Provider’s Path

God Gold of the day

You gave them bread from heaven for their hunger and brought water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you had sworn to give them. “But they and our fathers acted presumptuously and stiffened their neck and did not obey your commandments. They refused to obey and were not mindful of the wonders that you performed among them, but they stiffened their neck and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them. Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed great blasphemies, you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear out and their feet did not swell.”

‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭9:15-21‬ ‭

I just can’t seem to get away from these Scriptures in Nehemiah chapter nine! There is so much powerful truth and gold found here about who God is and also as we see in these verses, who we are as people.

Nehemiah is describing and kind of telling a story of what God has done amongst the people of Israel, he is looking back on these truths as a reminder to the people. Looking first we see God’s provision, how when the Israelites had nothing, God gave them their every need. They didn’t have food while traveling through the wilderness and God sent down bread from Heaven. They didn’t have water and God provided for them water out of a rock. I know that sounds crazy right? Practically impossible? But that’s God and that’s the way He provides for His people.

There is nothing more encouraging to see that this same God who provides in these wild ways for the Israelites is the the same God who provides for us today. I know personally I face so many moments where I feel inadequate, like I don’t have enough, and looking at my circumstances surrounding me they feel impossible. But each day, no matter how bad things get, no matter how impossible things look, God provides. God always makes a way, even if it’s not the way we expected or the way we want, God gives us everything we need!!! And we can rest secure in that truth no matter what situation we face in life!

Then looking on to the next part of the verses, we get this picture of who we are. Despite the fact God provides and gives us everything we need, just like the Israelites we can easily overlook Gods powerful presence in our lives. The Israelites were faced daily with Gods miracle like provision and awesome works but they still “stiffened their necks.” They still would have rather went back to Egypt and live out their lives in the slavery that God had taken them out of. I relate so much with this I guess mainly because just as the Israelites were human, so am I, and so are you. We can be so quick to stiffen our necks towards God even when He has laid out a path of provision to keep walking forward towards the freedom He has promised us. I would say that the main reason I still seek to turn back to my ways and go back to what’s comfortable to me, what I’m used to in slavery is because walking through the wilderness on the adventure God gives us is extremely uncomfortable. During those seasons in the wilderness where God is breaking us down, allowing us to be in situations of great need, those moments are set up divinely for us to have nowhere else to go but to depend fully on God. What’s crazy as humans is that even though we’ve seen what God has done, we see God blessing us and providing for us right in front of our very eyes, we still would rather go back to the places that make us comfortable even if that is a place of slavery, a place of being controlled by addictions, strongholds. It makes no sense why we would do this but in our sinful human nature it’s what we tend to do.

What’s beautiful about God and having a relationship with Him is that despite our shortcomings, our lack of belief and our desires for comfort, He stays right there by our side. No matter how bad we mess things up, or choose to be disobedient by going backwards into the ways He’s already taken us out of, God is forgiving! God continues to love us more and more, it blows my mind how God could love me after all the times I have seen the path He is pointing me down but I remain disobedient because I’m scared of the change and pain that may come in that wilderness experience. God still loves me even when I turn away from Him and His awesome provision to chase my wants, my plans and my desires. It makes no sense why we do the things we do but what’s even crazier is how God loves us anyways!

God continues to sustain us and give us everything we could ever need even when we go after our human instincts of comfort, God never leaves us. Even though sometimes in our crazy situations and in the pull we feel from our flesh to go back to what makes us feel good, God continues to stay right by our side through it all. He continues to lead us on the path of His ways, in the path that leads to the fullness of life that He has given us. Nobody ever said that path is easy, actually sometimes it seems pretty impossible, but just as Nehemiah was reminding the Israelites, I’m here to remind you and myself today that God has and will provide for your every need!!! God will pave a clear path for you and guide you along the way, God will be there for you through it all!!! So don’t turn back, don’t listen to the lies that “slavery” sounds better, for the pain you are enduring right now on this uncomfortable road is leading to the land of freedom and the fullness of life with God!!!! I pray this reminder will be of huge encouragement for you today! This lesson has personally rocked my world and I just ask you pray for me also to keep moving forward and never forget the God we have by our side!!!

Promised Land

God Gold of the Day

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.”

-Deuteronomy 8:1-5

I ran across of this piece of Scripture this morning and boy am I glad I did! So much of God’s goodness is packed in here and so many lessons to be learned and applied to our lives. I’m going to break it up, try my best to keep it brief and simple for ya, and most of all I pray that this Word moves you in some awesome ways closer to God and strengthens your daily walk with Him!

It’s cool how you never hear of the Israelites getting out of Egypt and then walking on the yellow brick road, this straight easy path with no harm, no struggles, walking right into the promised land. The story of what the Israelites went through teaches us so much about our lives because their journey resembles ours in a lot of ways. It’s a journey that contains a lot of bumps, bruises, curvy roads that leave us wandering and moments where we feel like we aren’t where we’d prefer to be. I know for me, I constantly want to get to the promised land, but I don’t want anything to do with the crazy road in the wilderness it takes to get there. It’s like wanting six-pack abs but never spending anytime working out in any form or fashion. Ab’s just don’t appear, neither does the land of where God is taking us. It’s a battle, a day in day out grind that will leave you so many times wanting to give up and quit but thank God we have His promise to hold onto. His promise is what keeps us striving forward.

God says to be extremely careful to follow His every command, follow His Word in how He’s told us to live and conduct ourselves in this life. So often we sit back and say, “Jesus has already done it all, I’m good.” That’s true but “faith without works is dead.” Believing in what God has done for you through Jesus goes directly into living and striving to be more and more like Christ in our daily lives. I’ll be honest the moments I’m living for me, following my commands, doing what Jordan wants to do. It’s easy to see that traveling this wilderness road without God is first of all impossible, but it really sucks. The moments lately when I’ve been more obedient lately isn’t because of anything I did, it has just stemmed from praying more, staying and meditating on His Word more, then God just does what He does and I’ve sat back to watch jaw-dropped like, “WOAH!” Be careful to follow God’s commands and stay close with God because obedience to God, living a life that pleases God, being so super close to God to be obedient and seeing Him work through our lives of obedience completely changes everything, God says to do this, to be obedient in following Him because when we do, that’s the keys to actually LIVING man! Seriously, we aren’t truly living, increasing or getting better in any kind of way unless we’re with God. He’s given us the promise, and He’s told us how to get there.

There are many moments like I mentioned where life doesn’t look like you hoped or thought it would. You go through seasons in a place where you may not want to be and I don’t blame you because the Promised land sounds really good. Those seasons in the wilderness are extremely necessary though. I’m sitting here right now to tell you, at 22 I received a call from God, no not a phone call but a call to live the rest of my life in ministry for Him. It was a super exciting time, I got to go on some overseas mission trips to Rwanda, Africa, got some more really cool experiences to serve, I’m telling you I could see the promised land and it looked SOOO GOOD! Then life started looking a little different, I kept trying to jump into ministry to get in that promised land as fast as I could but remember it’s not an easy straight path from the wilderness to the promised land. I began working different jobs, as hard as I tried to go and do elsewhere in the BIG BEAUTIFUL plans God has for me, instead I worked for awhile as a farm hand, and currently I’m working as a part time stocker in a grocery store, and part time loading up cars with bags of feed at a feed and supply store. I’ll be honest with you, it’s been a tough part of the journey, I’ve struggled to accept where God had put me, I tried and tried to get out of it with all I’ve had but it just led to more and more wandering in the wilderness.

I tell you that to say, a lot like the Israelites, God takes us through seasons in the low and humbles us greatly to realize that we can’t possibly do this journey on bread alone but WE CAN do this journey, ONLY by the Word of God! It hasn’t been fun or where I wanted to be but through the humbling in the wilderness, God has taught me SO MUCH! That’s why that last verse hits me so hard. How God disciplines us in a similar way to the way our parents have disciplined us growing up. God allows us to mess up, make mistakes, walk in circles wandering through the wilderness on our own strength. He allows this to happen to bring us farther away from ourselves and our weakness but into a new walk of life. Even still sitting in what I would have called the wilderness 6 months ago, God has taught me to be thankful wherever He places me, He’s taught me to keep me eyes on the promised land and let that be the fire in my belly to keep pushing but to stay in tune with Him on a daily basis, attacking whatever is put in front of me. It may not look like much but an intentional conversation with a grocery shopper, going out of your way to care for someone, help someone, love someone. Those little things, when attacked with complete obedience to God’s commandments, out of complete thankfulness for  what God has given you and attacking what’s in front because you are lucky to even be on this journey with God in the first place and the others around you, God has given you a simple purpose to show them God, show them that they’re life can be with God too that they can start actually LIVING too.

I could go on and on about what God has taught me during this season of life but the main thing is that God is with us, through God alone we have life, and He’s given us His Word to LIVE this life to the fullest of what He has in store for us. It doesn’t matter what your title is, who your congregation is, or how “cool” it may look in a worldly lens, God has placed you exactly where He wants you around people He wants you to serve. Trust that, TRUST HIM! You can sit around and complain saying how bad your life is, how much better everyone else has it, how you don’t want to be there, but you’ll just live the rest of your life as a complainer, a victim, a “poor old me.” God has given you a LIFE to LIVE, live it! Focus in on what God has placed in front of you, judge it by His standards not the worlds and in each and every moment, be obedient to serve, love and follow His commandments. I used to think the promised land looked like a place in life on a big stage preaching truth to millions of people. The promised land is in daily communion with God, learning more of Him and walking with Him and serving every single person in your path for Him. That’s the promised land, just simply living life with God!