Summary: In this message we learn that real spiritual growth takes place during the most difficult periods of our lives. This is part 3 in a 9 part series.



Sunday September 22, 2002

Scripture Reference: Exodus 2:15-25


A. Today is a special day for us at Cornerstone. We have just dedicated ____ children. As young as these children are it may seem difficult to think of the time when they will graduate from high school and then begin their search for a college. I have been through that process once and now this year Sue and I will go through it again as our youngest daughter completes her senior year and begins to look towards college. It is both an exciting and frightening experience, for both the child and the parent.

B. Did you know that God also has a school? God’s college does not have dormitories or computer labs. It doesn’t have a choir or a baseball team. There are no fancy four-color brochures that advertise God’s college. You cannot expect for one of His campus recruiters to come to you and try and persuade you to attend his school. You are not going to see professional videos introducing you to campus life.

1. God’s college is in the desert, and I don’t mean Palm Springs or UNLV. God’s college is a desolate place. It is a place where the temperature soars and shade is hard to come by. It is a place where the ground is parched and dry and water is a rare commodity. ** I should also point out something that is very important about God’s school, which in case you haven’t noticed I have decided to call “Wilderness University”. Wilderness University is not a school that you can opt out of. When it comes to colleges around the country we pick and chose where it is that we might like to go, but we cannot do that with Wilderness University. If you are going to be a follower of Jesus Christ, if you are going to be a true “Disciple” then the Wilderness University is mandatory.

2. There is another strange thing about this university. You never finish all the courses, at least not in this life. There are no semesters or quarters. Your time at Wilderness University may last from a few days to a few years. Acts 7:30 tells us that Moses spent 40 years in the Wilderness University. Can you imagine that, 40 years in school? [] It reminds me of a guy I knew when I was going to bible college. At that time the college program was for three years. It took this guy seven years to graduate.

Trans. I would like to take a few minutes an introduce you to the Wilderness University. Let me first of all introduce you to:


A. The Desert Speaks.

1. I learned something very interesting about this “desert” school. Did you know that the word “desert” in the original Hebrew language means, “to speak”? I find that not only very interesting but very enlightening. When we normally think of the desert we do not think of it as a place with much to say. We normally think of the desert as something that is barren and desolate (although I know there are those who see great beauty in the desert). [] I for one enjoy the ocean (as if you didn’t already know that). I love to go to sleep listening to the crashing of the waves on the seashore, but I am also familiar with the desert. When I grew up my parents owned property at the Salton Sea. We had motorcycles and I would often ride out into the desert by myself. After a while I would stop the bike and get off to rest. I can still remember how quiet the desert seemed to be. It made you feel very isolated.

2. Isn’t this the way we normally feel about God’s desert classes? When we go through those times in the wilderness everything seems deathly quiet. Rather than God speaking it seem s as though God has abandoned us. After all why would He want to be in a place like this? Could I make a suggestion that might hurt a little? Could it be possible that at times the seeming silence is of our own making? What I mean by that is that there are times when we are in the desert and we think God is not there or God is not speaking when in fact He can’t get in a word edge wise. We are so busy complaining, we are so busy trying to get a “pass” on this class that we can’t hear what God is try to say.

Trans. I do not have the time to share everything that I would like but let me show what I want to call:

B. God’s Campus Security.

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