2015 – Streams in the desert
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance… Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to [you]….” NIV
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” NIV
Gosh, another year has gone by! The older I get, the more aware I am of how quickly time goes by. I appreciate more than ever the wisdom of Moses’ prayer to God to teach him to number his days [Psalm 90:12], to keep reminding him of the brevity of life that he might make the best use of the time that had been given him.
One of the messages that the Lord put upon my heart very forcefully this year was, “Break camp and advance” from Deuteronomy 1:6. My sense is that this message is preparation for 2015 – a year that for many will be a time to let go of yesterday’s circumstances and move forward to new and greater things.
You may be familiar with the story. The people of Israel were camped at the foot of Mount Horeb. They had come through some tough times and were content to linger there. They became comfortable. It was safe and it was familiar but it was not their destination. There were promises to take hold off, a destiny to fulfill, a purpose to enter into. And so, God commanded them to break camp and move on.
If we are not careful, we end up camping in all the wrong places, don’t we? Without even realizing it, we sometimes settle at the foot of the mountain of despair, of disappointment, of setback, of mediocrity, of circumstance and situation. Life can sometimes knock the wind out of our sails or crush our dreams. As well, who doesn’t sin, make mistakes and wrong choices, get sidetracked and miss the moment? Who doesn’t lose hope sometimes, lose the courage to press on, to wonder if our dreams will ever come true? We make an out of court settlement with life and settle for less than God’s best for our lives. The Horeb places of our lives can, if we allow it, become a graveyard of broken dreams, unfulfilled promises and lost purpose.
The Great Shepherd of our souls is always anxious for us to take hold of our full inheritance in Christ, always wanting us to be all that we were created in Christ to be, always wanting us to reach for our full potential, to climb the mountaintops of achievement instead of living a life of mediocrity. He doesn’t want us to settle for good when great is within reach. And so He nudges us out of our comfort zones, out of our hurts and pains, disappointments and setbacks, and encourages us to reach again for impossible things, to be better than we think we are capable of.
And He makes us this promise: if we break camp and advance in faith, He’ll make sure we reach our destination. Of course, there’ll be challenges ahead and times of stretching and testing too, but you won’t be alone because He will be with you.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” [Isaiah 43:19].
And so, as we head into the new year, I sense in my heart the Lord saying: the Horeb days are over. It’s time to break camp and advance towards the new thing that God wants to do in each of us. It’s time to leave the disappointment, setbacks and failures, as well as yesterday’s successes and achievements behind and press on to take hold of the new thing that God wants to accomplish in us and through us to the glory of God.
2015 – the year of advance, of new pathways out of the wilderness, of streams in the desert that will nourish and propel us forward into the awesome purposes of God.
Thank you for giving me the privilege of serving you through these devotionals. My prayer for you is that 2015 would be a wonderfully blessed, prosperous and fruitful new year! ~ Dennis Ignatius