(Discovering Inspired Religious Treasures)
Deuteronomy 8:2—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.
How often we have been led into the wilderness following AWRCS signs. The roads become more narrow, rougher and more challenging to maneuver. We begin to think, “Steve, where are you taking us?” Then we see a collection of RVs, trailers, cars, bikes, quads and trucks and know we are in the right place. It’s in the wilderness, but it’s the right place.
The wildernesses described in the Bible, while they certainly would look different from our wildernesses, could be a lonely place. Imagine being at the back half of Scrubgrass all by yourself on a non race day. What a lonely place. God led people into the wilderness in order to speak to them. In fact, the Hebrew word for wilderness is midbar; it is a variation of its root word dabar, which means to speak. All alone at Scrubgrass there would be very few distractions. Sitting alone surrounded only by God’s creation (and remember you are God’s creation) is a great place to listen to God.
If we really desire to hear God speaking to us, we have to remove distractions in our life. I know, I know, we are so connected to devices that we laugh at unplugging. Seriously though, and please don’t laugh this off, we need to completely unplug and listen to God. If it is your desire to hear God clearly, then close off the distractions.
Something else we need to realize, we can find ourselves in another wilderness. I am speaking of a life wilderness, a spiritual wilderness. This is a wilderness which comes to us through tragedy, despair, loneliness, heartache, loss, grief or any number of trials. It may be that God has led you to that wilderness; or that you put yourself in that lonely place; even the enemy can bring us there to discourage us, but God will use it to speak a message to your heart and mind. It will be a message of hope; God will let you know that He is with you, He loves you and will impart His strength and wisdom to you. So, don’t be afraid of the wilderness places when they invade your life. God is close and will never leave you.
Let me share God’s Word which was written by the Prophet Jeremiah. He was encouraging Hebrews who had been exiled to another land. This is God’s message he shared: “Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. What an awesome God we serve! A God who will lead us through and out of any wilderness where we might find ourselves.
Prayer: Lord, I pray for all who might find themselves in the midst of a wilderness. Allow them to know how very close You are; speak to them Your message of hope. And Lord, help us to unplug regularly so we might hear You speaking to us. We pray it now and forever in Jesus’ name, amen.
See you at the AWRCS races,
Pastor Al Kimmel, RFC Chaplain (#004)