Lost Drifters

Have you ever known a man who is a drifter? Someone who seemingly has no real purpose, always blaming others for their bad times, and constantly changing direction without any real focus or ambition? Well, if you know this man, he is like the Israelites after being freed from the yoke of slavery under Pharaoh. God, in His mercy, heard His children’s cries and saved His people from the bondage of a wicked ruler! Through Moses, God demonstrated His power by turning the Nile to blood, cursing the land with locusts, bringing frogs, and killing the firstborn son from every household not marked with a covering of blood around the door. The grand finale of God’s provision and power came as He parted the Red Sea, rescuing the Hebrews and laying their enemy to waste.

After all of this, with the promised land in the distance, Israel still forgot. God, in His love and mercy, brought them out of bondage, yet they feared their earthly adversaries more than their God. God wasn’t enough for them. Perhaps the journey to the Promised Land wasn’t quick enough for their liking, or maybe the food He provided was not adequate. Boredom mixed with self-centeredness is dangerous! Instead of praising Yahweh as God, they wanted more proof! Instead of reflecting on the good things the LORD had done, they focused on what they lacked. They forgot three key aspects of God’s will for us (the big 3)!

First, remember what He’s done!

Second, trust Him!

Third, wait on Him!

Don’t get in a hurry; wait and pray! And in your prayer, thank Him! He isn’t finished! The Israelites saw God perform miracles, yet they collectively failed to do the big 3. They forgot all the good He had done and quickly became restless. Their faith turned to self! And they got impatient and failed to wait. Instead of God’s will, we get our will. The Israelites were on a journey to the promised land – the land of milk and honey! Exodus 3:8 – So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land flowing with milk and honey. Because of disobedience and unbelief, the Israelites forfeited their prize of entering the promised land and their invitation to enter God’s rest. They replaced the real God with their own gods! Their desires became their god. And the consequences were significant. The straight road became a crooked path. Instead of a luscious and peaceful promised land, they were re-routed to roam in the wilderness for 40 years.

Instead of paradise, they got wild animals, leprosy, snakes, hunger, sandstorms, sleeping in the dirt, ticks and scorpions! Why? Because they chose their will over God’s will! They started out with such promise yet it did not end well. (Self will never ends well! But God’s will always does!) God did not give them this ill outcome; they chose it! God demonstrated His love for them by showing His power and calling them to obey His better plan. Drifting began when their faith was small, they failed to remember and selfishness took over! God will never force us to obey. He never tackles us to the ground, bending our will into submission. He does, however, share His truth! But it’s up to us as men to listen and let Him be our guide. Hebrews 2:3 says, “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” How in the world can we, as men, forget and even reject what Christ did for us on the cross? A Savior and a Guide all in One! Here’s the big question: are we, through faith and patience, going to trust and allow Him to take us to the promised land or are we going to do it our way and end up wandering in the wilderness?

The good news is, if you are currently in the wilderness, drifting on your own path, He wants you on a better path. Ask for forgiveness and run as fast as you can towards Him. He will forgive you. Yes, you may leave a few friends behind, like big ticks and snakes, but we will never enter the destination and purpose for which we were created without trusting Him and letting Him be our Guide! God paid the price through His Son so we could share in His inheritance! The work is done; all we have to do is remember, have faith and follow!

RTM, Steve Thomas