Deuteronomy 8: 2-9, John 10: 27

Johnny Douglas
Johnny Douglas

Deuteronomy 8: 2-9 spells it out this way and I believe in my spirit this passage is for so many of us right NOW!!?? Here's Eugene Peterson's rendering of it ;-

'Remember every road that GOD led you on for those forty years in the wilderness, pushing you to your limits, testing you so that he would know what you were made of, whether you would keep his commandments or not. He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry. Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about, so you would learn that men and women don't live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God's mouth. Your clothes didn't wear out and your feet didn't blister those forty years. You learned deep in your heart that GOD disciplines you in the same ways a father disciplines his child. So it's paramount that you keep the commandments of GOD, your God, walk down the roads He shows you and reverently respect Him. GOD is about to bring you into a good land, a land with brooks and rivers, springs and lakes, streams out of the hills and through the valleys. It's a land of wheat and barley, of vines and figs and pomegranates, of olives, oil, and honey. It's land where you'll never go hungry--always food on the table and a roof over your head. It's a land where you'll get iron out of rocks and mine copper from the hills.

One of the Hebrew words for "wilderness" means literally "the place where God speaks!!" stunning eh? but It's easy to understand why. The wilderness can be a place of tremendous need. Before you set foot in the wilds, you need some basic supplies: water, food, protection from the hot sun and freezing nights, maps, and footwear designed for the terrain. Even so, there are dangers: wild animals, disorientation, discouragement, fatigue & the small matter of despair.

When you set out into the wilderness, you go immediately into survival mode. In the desert, it's a matter of life and death. The children of Israel spent plenty of time in the wilderness. From the time they crossed the Red Sea until they entered the Promised Land 40 years later, they went through one desert after another. In fact, many pivotal events in the Old Testament took place in the wilderness.

God speaks in the wilderness through a number of ways. Often He uses His gracious & good provision. The Israelites survived because God gave them food and water, plus shoes and clothing that didn't wear out. And up on Mount Sinai, God spoke by providing Israel with a new revelation: the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic law.

Our wilderness experiences may not take place in a desert or deep woods. Sometimes it's right where we are, caught up in the busyness and distraction of our everyday environment. We feel as if we are plodding through deep sand. The air seems dry, breathing is difficult, and we're at the edge of exhaustion.

If you're in that place right now, remember, it's the kind of situation where God does business with His people. You're at an intersection in life where your heart is open to the call and command and provision of Jesus. Don't miss a whisper from God; don't miss a thing in this vital learning curve in His precious company.

Just do anything to be in the place where God speaks.

Quizzing questions,..??
· Why do you listen to God more closely when you're going through the wilderness?
· When you've been through a desert experience, have you seen the provision of God or heard His clear call or direction? Reflect on what happened?
· Nouwen proposes, ''Silence & solitude to be the furnace of transformation!!' don't miss out on this,... pleasassssssssse. Would it be advisable for you to get alone with God for a few hours or days, so that He can reconnect afresh with you?

Listen for God's voice always, but especially in the wilderness.
To know the will of God is the greatest information but to do the will of God is the greatest achievement of your life!! So go on just like the lesser known Deuteronomy 8 suggests- whatever your situation seek out every word from God's mouth, devour it, delight in it and go on,.... just do it!!


Jesus not only taught that sheep will know the shepherd's voice, but He declared, That my sheep hear My voice.and they follow Me John 10: 27 That receiving His Word- & responding to it-is every bit as essential as recognising it!!

Jesus is saying if you don't listen, you won't know where I'm going, and if you don't respond, you won't be very close to where I am!!
Ouuuuch it's that real!!
In other words, everything is at stake: His guidance and His glory. Without listening carefully, we can miss both.

Friends, I hear a voice,.... I think you do, too.
It sometimes calls, sometimes corrects, sometimes commands, sometimes directs, sometimes teaches, sometimes demands, sometimes reaches and always touch the ear again with a loving, "Follow Me.
Listen. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.