There are three words under which God seems to operate when working and establishing us as the people we were made to be.
They are “out, through and in”. He applies the pattern of “out, through, and in”, and it’s repeatedly illustrated in the bible through the lives of such people as Abraham, Joseph and David.
For example, the Israelites were brought “OUT” of slavery in Egypt, led “THROUGH” the wilderness and “IN to” the Promised Land.
God still uses the same process for us today. Egypt is often symbolic of bondage, hardship, or limitation in our lives. God calls us “out” of these situations because he has blessing, release and restoration on His mind for us. But it is a process, and the quicker we “get on board” with the process of growth, the faster we will develop and move through it.
We often think, “Great, now that I’m “out” of that uncomfortable or negative situation, I can walk straight into my “promised land”. However, the Israelites were first led “through” the wilderness before they entered into the land God had prepared for them. (Exodus 13-15)
Sadly, much like the Israelites, who grumbled and complained and sought to go back to Egypt rather than trust God in the midst of their wilderness experience, we can also doubt God’s goodness towards us and think that things were better and more fun back where we’ve come from. (Exodus 16:3)
No one likes the wilderness moments, where we are proved, refined, and, more often than not, have to wait for God to reveal and release His next move and plan. Given a choice, we would all opt-out of the wilderness seasons of our lives and go straight to the Promised Land.
But I’ve learned that in the wilderness, our characters are forged and refined, and it’s in the wilderness, that we discover whether we are prepared to trust and obey God’s guidance and way of doing things. It is in the wilderness where we find ourselves and discover what we really believe; it is where our faith and patience are strengthened and given some “muscle”.
We want a quick overnight process, but the length of these seasons is often linked to our willingness to listen, obey, and be led. We can definitely hold things up by our attitude, stubbornness, and our unwillingness to let go of the things of “Egypt and our past”. Just look at the Israelites who ended up spending 40years in the wilderness before entering into the Promised Land and some because they would not change missed out!.
“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)
Today, whatever circumstance you find yourself in, know that God has a plan to bring you “out, through and into a place of peace, healing, and blessing”.
Trust Him, and consider your attitude today, for it is always the willing and obedient that have the best of the land. Learn from those who have gone before and choose to humble yourself to allow God to lead and guide you. It’s a much quicker journey!
“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land”. (Isaiah 1:19)
Prayer: Lord, help me be willing and obedient and follow the process you have to bring me into my “promised land”. Please help me to be quick to listen, quick to obey, and that I will trust you so that I don’t hold up the process of growth you are working out in my life. And so I don’t wander around and around the wilderness needlessly. In Jesus name Amen.