God with us – Journey in the desert

George Methodist Church

24th February 2019

8am and 10am

With Peter Veysie

God with us in a journey into the desert of a promise and a song.

Exodus 15

 All of us have been on a journey at some point in our lives. Some of these are exciting – like going to the beach or oversees and others are daunting – like having to take up a new job in a new city.

We all know the feeling of arriving in a new space and not quite knowing where everything is. Sometimes it feels just like a desert.

I remember arriving in George for the first time and gazing through the windows of the church doors and wondering what and who we would find inside? Looking for a house in three days and then exploring the area and putting our sons into new schools. It was both exciting and terrifying.
To leave what is familiar and to move into the unknown has a strange way of causing you to wonder about going back. I think each year as we begin the new journey we may also be faced with some scary challenges as to how it will all work out.

Moses took the people across the sea, through the miracle of the parting of the sea. They landed on the other side free from slavery but now slaves to the desert, there were many complaints and challenges which came at them – no food, the water was salty, camping in the heat – 40 plus degrees and nowhere to settle. Moses organises the tribes. The Lord gives him directions as to how to put Him (the Tabernacle) in the centre of the camp and provides quails and manna, but they continue to complain.

Moses, on this journey into the desert with all it’s challenges, so much so that it seems like it would have been a better idea to remain slaves in Egypt, still holds onto the promise of God and sometimes that takes crazy faith !!!!

I want to give you some pointers from the song of Miriam and Moses as to how to stay focused and sustained on the journey into the unknown.

Read Exodus 15

  1. Worship vs 1

“I will sing to the Lord for he is highly exalted.”
Worship enables us to get perspective as to who we are serving and who we are doing it for. Worship lifts our hearts and heads and enables us to honour and glorify the one who is with us. Worship takes the focus off ourselves and puts it onto the Lord. Worship isn’t limited just to singing – but let your life become a throne room of song. When you are in a desert experience to begin in Worship allows you to focus away from the challenges and onto the Lord.

  1. Acknowledge the Lord as your strength and your defense. Vs 2

When things are totally out of control, we have to find strength from above and allow the Lord (as I said last week) to be the one that fights your battles. Miriam and Moses are testifying out of the miracle of getting through the Red Sea and their declaration is full of positivity in this song.

  1. Put God in the centre vs2b

“He has become my salvation.”
I see, often, that one of the clearest things that God did for Moses – when the people were organised and in camps – was to put a tabernacle right at the centre of the camp. God at the centre of your life is an anchor for the soul, especially when we are in a place where we feel uncertain and unsure. When the storms come – and they will, we have Him to come to, always, if he is at the centre of our lives every day.

  1. Know where you have come from  vs2c

“My father’s God and I will praise Him.”
No matter how good or bad your family have been, remember that you come from a Good Good Father and you are loved by Him – that’s who you are.

  1. Provision for basic needs vs 6 -12 

“Your right hand of provision.”
Understand and know about His provisions and trust these for your life. It may not always be all that we want but it will always be all that we need. He has done great things.

  1. Let him deal with the enemy vs 9

They might boast and say things that may scare you but ultimately the Lord has shown and has promised that he will overtake them. In the desert don’t try and deal with your enemies on your own. Hand them over to the Lord.

  1. Trust his lead vs13

“Guide them to your holy dwelling.”

The guidance of the Lord is always towards holiness. If it’s somewhere else then you are not being led by Him but by someone else. He brings us back to his dwelling place. Psalm 84: 1 -12

  1. Your testimony(story) will impact the nations vs 14 – 16 

The song prophesies about the impact that this would have on other nations. I wonder if we still have the impact we should have ? Have the nations forgotten about the church purely because we are not being the church ? The Acts 2 church devoted to the apostles teaching, broke bread, prayed, shared and everyone had enough ???? Do we still hold unswervingly to the 10 commands of God? We need to understand how powerful our stories are and we need to share them. This is the good news and the great commission Matthew 28:19,20.

What if Jesus was the Mayor of George illustration.

  1. The Promise vs 17 – 19

There is a promise that we need to hold onto and it was the same promise that was given to the Israelites:

He will plant and establish you and give you an identity.

You will make your dwelling the sanctuary.

You will see that His hands have established you.

You will be able to say with deep faith – The Lord reigns forever and ever.

10 Dancing in the desert with a tambourine.

 Take tambourines and dance and sing and remind yourselves of the things he has done to sustain you – focus on these. Vs 20 and 21. Keep singing and don’t stop!!!

 

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