WEEK FOUR ~ notes:
* Steady as you go!
* uphill portions of our journey cause us to refocus on God and His purposes for us.
* you can always find God in the wilderness because there’s always a glimpse of Him.
* even when we’ve left Him [God], He still loves us, and wants to romance us.
* The wilderness reveals to us:
– the PASSION of God
– the POWER of God
– the PURPOSE of God
* how can the wilderness be attractive? … because of its end result: our strengthened character, and our improved perspective of God and His ability, etc.
* God wants DAILY interaction with us.
* the twelve disciples left everything to follow Jesus… and He provided everything they could ever need!
* there is HOPE on either side (of the wilderness)
:: God wants intimacy (a close association) with His people and wants us to hunger for it too. We should desire Him above all else. God will do whatever it takes to keep our minds purposed on this goal — even if that means delaying the satisfaction of Canaan (our Promised Land).
:: the primary reason why God allowed the wilderness was to bring the Israelites to this place, where the process of intimacy would begin.
:: your wilderness experience is to bring you to remember what Christ did for you, acknowledge what He is currently doing, and recommit to personal intimacy with Him.
:: God graciously works to stir in us a fresh passion for Him.
:: God has a master plan far better than anything I could imagine!
:: sometimes God allows hardship to graciously show us we desperately need Him
:: the place that seems distant from your desired destination provides fertile soil for God to reveal Himself to you.
:: unholy humans cannot fellowship with a holy God as long as the filthy stench of sin hovers around our lives. When our souls stink with the putrid odor of rebellion, the Father is forced to hold us at arm’s length (Isaiah 59:2).
:: if we continue to sin against God, He still loves us but He restricts fellowship with us.
:: holiness connotes the idea of living in dedication and devotion to God’s service.
:: the sheer joy of knowing all that God had done for them in spite of their shortcomings and disobedience should have glued them to His side (Romans 8:1).
:: God desires for His children to hear His voice and see His activity.
:: He will often allow wilderness journeys to position us so that our spiritual ears are more receptive to His message.
:: …they settled for less than a face-to-face encounter with their mighty Deliverer. I think Christians still tend to ‘stand at a distance’.
:: in addition to what God may teach us through those whom He places in our lives, you and I need a personal connection with the Lord.
:: The ancient Middle Eastern shepherd’s relationship with his sheep was complex and intimate. Without a shepherd’s loving guidance, the sheep would stumble upon disaster and perish. When a shepherd found that a particular lamb refused to obey, he would break the rebellious lamb’s leg so that it would need to be carried. Slung across the shoulders of his shepherd, the lamb became accustomed to the voice of the shepherd in a new way. When healed, the lamb followed the shepherd without question. Why? Because through a season of pain, he’d become acquainted with the voice of the one who loved him.
:: obedience to God was a requirement if the people were to receive the benefits of their covenant relationship with Him. Only after their commitment did God offer to let them hear Him clearly.
:: we must choose to commit to obedience if we want to walk in the fullness of an intimate relationship with God. Without our obedience, we will find that our connection with Him seems distant and out of sorts.
:: the more fully you set your heart to follow Him, the clearer His voice will become.
:: ‘Trancendence‘ means God is distinct, above and separate from all earthly and heavenly creation. ‘Immanence‘ means that God is everywhere present with His creation, sustaining it by its presence and power ((God has an equal balance of both… He is both transcendent and immanent at the same time.))
:: As we neglect the Lord’s transcendence, we allow Almighty God to become so personal that we treat Him more like a casual friend than our holy God (Psalm 33:8). We must remember that He is intolerant of rebellion and is characterized by His wrath and justice as much as by His mercy and grace… Though He is incredibly holy and all-powerful, He [still] chooses to seek a relationship with us.
:: God cannot be treated with casual indifference.
:: a healthy reverence should mark the believer’s relationship with an awesome God.
:: God didn’t display His glory on the mountain so that the people would run from Him, but so that they would run to Him.