When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” Exodus: 13:17
Doubt and fear neutralize what God wants to do in your life.
God figured it would be better for the Israelites to wander in the desert for 40 years than for them to get there in a week. Why?! God wanted to test and refine their character.
God had to renew their mindsets from slave mentality to conqueror mentality. They feared the giants in the land, and did not trust God to overtake the land. They wouldn’t be able to face their enemies just yet; because of fear, which is lack of faith. They needed to be transformed, as do we! God is concerned with who we become, so we may go through a wilderness season, so that we can also be transformed. His focus is on who He has made us to be in Christ, not on what we do or who we think we are! There is far more in us than what we perceive. For instance,
- We may think we are weak; He says we are strong
- We may see ourselves as broken; He sees us as masterpieces
- We may see ourselves as pitiful, unloveable, etc; He sees us as His beloved children
When they arrived in the Promised Land, the Israelites had to learn what was in their heart, their identity and who their God was. There was value in going through the wilderness: they learned that God was reliable, and that He would provide food, shelter, protection and direction. They also learned to trust God for the victory over their enemies, and gained courage to overtake the Promised Land.
The Promised Land is not a destination, it’s a journey. We need to become the people who God created us to be, and we need to know the God we serve…. sometimes God will use the best training camp: the wilderness. Take notes!
Lord God Almighty, thank you for having mercy on us and working all things for our good. Although the dry place is challenging, we thank you for all the lessons learned. We thank you for bringing us into the Promised Land, and teaching our hands to war. Thank you for changing our identity from slaves, to your children. I pray you bring to memory all of the lessons we have learned. In Jesus name, Amen.