Where are we going?

God said to His people, “You have been around this mountain long enough.” [1] Mount Horeb [or Sinai as it is also called] was a significant place for the people of Israel. It was a settlement for about a year after their deliverance from Egypt. The place where God gave Moses the ten commandments and other laws for His people.

It was an unsettling thought when I heard those words for myself. We had been living in a rented home for nearly nine years when unexpectedly we were told it was time to move because the landlord wanted to sell the house. Ouch! Where would we move to? Would we find a suitable place to live? Would we be able to afford it? Change raises many questions in our minds but God in His gracious way draws us to call upon Him for help. This sudden event brought significant change into our lives and our comfortable life was upended as we started looking for a new place to call home. I think within all of us there is a desire to be settled in every aspect of life yet it seems more important that we find our security in Jesus. Can you imagine the Israelites hearing those words to move on and what emotions they felt? Insecurity, uneasiness, or was it excitement and expectancy.

Success is not a fruit of the Spirit

Today, we may consider ourselves secure while settled in a place. But life is not predictable and changes come and go as we all know. Israel settled in this place where something significant had happened. We do much the same today. Our security may revolve around a new building, a successful project that has benefitted many people, or even a satisfying new personal experience. These are all healthy parts of community life but for our own good and His work within our lives moving on helps us to grow up and mature in our knowledge of Jesus.

There are always positive experiences as we enjoy God’s care and goodness while walking with Jesus. In learning the ways of God there is one certainty and that is we are called to follow Jesus when we hear His voice. Phillip Keller says it well, “No matter if trials or turmoil come. No matter if there is trouble. No matter if there is pain or poverty. Each is for a supreme purpose understood best by my Father, but allowed to impact me for my ultimate benefit, and for His honor.” [2]

Come with Me on an Adventure

We also read that God did not just say, “You have circled this mountain long enough.” But He gave them further specific instructions, “Now turn north.” We must not lose sight of our calling and purpose as God’s own people. ‘The Land’ was the place of His purpose for Israel, His people. The early disciples heard a similar message from their Master, Jesus as they gradually understood who He was. We hear and feel His compassionate voice in conversations with His disciples. But where was He taking them? Similarly, with us today, where are we headed? Can we know His way?

I want to be looking at that very question in the weeks ahead.

[1] Deuteronomy 1:6

[2] Phillip Keller, “Strength of Soul”