Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sweetly Speaking in the Wilderness (2)...

“And now, here’s what I’m going to do:  I’m going to start all over again.  I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses. I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.”
Father never throws us out in the wilderness because He thinks it would be a fun thing to do.   No, it is usually our choices that take us to the wilderness.
In Hosea ,God led Gomer into the wilderness, for the purpose of transformation and restoration.  Gomer is a parallel to God’s people Israel.  She has been an adulterous women, and Israel has been an adulterous Nation and we are an adulterous people. Every day of our lives, at some point or another, we choose the ways of this world over a faithful God, who created us and sustains us with every breath we take.  Every day at some point we choose to go our own way.
A few weeks back my husband and I took our children to the waterpark for the day. The kids were waiting in line to ride down the big slides while my husband and I were enjoying the lazy river in our tubes. Suddenly, a little boy around the age of 3 came in between our tubes. He was not in a tube, which is a requirement in the lazy river. He looked lost and disoriented.  George and I looked at each other perplexed,  because we both knew this little boy was not where he was suppose to be. A lady walked over to the side of the water and firmly called the little boys name. He made his way to her and she reached down and pulled him out of the water. She bent down and looked him in the eyes and said, “You must stay with me ! Do you want someone to steal you?” The little boy shook his head no, took his mother’s hand and followed her.
What a picture. When we choose to go our own way we are in danger of getting lost, becoming disoriented, or worse being stolen from our rightful owner. 
Let’s back up a few verses in Hosea and look at what Gomer was choosing, what Israel was choosing, what WE are choosing…
“She said, “I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink. “ Hosea 2:5
Our “lovers” are whatever idols we create in our lives to fill us. To clothe us. To bless us. Often we just don’t realize that it is Father who gives us everything we have.  So we run after our “lovers” thinking somehow they will satisfy our deepest needs.
“For this reason I will fence her in with thornbushes. I will block her path with a wall to make her lose her way.  When she runs after her lovers, she won’t be able to catch them. She will search for them but not find them. “
Father loves us so deeply that He will place obstacles in our wayward paths to turn us back to Him. He will make it so our “lovers” leave us empty and disappointed. He stands there faithful, and as we turn, He holds out His hand and says, “ I’m going to start all over AGAIN.  No matter how many times it takes. Come with me my love. We are going to the wilderness.”
The wilderness however, is not without Hope.
For Israel, the wilderness was the place between Egypt and the Promised Land.
Egypt is Bondage.
The Wilderness is Transformation.
The Promised Land is Abundant Life. The life that Jesus died for, so that we could have.
Israel did not get to the Promised Land without going through this process and neither will we.
My name is not Gomer.  My name is Kristin and I have been an adulterous women.  I know Egypt because I’ve known bondage. I have been led to the wilderness where I am fully experiencing transformation. And my eyes are set on the promised land. My Hope is in Abundant Life. The abundant life is a FREE life.  
Father Sweetly Speaks:  “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Jn 14:2-3

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