Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place,Deuteronomy 28:46-47 “Because you serve not the LORD your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things; your will serve your enemies.”
Pulpit Series Volume 19 Issue 26 Sept 6, 2009
Pulpit Series Volume 19 Issue 26 Sept 6, 2009
It seems crazy, but yet, people seem to be miserably saved.
Many church goers today believe that God has saved them, transformed them, released them of the curse, healed and delivered them, filled them, even adopted them... but deep inside they are ungrateful, complaining and doubting!
Now I am not suggesting that we wear a “happy face”. There is no value in being as my mom would say “a phony bolgonia”.
I’m not talking about those dear saints that are burdened down with troubles and hard situations, I am talking about those leek sniffin’, onion eaten’, wishin’ I was back in Eygpt, Nile Bank Christians! Ungrateful, complaining, doubtful, without joy and gladness of heart.
“AND WHEN Israel saw that great work which the LORD did to the Egyptians: the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD... Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song... I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will exalt him.”
An estimated one and a half million Israelites watched all this take place. They must have been completely awestruck, overwhelmed at the sight of God’s power!
Miriam, spontaneously led hundreds of dancers in a victory march! Thousands of tamborines, tens of thousands of voices shouting loud hosannas! You would think that from here on in, no matter what, they’d never doubt their God!
How could anybody doubt a God like this?
Exodus 15:22, 16:3 “So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea and they went into the wilderness of Shur; they went three days in the wilderness and found no water...
And the people murmured, Would to God we had died in Egypt, you’ve brought us into this wilderness, to kill us with hunger.”
This great faith of Israel lasted a
whole three days!
God had kept them safe during the ten plagues. He opened the Red Sea for them. He totally destroyed their pursuers! Yet, they acted as God didn’t care for their physical needs.
Could this account be a warning to God’s people today?
The Bible warns that in end times many will lose their faith and leave their first love. The love of many shall wax cold.
Accordingly, they will end up dwelling in the wilderness of unbelief only a short distance from the promised land of supply and rest!
These folk are I believe “the miserably saved”!
I can’t fathom that out of the 600,000 men of Israel only two kept their faith.
Think of it….599,998 lost their faith. They never entered that place of glorious rest in the Lord!
Is it possible for christians to spend their entire lives lost in a wilderness - plagued by depression, fear, restlessness and unbelief?
The Promised Land is not heaven as some think, it is the place of ALL sufficency in Christ! A place of abundant blessings and peaceful rest from all fear. A life free from anxiety!
It was doubt and fear that birthed an evil report and it was doubt and fear that caused the people to be open to it.
Numbers 14:1-4 “All the congregation lifted up their voice and cried; and wept that night. They murmured against Moses and Aaron: and the whole congregation said, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD brought us to this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? They said, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.”
Go back? How?
No Water, No Cloud, No Pillar, What about the Red Sea?
You can’t simply go back to your old life. The dark enemy of your soul will want revenge for your disloyalty to him when you first surrendered to Jesus!
Death awaits you - and you’ve no shadow of the Almighty to rest in!
Nehemiah 9:19 -21 “God in His manifold mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness: the cloud led them by day, and the pillar of fire by night. God gave His good spirit to instruct them, and did not hold back His manna, he gave them water for their thirst. For forty years He sustained them in the wilderness, they lacked nothing; their clothes did not wear out and their feet swelled not.”
They were pardoned....still guided….still enjoying the Spirit in measure....still cared for….fed and clothed.....YET, something was wrong with this picture!
They were saved, forgiven and blessed - but they went nowhere!
They walked in big circles, in nothing but wilderness. Numbers 14:23 “Those that provoked me shall not enter the promised land.”
I think it is possible to be a recipent of God’s mercy, blessings and protection - yet never enjoy the life of abundant supply and rest Jesus intends for you.
Wasted lives because of a refusal to believe for God’s best.
Each time a crisis came, they chose to forget God’s proven faithfulness and they complained, murmered and losing faith, they doubted!
Yet dispite all of this, they were not forsaken. The manna kept coming, the water still flowed, but they were kept out of His fullness because of unbelief!
For forty years they went in circles, going nowhere - wrapped up in simply surviving. They became lost in petty problems and senseless disputes. They became bored, going through the motions, always on the edge of argument, always sick, constanly worrying about things that never came to pass. Always questioning God. No joy, no strength, no life!
Is this just about the Israelites?
I beg of you, listen to Hebrews 3:12 “Take heed, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from God.”
Hebrews 4:11 “Labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
I fear there are a great number of Christians that never enter into God’s rest. They’re never free of worry, they never enjoy peace.
I see another caution here as well. Be careful what you say! What you say may be the death of you!
Numbers 14:28 “As truly as I live, says the LORD, as you have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness.”
I remind you what God is looking for:
1. a people who believe His Word
2. a people who will not act in fear
3. a people who will not turn on Him, complaining and doubtful
4. a people who will in faith believe for God’s best being grateful for all that He provides for them!
Our God is an awesome God. II Peter 2:9 “The Lord knows how to deliver the godly!”
God intends for you to have all joy, peace, victory and rest in Him. Jesus was given to be our sufficency!
May we be the people God is looking for.
· Men and women who will stand in spite of what is coming in this dark age.
· Servants who will stand with a calm peace, grateful, trusting, and joyfully loyal because Christ abides in them and they abide in His fullness.