Lessons From The Wilderness - Knowing God

I want to apologize for not getting a devotional written this last week. Sunday, we spent time talking about “Identity” and how the temptations of Satan attack the very identity of our being. The world achieves success through money, power, prestige, etc. Satan tempted Jesus with the same kinds of things. But Jesus takes his place on the throne through humility, servitude, sacrifice, and submission. Each of these are near impossible to accomplish when our identity is wrapped up in things that are temporary. We need something solid to identify with. When you receive baptism, God looks at you and affirms, “You are my daughter/son, whom I love, and with whom I am well pleased.” What does it mean to live out of this reality? Jesus continually went off to lonely places to pray. He went to the wilderness to pray. In prayer, he wrestled with what it means to be the Son of God. Prayer guided his life and ministry. Prayer allows God to examine you and reveal in you all the ways where you need to be transformed into his image. 

Prayer also brings you into the presence of God and opens your eyes to see the work of God. We do not know what Jesus and the Father were talking about in prayer while he fasted in the wilderness, but we can infer that Jesus came to know the Father more fully. (I need to make a note here. I am not saying that Jesus was not God. I am working from the notion that when he emptied himself of being God, Phil 2:5-11, and became like us in every way, Hebrews 2:17; 4:15, that means he had to learn and grow like we have to, Luke 2:52). Did Jesus in the flesh have to come to know the Father in the same way we do? 

As we look to lessons from the wilderness, I want to look at the other side of finding your identity in being daughter/son of God. To understand who you are as a Child of God, you have to allow God to reveal who he is to you as God. While Jesus is fasting/praying in the wilderness, he is experiencing the presence of God in a way that shapes his understanding and relationship with God. How do you come to know God? Can you know God? One thing is sure…you’re understanding of God isn’t accurate. Whatever you know of God falls so short of who he is that there’s no way for you to fully grasp him. After all, who wants a god they can understand?

Last week we looked at the Transfiguration of Jesus. Peter, James, and John saw Jesus glorified, and he was with Moses and Elijah. Moses and Elijah were gone and all who was left was the glorified Christ with the voice of God saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matt 17:5). Jesus being glorified is a glimpse of what it will be when he is Resurrected. The Resurrection is where God makes the brokenness of this life new again. The old has passed away, death has been conquered, and all will be made right. We look back to Moses and Elijah to know what God has done in creation. We look forward to the Resurrected Christ to know what God is doing in the world to come. 

This Sunday, I want to go into the wilderness with Moses to learn what Moses learned. Take time to read Exodus 3:1-4:17. 

Does Moses have much of a previous knowledge of God? 

How does God introduce himself?

What does God tell Moses to take with him? Why?

What noise do you have in your life that keeps you from knowing God better? 

What do you have that might be used for God’s glory if you let God use it?