I have just posted “Desire of Contentment”. I was going to watch some television, but as I sat down this following thought came to my mind.
I sat on my sofa and I could begin to hear it going through my mind like I had read it before. I am sure I haven’t read it from some other author.
With the invention of Google, which I use quite regularly, I search quickly to see if maybe I had glanced at some written piece.
I normally take many hours, days, and sometimes even weeks before I write down a post. I like to spend much time studying and meditating on a subject. This pattern of studying has always been my way even when I was in active ministry.
Like a computer, garbage in, garbage out. I truly believe the scriptures when we are exhorted to write the word on our hearts.
I truly believe like the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that ‘we are to study to shew ourselves approved…’
For many that is there down fall. They have not sacrificed time to study God’s Word, and thus they have little discernment when it comes to what God has said in the scriptures.
I hope as you read this post you will find encouragement, strength and valour to fight the battle you are facing.
D. M. Bourne
Numbers 21: (MSG)
4 They set out from Mount Hor along the Red Sea Road, a detour around the land of Edom. The people became irritable and cross as they traveled.
5 They spoke out against God and Moses: “Why did you drag us out of Egypt to die in this godforsaken country? No decent food; no water—we can’t stomach this stuff any longer.”
6 So GOD sent poisonous snakes among the people; they bit them and many in Israel died.
7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke out against GOD and you. Pray to GOD; ask him to take these snakes from us.” Moses prayed for the people.
8 GOD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it on a flagpole: Whoever is bitten and looks at it will live.”
9 So Moses made a snake of fiery copper and put it on top of a flagpole. Anyone bitten by a snake who then looked at the copper snake lived.
For every sports team that go into a game have one thing in mind, that being victory over their opposing team.
Not only sports team seek this goal but every being that has ever walked the planet earth.
I am not sure where the Body of Christ turned aside from Biblical teaching by wanting to only to experience victory in their life. Yes, it is exhilarating to know the joy of victory, to reach the mountain top, but victory cannot be achieved without one thing, the battle.
If one expects to become mature in Christ, they must first realize that there is a God purpose to go through desert experiences, to know what it is like to feel thirsty, hungry, and hopeless.
The Israelites were like children, even though they had witnessed first hand the mighty power of the God of Israel, through his man, Moses. They experienced the saving hand of God when God sent the angel of death through the land of Egypt and killed all the first born, but saved all those who had the blood covering their door posts. It was just as God told Moses,
Exodus 12: (MSG)
13 The blood will serve as a sign on the houses where you live. When I see the blood I will pass over you—no disaster will touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.
Now, here they are again facing again destruction, the Red Sea in front of them and the armies of Egypt behind them. It looked hopeless, it was either drown in the Red Sea or be slain by the swords of the armies of Egypt. Again, they begin to question Moses and his right hand person, Aaron. Moses went off by himself:
Exodus 14: (MSG)
10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up and saw them—Egyptians! Coming at them! They were totally afraid. They cried out in terror to GOD.
11 They told Moses, “Weren’t the cemeteries large enough in Egypt so that you had to take us out here in the wilderness to die? What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt?
12 Back in Egypt didn’t we tell you this would happen? Didn’t we tell you, ‘Leave us alone here in Egypt—we’re better off as slaves in Egypt than as corpses in the wilderness.'”
13 Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch GOD do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again.
14 GOD will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!”
15 GOD said to Moses: “Why cry out to me? Speak to the Israelites. Order them to get moving.
16 Hold your staff high and stretch your hand out over the sea: Split the sea! The Israelites will walk through the sea on dry ground.
17 “Meanwhile I’ll make sure the Egyptians keep up their stubborn chase—I’ll use Pharaoh and his entire army, his chariots and horsemen,
18 to put my Glory on display so that the Egyptians will realize that I am GOD.”
19 The angel of God that had been leading the camp of Israel now shifted and got behind them. And the Pillar of Cloud that had been in front also shifted to the rear.
20 The Cloud was now between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. The Cloud enshrouded one camp in darkness and flooded the other with light. The two camps didn’t come near each other all night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and GOD, with a terrific east wind all night long, made the sea go back. He made the sea dry ground. The seawaters split.
22 The Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground with the waters a wall to the right and to the left.
Like us, the Israelites had this innate spirit that no matter how many times we have seen God bring us through so many battles we want to complain.
Now, they find themselves in a desert, it is dry and hot, there’s no water and their food has reached it’s end. So once again they are screaming at Moses and asking, why have you brought us out here. Is it to die? They tell him, it would have been better to stay in Egypt, for at least we had shelter and the left overs from the wheat fields to make our bread.
God hears their complaints and becomes displeased with the Israelites. He then allows snakes to go through the camp of the Israelites, biting an poisoning the people. Many die. Realising the error of their ways to then ask Moses to seek God for an answer. The answer is simple, have the men form an image of a snake wrapped around a pole. Take this pole and erect it in the camp, so, that everyone who looks upon it will be healed and saved. This is a type of what Christ did on the cross of Calvary.
The second miracle of this time in the wilderness God sends food, manna, bread from heaven. The Israelites are instructed when they rise every morning to go out of their tents and collect only enough bread to last one day. If they take in to much, the manna will spoil. The second part of the instruction that on the Sabbath they are to collect enough to last for the full Sabbath.
Since it would take multiple books to explore every instance of the thought I am trying to convey I am going to cut this short.
Christian, there is no short way to victory. The battle is hard, the desert stretches as far as the eye can see, and the mountain looms large in front of us. Yet, we have the promise God is always with us. He gives us the armour to enter battle, the strength to climb the mountain, and even go through the valleys and cross the roaring rivers in life.
The early Christians, pardon the expression, went through hell. There were on the run hiding from Nero, the generals of the army of Rome. They met in secret because if caught it meant certain death.
The first of those was Stephen. They stoned him to death, and just before he gave his last breath, he made this statement,
Acts 7: (MSG)
56 He said, “Oh! I see heaven wide open and the Son of Man standing at God’s side!”
From historians we know that Peter found himself unworthy to be crucified like his’ Lord, so they crucified him upside down.
The Apostle John of Patmos was placed on the island of criminals to die. Yet, through this God gives him probably the greatest prophecy ever given to man.
Read what the Apostle Paul wrote about trials and tribulations:
2 Timothy 4: (MSG)
7 This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way.
Paul realised that we don’t always have victory in this present time, but, one day, by way of death, we will be set free from this body that holds us down. He declared,
2 Corinthians 5: (MSG)
8 Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
Reader, do not become discouraged in your race, be faithful to the Lord even in times of battle, trials, tribulations, and yes even illness.
Do not believe the message that if you are going through all these things you must have sinned. This is a lie, sent to cause us to give up, give in, and turn back towards the place that held us in bondage.
So, as you go through your life here on earth remember these words of Christ:
John 10:28-29 MSG
28 I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand.
29 The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him.