The Wilderness (Intimacy with God Part VII)

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Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:3-12)

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”

I love the story of Moses for many reasons. If you have not read it, it’s worth the time to invest in reading and studying the life of this man who encountered God in the wilderness and then led God’s people out of the grips of slavery. It’s simply one of the most miraculous stories aside from the birth and life of Jesus.

Moses had fled his place of nobility after killing a man for his mistreatment of his people. We find him tending flocks. No one was looking for Moses. He was an outcast.

Have you ever felt like an outcast? Unseen, unheard, unloved by peers, or that you’ve been stranded on the back side of the desert? If so you’re in a good place to encounter God.

You may be thinking, “That’s ludicrous!” But it’s not. God encounters us in the mundane, the hidden seasons, our brokenness, our pain and suffering, and in our wilderness experiences.

We normally ask the questions:
Why am I here? When will this be over?

The great questions to ask are…what is God attempting to do in me? What can I learn from God in this situation? What is God teaching me? Isn’t this just a setup for a miracle? How can I listen for and learn the voice of God in this hard place, the hidden place, the wilderness? How can I go deeper with God in this place?

I dare not glorify suffering and I’m not talking about sickness or disease or poverty. I’m talking about those hard situations in relationships and family, being abandoned by those who said they’d always be there, finding yourself as an outcast in society, etc…

I want you to know that God knows where to find you and He wastes nothing. You are not hidden or forsaken by God.

If you allow it, the wilderness can be a place of deep intimacy with God. Since He is the only support system, there is a daily learning to trust Him for manna. There is more time to be with God and converse with Him.

There’s sanctification and strengthening of the inward man in the wilderness. Our pride is exposed in the wilderness. The sense of entitlement rises up within us, “Why me God? This isn’t fair!!! You’re blessing everyone but me. Why are they being promoted? What about me?”

Trust me as one who’s had long seasons on the back side of the desert, it’s worth it…though it’s painful. There were days I felt forsaken or I could not take another step forward. God didn’t deliver me from, He delivered me through. I learned and am learning to lean. He placed me in many situations that required miracles, and He provided.

God longs to be known and loved. The wilderness exposes who and what we are worshipping and who or what we love.

We become humble or bitter in the wilderness.

If we seek God in the wilderness, we find the sweetest encounters with the Living God.

One of the greatest thing about this story with Moses is that when the angel of the Lord appeared in the burning bush, he turned to see what was happening.

We can miss God in the wilderness if we are busy trying to get out of the wilderness or hosting pity parties. God is always up to something good. He says, “I want you to know me in this place. The hidden place, the place of complete dependence on me, so you can know me.” God is speaking in your wilderness. God is showing up every day to meet with you. Don’t mistake His silence for absence. Sometimes He wants to be pursued, or He’s silent during a test. Yet He never leaves or forsakes.

Intimacy is fueled by desire…

I’ve found people who have never had to depend on God know less about Him and aren’t as hungry for Him. I know it’s a generalization, those are not good…here me out. When I go to Brazil on missions, people will get in canoes and travel hours even at night for a church service. They are so hungry for God and prayer for the sick. They have no healthcare. In the USA, we have worship services and sometimes people don’t come at all or they are on their iPhones or talking or looking at their watches. If it’s not a big name worship leader, prophet, teacher, healer, evangelists…then there’s no packing the church or venue. It’s not my place to judge. Yet I’ve not seen any worship in the USA that compares to the worship in the villages on the interior of the Amazon Jungle. People so hungry, one night we had worship by lanterns and we’re all most eaten alive by mosquitoes (slight exaggeration, yet it was a bug fest)…people came by the canoe full and never complained.

May you and I seek God in the hard places, the hidden places, the wilderness experiences. May we abide in Him and grow to know His miraculous love and provision. May we choose knowing and loving Him above all…

God bless you! You are deeply loved and prayed for.

Erin

Encounter with the Risen Christ (from the book I Thought I Knew What Love Was)

I Thought I Knew What Love Was

I would love it if you check out, I Thought I Knew What Love Was. You can purchase right here on the site there’s a link entitled Get Your Copy or you may purchase through these wonderful sites: http://www.westbowpress.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com. and http://www.amazon.com or iTunes store.

I thought I knew what love was until I encountered the King of the Universe. This book is filled with prayers, psalms, letters to God, and encouragement from God. I hope it blesses your heart. Here is an excerpt from the book.

Encounter with the Risen Christ, Copyright 2011 © Erin Lamb.

I kneel my heart before the risen Christ.
He stands so perfectly
with the glory of our Father
surrounding Him.
He is Holy.
He is King.
His reign is eternal.
He has risen,
for death could not hold Him,
and the grave could not keep Him.
He has risen with all power in the palm of His hands.
His hands are marked with scars of where they pierced Him.
I see the nails He took for you and for me,
so we would no longer have to carry the weight of our shame.
He seeks to reconcile the entire world to His Father,
knowing that His Kingdom is the only kingdom
that will last forever.
I kneel before the risen Christ.
I take in His sweet fragrance,
the fragrance of love.
He laid down His life,
so He and I could live in paradise.
One tear I shed, leads to many,
for I understand I have nothing to repay Him with.
So I commit to Him for life.
My tears of adoration bathe His feet,
for there is no greater gift than the one He’s offered.
He has offered a new life.
I gaze upon Him
dressed in fine white linen,
in breathtaking radiance He stands.
There are flames of eternal fire in His eyes.
His presence is so overwhelming and captivating.
If only we could truly encounter the risen Christ,
the same Christ who with one touch
healed the woman with the issue of blood.
He is the One who heals our diseases
and delivers us from the penalty of our sins.
He was bruised for our transgressions,
and the price for our peace rested on His shoulders.
He stood blameless,
taking on the weight of sin from the entire world.
The burdens of all people He carried.
He still carries our burdens and our ailments today.
He was there in the beginning.
He is here, now.
He is there in the end.
He is in complete communion with the Holy Spirit and the Father.
There is nowhere we can go
where we are out of His reach.
There is nothing that can separate us from His love.
Though we may not feel loved,
we are loved.
I see love every time I gaze on the cross,
for God so loved the world that He sent His Son,
to die for us,
and to be the payment for all our sins.
He knew we had no ability to pay.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ,
who delivers the tormented
and sets all captives free.
He brings complete liberty,
so people are no longer chained and shackled.
He brings freedom so we may live the abundant life He has promised
to give us.
We bow before the risen Christ
who, alone, can change a sinful man
into a holy man.
He is the One who can take something completely broken,
and make it whole again.
If we could only encounter the risen Christ,
who still walks on the water and has the ability to calm all storms.
The winds and the waves are still subject to Him.
He is the same yesterday, today, and always.
He has not changed, nor will He ever change.
If we could only encounter the risen Christ
and see Him in the fullness of His glory;
to have that mighty power that was at work raising Him from the dead,
at work in our lives
and at work in our hearts.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ
and have that transforming power
changing us into the image of the Father.
We were purchased by Christ’s blood
and set apart to do His bidding.
We are no longer slaves,
but God’s children.
We are the children He loves.
We are the children He adores.
What a perfect sacrifice!
With acceptance of His sacrifice and belief in Him,
we become a part of His family forever.
We enter into a royal priesthood,
and we are set apart for His glory.
If only Satan knew
that on the third day
Jesus would rise again.
If only Judas knew that his betrayal
was a part of the plan.
The plan was to reconcile the world to the Father.
That one act
would help lead people to encountering the risen Christ.
He is risen.
Death could not hold Him.
Death has no power over Him.
He took the keys of death and hell.
He proclaimed victory over all who believe.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ,
who spoke and it was.
The truth of His words
permeate and saturate the soul.
His words are sharper than any sword
and able to divide the bone from the marrow.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ;
walk in holiness,
with purity of heart and purity of mind.
He walked the earth,
tempted,
yet, He did not sin.
He proved that sin did not hold Him,
and there is freedom from sin for all who believe.
He is our hope,
our salvation,
and our Deliverer.
He is Faithful and True.
He came to save the world,
cleanse the world,
and change the world.
If only we could encounter the risen Christ,
who has defeated death,
who has defeated sin,
and who has reunited us with our loving Father.
We do not accept defeat,
for He has already won the battle.
So let us rejoice
that Christ is RISEN!

All rights reserved. No part of the material may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the written permission of the Publisher, Westbow Press (www.westbowpress.com), or Author, Erin Lamb. The only exception is in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

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