Daily Bible Reading

Through the wilderness

In order to get to the place where God wants or needs you to be, He may lead you through the wilderness. When God led Israel out of Egypt, the final destination was never the wilderness. They should have only been passing through for a couple of weeks. Instead, they took their eyes off the prize and ended up wandering for forty years in a place they were never meant to stay.

Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness.
His faithful love endures forever.

Psalm 136:16 (NLT)

Was God unfaithful because Israel stayed in the wilderness? Did His love not endure through that time of trial, grief, and wandering? No. God didn’t fail in that situation, Israel did. God brought them to the place He promised and it was Israel who failed to take hold of the promise.

We may look at Israel and scoff, yet we ourselves may be caught in the wilderness. We may find ourselves in a place where we don’t see or feel God. We allow ourselves to get stuck on the way to the promise and lose sight of where we were headed in the first place. Paul tells us that we are in a race. No one ever won a race by pausing on the path. Even in the story of the tortoise and the hare, the quick rabbit who paused lost the race because he took a rest in the middle of his journey. He forgot his purpose. He became too sure of himself and his own abilities. It wasn’t talent that won the race, it was persistence and purpose.

So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches.

1 Corinthians 9:26 (NLT)

Are we running straight toward the goal God has set before us or are we wandering along the way? Remember that God never leads us to the wilderness, but He may lead us through.

If you find yourself in a spiritually dry place, remember that’s not where God wants you to be. Seek Him. Look for direction. Refocus your sight on the promises God has made. Then run. Run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. Don’t stop. Don’t hesitate. Keep your eyes on God, not the situation around you.

He will lead you through the wilderness.

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 136-138, 1 Corinthians 9

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Daily Bible Reading

Lead

How often do you ask to be lead rather than to lead? Who really wants to follow when you can be a leader?

How often do you ask what you should be doing? Who really wants to be told what to do when you can tell someone else what to do?

Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Tell me clearly what to do,
and show me which way to turn.

Psalm 5:8 (NLT)

Life isn’t all about being the one in charge. Sometimes—and even more often than we think—it should be about asking for direction and instruction. It’s about letting someone else be in charge. God’s guidance isn’t there to stifle us. He doesn’t want to lead us like a dog on a leash.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Protect them,
so all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord,
surrounding them with your shield of love.

Psalm 5:11-12 (NLT)

We don’t have to listen to God’s directions and instructions, we get to. When we put ourselves into God’s plan, not only is it His will that all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28), but He surrounds us with His shield of love. We can take refuge in Him. He will protect us.

Submitting to God is not a trial. It’s a joy. A privilege.

I will lie down in peace and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

Psalm 4:8 (NLT)

Submitting to God leads to joy. It leads to peace. It leads to love. Who else can you follow that will lead you to all of that?

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 4-6, Acts 16:16-40

Daily Bible Reading

Learn

What skills have you learned?

That’s a bit of a trick question. What skill do you have that you haven’t learned? There are very few things we do as humans that we don’t have to, at some point in our lives, learn.

I believe that one of the greatest skills we can acquire is also often one of the rarest and most difficult to attain. Obedience.

Many people are under the impression that obedience should come naturally. Once we accept Christ, we should be good to go, right? Hardly.

Even Jesus had to learn to be obedient.

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

Hebrews 5:8 (ESV)

This is a loaded statement. We know, in the end, what Jesus suffered. Yet he was still obedient. He was not coerced into obedience, but took it upon himself as a man to be discipled, instructed, and directed to do the will of His Father.

It can be argued that Jesus was fully God and therefore, obedience came easily to Him. Do not forget that He was also fully man. Had He learned obedience in theory only, how could we then learn from Him? Someone who has lived in the city all their life could describe for you the Amazon Jungle, but how much more effective would the description be coming from someone who lives there? Yet even more so from someone who has seen both the city and the jungle.

During His life on earth, Jesus saw both the city and the jungle. And, not only did He see them, He experienced them to the fullest so that we could trust His word on both.

And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Hebrews 5:9 (ESV)

Daily Bible reading: Jeremiah 49-50, Hebrews 5