Saturday, October 20, 2012

What's Wrong with Wandering?

I am amazed at the false trust which is placed in this world's goods. I know people who have lived on the same piece of real estate their entire lives. I have known others who have large homes and even larger bank accounts. “Woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full” (Luke 6:24). “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17).

At the age of 48, I find myself in a position that I did not select for myself. I have been married 26 years (that one I chose), and in those 26 years have moved all my belongings 12 times. My worldly things currently reside in storage units … and I live in an RV. I have been unemployed for over a year and a half. I know for sure that some in this world would look at my situation and bemoan my sad fate. But why should they? Hebrews 11:38 speaks of “(men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.” If the Bible associates wandering with the faith and righteousness found in Christ, then what's wrong with wandering?

Abram had wealth and a home in Haran … until the Lord called him. Hebrews 11:8-9 says, “By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. [9] By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise ...” There we go … more wandering!

Even after Abraham left his home, he was still “very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold” (Genesis 13:2). Yet for all his wealth, he couldn't do a thing about his wife's barrenness. God provided him with Isaac – a child of promise – but the Lord then asked him to sacrifice that son. His money could not buy a substitute for what God required from him. There is a reason the apostle instructs us to focus on God, rather than the goods. Providence is greater than property!

It would be easy to complain about my situation. All I have to do is look at “things” that have been taken away from me, or “circumstances” beyond my control. But I cannot do so, because the truth of Scripture convicts me. “For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing” (Deuteronomy 2:7).

The normal temptation is to look at what I do NOT have, rather than at what I do have. Satan wants me to consider myself jobless and homeless, but the Lord reminds me that I am not unemployed because I am “a bond-servant” of Christ. Neither am I homeless. Unlike those “who set their minds on earthly things. ... our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:19-20).

So how do I move forward? The same way I have always moved forward regardless of whether I have had a home or a job … in faith! To those who focused constantly on their needs – even though physically legitimate – Jesus said, “You of little faith!” (Matthew 6:30). But to those who trust in the Lord, He says, “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ [32] For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. [33] But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [34] So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:31-34).

The world in which we live today revolves around money. The chief factor in the our national election will be the economy. Ever fiber of our physical being screams out to worry about unemployment figures and the national debt! What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear for clothing? My, oh my! Don't those questions sound familiar?

The better question is: What will the Lord provide? Of more concern to me than an Obama administration or a Romney administration is “the administration of God which is by faith” (1 Timothy 1:4). Following Christ may indeed lead to my “being destitute, afflicted, [and] ill-treated” (Hebrews 11:37), but at least I know that someday I will have “a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). I have all confidence that “what is mortal will be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:4).

So until that time … what's wrong with wandering?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:27 PM EDT

    some of the best application of that scripture I have seen. Nothing wrong with wandering. You've earned a season of following after God's leading. this article is all heart.


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