looking past me

“In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’” Exodus 16:2-3

He had freed them from bondage, completely destroyed their pursuers and allowed the Israelites to walk through the Red Sea on dry land, after which they sang a spontaneous song of jubilation (15:1-18).

But now they were hungry. Forget what happened months ago or even days ago. Forget that they were on their way to a promised land. Right now, they were hungry. In this moment, they had discomfort, and it caused them to recall “back when” their stomachs were full. Even after all God had done, their empty stomachs convinced their minds that God would not continue to be good to them, that He would not meet their immediate needs. This “I know You’ve done great things, but what have You done for me lately” pattern would repeat itself many times in this epic journey.

And then I heard God speak to me. “They could not see past themselves to the destiny I had for them. Will you be different?”

With all of my heart, I want to be different. I ache at the thought that I would be among a generation that would die in the wilderness because I could not see past myself.

And so I speak to my own heart:

“Stand up and cast your gaze outward, past yourself. See that God is calling you to your destiny, a destiny that leaves a legacy of faithfulness. Quit looking back, for behind you is the place of your captivity.

Your flesh craves comfort and a feeling of fullness, causing you to dwell only in the moment of need. But you were made for more than this kind of dwelling. You were made to journey with Your God, through the wilderness and barren places, through valleys and up mountains, past quiet streams and through fire. You were made to have hands trained for war and a heart ruled by peace. You have a destiny and a purpose beyond this wilderness of self focus and self want. Turn down the sound of your craving for lesser things, so that you can hear deep calling to deep…the deep places in the heart of God calling to the deep place in you, stirring a craving for something so much greater than your personal comfort.

You have a hope and a destiny. Will you look past you to see it?”

3 thoughts on “looking past me

  1. As I read this I thought, God did answer their grumbling by feeding their hunger with manna and quail. He knew they needed these things and took care of it. But I wonder how much more He might have blessed them, and whether their wilderness journey would have been shorter, if instead of grumbling they had prayed something like, “Lord, You fed us while we were in captivity and You have delivered us from slavery and hardship. See now that Your people are in need of food for the journey and provide for us. Thank you.” I agree that it is important to look past our selves and our circumstances to what God has in store for our deeper walk with Him. And I think a lesson we can take from the Israelites is to trust Him to provide for our physical needs in the journey there. Peace, Linda

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  2. In my NKJV, it says 15:1 Then “Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke…… not until v21 does it say that Miriam answered them : ( along with the women) Sing to the Lord For He has triumphed gloriously!…. {I think I may suffer from OCD} but it tells me that all the ones who were grumbling, had also just been singing praises to God…not just Moses and his sister, but all the children of Israel…so it is even more significant that when they began to grumble…again and again, that they all seemed to forget that ‘just a minute, we were dancing and singing for the Lord ‘ just moments ago…what’s up with that? In any event, your point is very sharp and I know that I do the same thing. When things are good, I smile, when things are not so good, I frown…I should be smiling through the tears and pains of my valleys instead of grumbling and wondering why God doesn’t fix my problems NOW. Waiting on the Lord and trusting that He will bring me THROUGH to the place He has chosen for me, is sometimes very difficult. I will remember this story of the ungrateful Israelites every time I start feeling hungry and think I need to grab something immediately to satisfy that hunger. Thank you again.. you are indeed a servant of the Lord in whom He is well pleased…

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