I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
When the Israelites left Egypt, the Egyptians saw God’s power displayed as He brought about their release. For forty years, however, the Israelites lived in the desert lacking faith and power, complaining, and longing to return to Egypt. When the Israelites finally crossed the Jordan River, God once more displayed His power. When the Amorite and Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan enabling the Israelites to cross over, their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites. (Joshua 5:1) Joshua then reinstated two Covenantal ceremonies: circumcision and the Passover. All of the sons of the Israelites were circumcised as a mark of the Covenant with God. When this was done, the reproach (shame, disgrace) of their time in slavery in Egypt was removed as they finally left the desert and moved into the Promised Land.
Wilderness Christians are like the Israelites – unable to display God’s power because of their self-reliance. Wilderness Christians end up going around the same mountain again and again because they do not trust God.
Are you a wilderness Christian? Do you find yourself waking up in the morning thanking God for the day or complaining? I fell under conviction recently as I awoke each morning complaining about something that was on my mind. I sensed the Lord saying to me, “Joanne, as long as you start your days complaining, you will stay in the wilderness; the wilderness is a place of defeat, not victory.” Since that day, I now begin each day with a word of thanksgiving to God. Start your days with a prayer of thanksgiving and see how quickly you will leave the wilderness and enter into the Promised Land.
I have been stuck in the wilderness. I desire to enter into Your promises and trust You to take me there on the road of thankfulness. I do not wish to be like the Israelites who quickly forgot all that You did for them. Help me to recall Your goodness and give me a grateful heart.
In Jesus’ name, Amen