of the land, took their kids to school etc…but had to endure beatings, harsh labour , discrimination, name it during the day.
They hoped for a better, lighter and worry-free life the moment they left Egypt. Yes they were in God’s will but that didn’t take away their daily struggles. They had to trust and depend on God daily for their food, safety, health and the promised unknown destination ahead of them.
Many of us today are in the same boat! Having to depend on God for the present and future that’s unclear can be and is a challenge, especially when you start doubting whether you are in God’s will or not.
As we take on today, let’s pray for courage and patience to take on one day at a time and in the process draw closer to God even in the thick of the situation in our way.
Lord give us the courage to see the way you see and help us to grow through the situation life is throwing our way.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness… Genesis 1:26 (NIV)
As a young boy in Uganda, East Africa, every one I saw with a lighter complexion was a muzungu (White Person ) We would wave to airplanes up in the skies, ‘ Bye muzungu’! It never occurred to me that there were many shades of white! I never knew the Mexican wasn’t a real muzungu, nor the native American, Chinese, Japanese, name it…I thought they just spoke different languages but they were all white to me and my friends!
Many years later I travelled to the states and discovered the different layers of White and Americans, I met the native American, the Asian American, the Hispanic American, Puerto Rican and then I also met the African American!
As if it wasn’t bad enough I discovered there’s also different shades of black! The black American, the light skinned, the dark skinned and of course like me the African! Now this confused me even the more….I thought black was black because of our similar origins, but not so!
Fast forward I am now married to an African American wife with African, Indian and white blood and together we have two African American boys! What that makes me? Probably an ‘African African’!
While I have had my own share of racial discrimination/bias from whites, the one that hurt the most is from fellow ‘ Blacks’.
Where I am going with this? These labels are not only confusing, misleading and divisive, they are destroying us.
We are one people created by one God but in different packages and colors…I think of the Cat…yes the cat…the ones in my mother country give birth to an average of 3-4 colors of kittens, but they are still kittens and they are fed and nurtured by mama cat. Now if animals are able to understand their own uniqueness why can’t we learn to not only coexist but erase these labels from our minds?
We might have different exteriors but we still bleed the same blood ‘RED’
Let’s drop these labels and live life like the human race, we are different colors but one people created by one God in his own image and likeness.
To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. Revelation 2:17 (NIV )
God never promised it will be easy, life is and will always be full of uninvited challenges. Many times we may not be prepared for such, but hanging in there, keeping the faith even when you feel like letting go, constantly feeding on his promises in his word and waiting patiently for his deliverance will keep us motivated to go another hour, another day and meanwhile our victory gets closer to us than we ever imagined.