Vigilance was the price of life.”
–Louis L’Amour (The Rider of Lost Creek)
“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
–Luke 21:28 (NASB)
We have lost our vigilance! We are in the process of being duped! Lies, lies, lies, who can be trusted? Friend, you better know and continue steadfastly in the Word of God for the days are coming where you are going to be forced to make a choice. Choices are made every day, but we are not often vigilant in our choices; we go traipsing off singing some kind of song and what may be will be.
Look around you! You are in a wilderness, or will be. The wilderness will force you to make choices. The choices you make could mean life or death: physical or spiritual. The choices will determine whether you live or die, surrender or survive. It may be of a physical nature if you are truly in the wilderness environment, or it may be of a spiritual nature in which case your eternal soul is at stake. Seek, search, be vigilant, find solitude, stay alert and if the midst of the wilderness, you will find God–if you make the right choice.
“So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.”
–Exodus 13:18 (NKJV)
Notice that they went “by way of the wilderness”! This is not some aimless wandering. Oh, some of the people might have thought so, especially with all of the murmuring and complaining we see, but when God leads, it is never aimless. He has a particular purpose in mind. Also notice, not only are they in the wilderness, but they are now stopped by a great obstacle in their path. In your wanderings you may think, “What in the world is going on?” and if anything could get worse–it does. You are trying to find yourself; trying to find God. Then smack dab in the face of your travels and searching there is an overwhelming barrier to cross.
Often we wander in the wilderness, not realizing that it is God who is doing the guiding. This presents a couple of the greatest dangers of the wilderness–making our choices and not listening to Him, and not recognizing His guidance. The obstacle looms–make a choice–go back, quit, swim, fight, surrender, turn to the left or the right, or listen to God. We want to strike out on our own, do something on our own, or murmur that it was better back from whence we came.
“Then they said to Moses, ‘Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt?'”
–Exodus 14:11 (NKJV)
This is a great danger–forgetting the guiding hand of the Lord, and being deceived by falsehoods. First, the people bought into a lie. No graves in Egypt? The bones were drying up in the sand of Gaza. This was a direct slap in the face of Moses, God’s chosen leader, and therefore, a slap in the very face of God. Oh, how many times have people rebelled against their guide after they are in the wilderness and then who will they turn to? False, pseudo-leaders, who say they know the way, but would actually guide them out into the wasteland to their death.
There are two interesting facts that are brought to light and are very true of people who are wandering through a spiritual wasteland. Where they find themselves after making the choice in these two facts will determine their destiny.
1) People often turn against the leadership when they find themselves in the wilderness.
2) People often prefer slavery to the world rather than the struggle they will find in the wilderness with God.
How will you choose?