Topic: Victory in the wilderness
Text: Exodus 16: 13-21
Key verse: But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them
The wilderness is a place of warfare. For Israel the warfare was first spiritual before it became physical. They continued to face difficult situations as they pressed on towards the Promised Land. The warfare they experienced is similar to what we face today, the war between the spirit and the flesh. Whenever you encounter a test, the flesh wants to respond out of fear, anger and selfishness, while the spirit wants you to respond in faith, hope and love. The battle begins first inside your heart before it manifests in your words and actions.
All the weapons God has given the believer are all spiritual. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. Our greatest enemies are the strongholds of human reasoning. When the Israelites left Egypt, they carried the mindset of Egypt with them. They interpreted every situation through the lenses of a slave. They did not ever think in terms of a relationship with God as a basis for provision, protection or deliverance.
“If only the Lord had killed us back in Egypt,” they moaned. “There we sat around pots filled with meat and ate all the bread we wanted. But now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death.”
They preferred to remain slaves in Egypt as long as they had pots of flesh and bread to eat. Victory in the wilderness, victory over depression and all the mental battles we face will only come when we make a decision to renew our minds with the word of God. Now you are a child of God, you are out of Egypt; the devil will give you several reasons to doubt the goodness and the faithfulness of God. The value you place on the freedom God has purchased for you is reflected by your constant comparison of what you miss in Egypt.
“A hungry son is definitely better than a fat slave.”
God has not called us to hunger, but if we have to be hungry for any reason, then we must look up to God for provision, even if he has to rain manna from heaven. God is not like our Egyptian taskmasters, who need to feed us fat so we can work harder for them rather, he sends us into the wilderness to train and equip us for the battles ahead, the battle for our inheritance.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.
It was a test of obedience, but they made it about food. They were busy grumbling and they failed to listen to instructions. They were not meant to store anything, yet they did. But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Moses was very angry with them.
Listen to the instructions the Lord will give in answer to prayer; it holds the key to victory in the wilderness. God will test your obedience, your trust, your faith and love with the day to day issues that will arise in your life. Are you dressed to win? Is your mind being daily renewed with truth about God and your relationship with him? The wilderness is a tough place, without God’s presence and the help of the Holy Spirit, it’s impossible to survive.
Clothe yourself with the armor of God. Understand how each piece works, and put it on every day, especially in the times we live in. We are destined to win, Joshua and Caleb made it, and so will you.