Clothed and Walking

July 29, 2014

Deuteronomy 8:1-6
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 that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to 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 fathers 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. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Clothed and Walking

If we truly want to know God’s provision in every circumstance in our lives then we must experience what it is not to have. We have to experience the night before we truly appreciate what it is to have the light of day. Often we don’t always understand the things we must go through, the losses that we must endure and why sometimes God doesn’t seem to be there for us. We all have our own wilderness journey in one form or another. Through it all we have been tested to see what was in our hearts. Would we continue to trust God, even when He didn’t seem to show up, meet our need or answer our prayer? When things didn’t go our way, did we blame Him? Many of life’s heartaches and hardships have really tested us to see if when we couldn’t understand His hand we would trust His heart. Yet in those times as we look back, we see the subtle grace of God at work helping us, comforting us and giving us strength when we had no more of our own.
Some of us are at this place in our walk right now. We are struggling with finances, with health, with relationships or job issues. Sometimes we reach that point where we want to just rebel, get mad or give up. Your heart is being tested. It is not out of meanness or lack of caring, but when a muscle is stretched and pushed beyond limits, it must continue to grow in order to meet the demands placed upon it. It is not easy. It is painful. What we forget is that we are not just an ordinary people, we are an extraordinary people. We are becoming that because God is taking us the extra mile and stretching us beyond our human limitations. He is preparing us for extraordinary times. Yet as we will respond to Him in faith and obedience, we see His grace at work in supernatural ways in other areas of our life.
God is separating us from our reliance upon our flesh and our dependence upon this world. He is stretching us to know supernatural provision and strength. We don’t find that when we are in pursuit of worldly goods or earthly fame and significance. We find it in the humility of walking in His discipline and discipleship. We will never fully appreciate the bread that is our provision until we first pursue and find the bread that feeds our spirit and our soul. We could say, “seek ye first the bread of life, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Jesus tells the following that pursued Him after He fed the multitude in John 6:26-27, “Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Jesus is the fulfillment of that manna which came out of heaven. It is not in the attainment of physical needs and wants that we are filled and completed, it is in our partaking of Him in personal relationship, faith and obedience that we find the true bread of life. When you have truly found Him, then all of your superficial needs are met as well. That need that we have is not always seen and met in the present tense, but it is met in faith as we embrace Him.
God is our loving heavenly Father who disciplines us as His sons. He is often willing that our flesh would suffer so that our spirits may grow. Most of us are here and now kind of people. We are most concerned with what we are facing right here and right now. Be not concerned with the cares of the moment, God is seeing you in a much greater role, one in which you must be tested, tried and proven. That is just as He was doing in Joseph when through years of suffering and hardship, God was all the time preparing Him for leadership and government. Could Joseph have faithfully and adequately done what he did for Egypt, if God had not prepared and raised Him in His purpose through strong discipline and adversity? Like he told his brothers, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.” You may think the devil is out to destroy you, but he what he would mean for evil, God will use for good. Romans 12:12 exhorts us, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” If you are enduring the discipline of the Lord, then rejoice, because God has marked you for better things. What He has called you too, He will prepare you for.
We are no longer walking in this worldly economy as natural people are; we are walking in a kingdom economy and for a kingdom purpose as a kingdom people. In this journey God will clothe you with His righteousness that will not wear thin and He will put the strength in your feet to walk the walk of the cross as He shods them with the preparation of the gospel. We are people that are rich beyond measure, but our riches are not measured by earthly standards. God is our standard and in Him there is no lack or weakness. Let us pursue Him who is our bread of life, provision and godliness. In Him we will know no lack. Even in our correction He will sustain us.



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