Scripture tells us that the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after escaping captivity in Egypt. Scripture also informs us that this was not what they wanted to do but God saw that it was what they needed to do. Their travels had an objective, the Promised Land, but God knew that they were not ready to claim it.
We are not unlike those Israelites in that we can find ourselves wandering just as they did. For some, this wandering may last a life time as they search for something, perhaps not even knowing what it might be. They wander from job-to-job or relationship-to-relationship in search of something that eludes them.
God knew what the Israelites needed even though they did not. Their priorities needed to be reordered. They had lost sight of what should have been second-nature to them. He kept them wandering until they solved their problem. Perhaps God does the same thing with us – keeping us moving until we finally listen to Him regarding the ordering of our priorities.
If you find yourself wandering, stop and reread Ecclesiastes. There you will hear Solomon reminding you that if God is not central in your life, everything else there will just be meaningless. Not much has changed since the time of these Israelites, has it?
Scripture: Genesis 2:24; Ecclesiastes
WHO HAS YOUR EAR?
You’re most likely not aware that you are bombarded with approximately 5000 messages each day. Each one of these messages is designed for the sole purpose of gaining your attention, gaining your “ear” so to speak. As a point of reference, globally, some 6,000,000,000 (6B) messages are transmitted each and every day. This equates to 16,000 audible, visual, and/or printed messages per second.
We would quickly be overcome were it not for the built-in, subconscious filters that each one of us possesses. These filters automatically discard those messages that are of no interest or importance. In addition, each of us have a set of conscious filters that we can employ; for example, I’m getting hungry. When this filter kicks-in, all of a sudden, we notice food ads that an instant before didn’t register with us.
So, whose messages get past your filters? Perhaps another way to say this is, who has your ear? Who do you allow to reach you with their messages and, what is the nature of the messages that you do allow past your filters?
One final question: where is God in terms of your filters?
Scripture: Proverbs 19:20
What is faith? Is it just some word that we toss around as a shorthand for something else – a code word perhaps? Is it a word we use when we don’t know what else to say or when we want to avoid more discussion?
The unidentified author of the book of Hebrews gives us God’s definition of faith. He wrote, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In the case of a Christian, this means that we have confidence that God’s promises are not just empty words and we trust that He will fulfill those promises.
To say that we have faith requires that we understand that faith must have an object. We can’t just say that we have faith and leave it at that. We must say in what we have faith, although sometimes it’s the context of the situation that provides that object.
For the Christian, that context is the arena of God, specifically, Jesus Christ. When we say that we have faith we are saying that God is the author of our salvation, a gift given out of His love for His children. We are saying that we have confidence and trust that as the result of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we will be with God for all of eternity.
So, what is the object of your faith? Is it merely a convenient code word, or is there real substance, an object, behind it?
Scripture: Hebrews 11:1