Summary: Trusting God instead of listening to others
YOU HAVE CIRCLED THIS MOUNTAIN LONG ENOUGH
Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir.
2 Then the Lord said to me, 3 “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. 4 Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. 5 Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own. 6 You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”
7 The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.
PROPHETIC MESSAGE--If you never listened before—listen now—THERE WILL BE A TEST
Israel was on their way to the Promised Land…
o 38 years into the journey—still wandering
o circling an area partly comprised of Edom
o Edom was given to Esau, brother of Jacob
o Rivals to enemies—Edom watched Israel wander for 38 years now
o Watched God provide for them all that time
o Wondered what God was going to do with them next
o Edom was the place they were jealous over
o Why can’t we be like them
o They have a land, we’re wandering
“Ye have circled this mountain long enough: turn you northward.”
I. We find here that, God allows us some training time in the wilderness.
a. Wilderness isn’t just for wandering
b. It’s for seeking God’s face
II. The inference here is also that God knows that our tendency is to fall or slip into a state of wandering (moving without vision, without passion and without purpose)
a. I have sought God for a vision for this church…mission…purpose…
b. Answer was “They’ve not finished what I gave them before.”
c. The task before you just as with Israel is OBEDIENCE unto HOLINESS
III. The very real danger we face as Christians is that of becoming religious, (routine) very often is substituted for relationship, and form is substituted for power.
2 Tim 3:5
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. FORM = formation, appearance - an image of, not the real thing, COUNTERFEIT…
IV. If you are moving forward, things have to be done differently—we can learn from the past but we cannot repeat the past – it’s failures or it successes. There are NEW BLESSINGS in store – why ask for the old ones back?
V. One of the worst things that can happen to a child of God is to fall into this lifestyle of making allowances for past mistakes & not asking forgiveness, for the wrong attitudes and appetites of our flesh, but continuing on just as though we have fully dealt with it.