New Things – Part 2

Hi sweet friends! You have been the object of my thoughts and prayers and I’m really praying God would use this study to stir something new and fresh in your hearts and lives in this coming year. Praying that God would do a new work in, through and for you, dear one. I need it too – oh boy, do I need it too!

Where are you right now? Are you in a place where you feel like if God doesn’t do a new thing pretty soon you’re just gonna shrivel up and die? Have you been facing some difficult seasons in your life and you need the Lord to show up in a big way? Perhaps you’re experiencing a dry spell and you need the Lord to bring new rain to your parched heart. Or maybe life has been so overwhelming you just feel like you need to catch your breath.

It may just be that you’re sitting on go and ready to dive into a new area of ministry – to pursue a new dream or an old one the Lord placed in your heart long ago.

Wherever you are in your walk today, I believe this week’s study may help you be one step closer to seeing God do a new thing in your life. So let’s dive into the Word together.

Look at Isaiah 43:19 with me:

Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.(NKJV)

When you see the terms wilderness and dessert in Scripture, they often reference places of hardship. Some people immediately relegate the cause of our wilderness journeys and our desert experiences as being brought about because of sin in our lives. But while that may be true in some circumstances, it’s not always the case.

Today, we are going to explore what the Bible says about these wilderness and desert places in our lives. While there may be purposes for the places we are in, the wilderness is never an easy place to be – the desert is still dry and barren.

In our study it’s important to note that the word for wilderness is midbar and is often translated desert. In some versions your Bible will say wilderness, in others it will say desert.

Let’s begin by examining what the wilderness/desert (midbar) is for:

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.” Exodus 3:1 (NIV)

Moses wasn’t just in the wilderness – he was in the far side of the wilderness. But that was where he had to be in order to meet with God. It was there, in the far side of the wilderness, that He spotted the burning bush and made his way to the place where he met with God. Moses was alone in a barren place, yet it was on the far side of the wilderness that God did a new thing in Moses’ life.

Maybe you haven’t seen God do the new thing yet because you’re reluctant to go all the way to the far side of the wilderness alone.

1. Ask yourself if you’re willing to go to the far side of the wilderness alone in order to see God do a new thing.

“Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the wilderness.” Exodus 7:16 (NIV)

God sometimes calls His people to a wilderness/desert place for the purpose of worshipping Him. You see, sometimes we get comfortable in our surroundings and busy with the dailies of our lives and we don’t worship the Lord as we should. Life, as usual, makes worship a rare activity in our lives. But the Bible tells us we are to be worshippers of God – to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Sometimes we have to be called away from the ordinary to experience the extra ordinary.

The call to worship in the wilderness was also a call to deliverance. God wanted to do a new thing in the lives of His people – to deliver them from their circumstances – but that “new thing” required a miraculous exodus and a call to worship in the wilderness. It’s important to remember that the children of Israel told Moses they wanted to stay in Egypt because the preparation for wilderness worship was too hard. (Ex 6:9) The beginning of their journey into the wilderness of worship included hot pursuit by their enemy. It was just before the crossed the Red Sea and saw the salvation of the Lord that they wanted to turn back and give up.

Oh sweet friend, God may be wanting to do a new thing – to deliver you and to call you to the desert place so that you might worship Him there on your way to the Promised Land. The enemy of your soul may try to pursue you and hinder your journey. I want to encourage you to persevere. Don’t look back. Set your face like a flint to go and do whatever you need to in order to worship the Living God in a new and fresh way. Even if it means He is calling you into the wilderness of worship.

2. Are you willing to see God do a new thing in your life if it means you first must go to the wilderness of worship?

The wilderness isn’t always such a bad place – it’s just a hard place. But then again, who ever said that being a Christian was supposed to be easy. Jesus certainly didn’t.

Isn’t this exciting! I absolutely LOVE studying God’s Word – don’t you!

I have so much to share about this whole wilderness concept. More than we can fit in this one Bible study. So please seriously contemplate what we studied today and then begin to pray the Lord will reveal to you what it is you need to do to position yourself that He might begin to do new things in your life – even if it means you must go through the wilderness first.

I want you to know that studying God’s Word is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for sissies. Living it out is even more difficult. But He calls us to be strong and courageous – to do what He commands us to do and live the lives He calls us to. But He also gives us the promise of His presence.

Friday we will learn that it was in the wilderness that His children were able to experience His presence like never before. Yes, there is great joy in mountain top experiences and for every Promised Land we enter, but sometimes we must discover what it is He wants to do in our lives in the wilderness first.

Stay tuned for Friday’s lesson sweet friend! I’m praying for you! 🙂

Please grab a girlfriend and let’s walk through the Word together. You can subscribe by clicking here for an email subscription – or here as a Google follower.

By the way, I’ve got something funny to tell you girls. All the way through this post I misspelled desert. I spelled it dessert. I went through it and changed all of the desserts I could find, but you may find one or two that I missed.

Don’t you wish a desert was more like a dessert. I know I do. A warm brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge smothering the top of the whole thing!

6 Comments

  1. Stephanie, thanks so much for your posts! Reading and reflecting on them is refreshment for my spirit! I am especially encouraged by today's subject, as I have had a wilderness season of late. I can say a hearty Amen, and can affirm that what you have written has been my experience! My relationship with the Lord, and my perspective on His Word, has taken on a new dynamic and dimension! Being in the desert while walking close to the Lord, tho difficult, is worth the trip! The desert has its own unique beauty that I wouldn't want to miss.

  2. Wolterstorff in his book Lament for a Son says, (this is my remembrance of his quote) “To love this suffering sinful world is to suffer.” He argues that we can love and understand God better if we suffer. Because God suffers to love us…

    Great picture of how the wilderness helps us draw near to Him!

  3. Ooo…I want those dessert scriptures! LOL Sorry, just had to tease you about the one typo still there.

    I love looking up the definitions of the Hebrew and Greek words. Desert/wilderness has an interesting definition. It is in the sense of driving, a pasture, as an open field where cattle are driven, by implication, a desert, also mouth as the organ of speech. It comes from a word meaning to speak with one another, command, promise, etc. Isn’t that interesting?! Moses was on the far side or backside and, there, he conversed with God. Cool, huh? Do we realize God desires to speak with us in our wilderness wanderings? Hmmm. Great post, Stephanie. I loved it. Thank you for your teaching spirit. You are a blessing!

  4. Dona ~ I love how you said, “The desert has a unique beauty I wouldn't want to miss.” Sometimes we miss the beauty of our wilderness experiences because we are focused on our circumstances, not the Lord of our circumstances. 🙂 Thanks so much for joining our study!

  5. Angela ~ It's so good to see you popping in over here and sharing in the Bible study. What a beautiful quote and truth by Wolterstorff!

  6. Lynn ~ Girlfriend, you and I really need to meet in real life! I saw the lengthy definition of that word and wondered how in the world I was going to fit all that in the Bible study. I absolutely love doing these studies – being in the Word – joining with women in the Word…but I'm struggling with keeping them in viewable and doable chunks. But I didn't see that correlation between the the mouth and speaking and Moses conversing with God until you pointed it out! AWESOME! We serve a wonderful Savior who delights in making Himself know to us, don't we!

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