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.
a. Faking it, not making it
b. We have NOT dealt with what’s important to God, so we walk around the mountain
c. We are clinging to a past & forfeiting a future
d. The children of Israel made an eleven day journey last for 40 years, because they were more comfortable with the form than the power,
e. God wanted them to have HIS POWER to change the nations
f. They would rather go through the motions than to submit themselves to God.
g. How many of us today are just going through the motions?
i. Never really submitted to God
ii. Never made a real personal commitment
iii. Never acted on what we said we believe
iv. Faith without works is dead
1. You said you believe in God – so does the devil
2. You said you’re committed to Christ – but will not walk in His footsteps
3. You say you’re lead by the Spirit – but you follow the voice in your head not your heart
h. You’re going through the motions-wandering in the wilderness-wondering why you’re not blessed
Just before entering their promised land, God brought them to a place called Gilgal.
It was here that God would take away the reproach of Egypt from them – make them the head not the tail.
This place represented all of their wilderness wanderings,
o their endless circles, their ceaseless activity,
o their religious ceremonies devoid of God’s power. “CHURCHIANITY”
o the place of PREPARATION