I knew this message series was coming… I just wasn’t sure what to call it. As part of the “Original Blockbuster” mega-series taking us periodically through some of the most important stories from the Hebrew Scriptures (“Old Testament” is the more widely used term, but I prefer the other), we’re coming up on a difficult set of stories about Israel’s time in the wilderness. This period, which should have been a 12-18 month respite of restoration and preparation for God’s people, turned into a 40 year wandering of rebellion and tribulation. But like most stories of failure, there are some things we can learn to help us not repeat some of the same mistakes made before us.
For Christmas, my wife and kids bought me a cool multi-tool that included some survival instructions in case you get lost in the wilderness. In the instructions, it doesn’t just tell you what to do, it explains some “mistakes” you need to avoid. There are things you might do in the wilderness that might feel natural or normal, but are actually counter-productive and… depending on your circumstances… dangerous.
There’s a reason why “the wilderness” is such an important spiritual metaphor for followers of Jesus. And the similarities are extremely relevant.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll walk some worn-out paths in the wilderness with the Israelite people, see the mistakes they made, and humbly recognize our own capacity for these mistakes and our need for God to lead us away from these mistakes and into the courage to obey Him more fully in our lives. And in the life of our church.
Join us for “Mistakes you can’t make in the wilderness…” this January 2015. Let’s get 2015 on the right path for all of us.