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The Thread of Life – Part 9 (The wandering)
July 11, 2021

The Thread of Life – Part 9 (The wandering)

July 11, 2021

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Catch up on our series HERE


The Thread of Life – 31 Stories that point to Jesus

Pressing in through the wandering


Welcome to Jesus Church – Online as well

Last week we continued our series walking through the Bible

  • Staring in Genesis and we will end in Revelation
    • But we are starting to see themes develop already in the story
      • There is the pursuit we see by God/Rejection by man
      • And over & over we see God always has a plan
  • Last week specifically we looked at the law (People agreed to)
    • It was supposed to show us the way to holiness
    • But again we reject God’s law
    • Moses tells the people – You can’t keep your promise to God
      • Because of the hardness of your hearts
  • Then God speaks of our hard hearts & how a Messiah would come
    • Teach us what it looks like to have a soft heart

Ez. 36:26 (ESV)

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

When Jesus comes on the scene – All of what God speaks of is fulfilled

  • Jesus sets the example of what it looks like to have a soft heart
    • What it looks like to be able to obey God and live a holy life
    • And the power and anointing Jesus walks in… we can as well
  • B/C when Jesus died/rose/conquered sin… it changed everything
    • We were no longer only left to have a hardened heart
    • We can now choose Jesus… sends his Spirit… Softens hearts

[Pray – Dive back into Exodus]


How many of you remember life before GPS

Remember just out of Highschool – Big old foldable map

  • Trying to drive to Bible College to visit in Southern California
    • It was right around 1AM… found ourselves in Compton
    • I think that was first/last time I ever used a map
  • For a long time… GPS was separate from your phone
    • And my Dad would talk about his GPS like it’s a real person
    • “TOM” – weird because it has woman’s voice
  • Sorta creepy… Find dad doing this w/ lots of artificial intelligence
    • Never heard my dad talk so polity than when he talks to Alexa
    • I really think he is afraid its gonna say “NO”

Maybe ur like me… GPS is a love/hate relationship in my life

  • In most important situations, GPS seems to leave you high and dry
    • Maybe because I’m not nice enough like my dad is to robots
    • We were driving over the Hoover Dam a couple months ago
    • GPS said I was in the Colorado River

Reading other day those annoying FB stories… 5 worst GPS blunders

  • Northbridge, Mass. Police report said the GPS told her to turn left into a cornfield. She kept going and ended up on a golf course in a sand trap
  • Swiss van driver was told to drive up remote mountain footpath. Had to be airlifted out after his GPS told him to eventually turn around and he couldn’t
  • In Bellevue, Washington three young women were directed down a boat launch around midnight. Ended up in Lake Washingon
  • Three Japanese tourists in Australia were lured at low tide to drive to an island across 9 miles of mud instead of using the ferry.
  • Man and wife ran into a church on the Austrian border. The driver was 76 years old and they caused about $35,000 in damage

Have you ever felt lost

Ever felt like ur just wandering… no clue why or where you’ll end up

  • Maybe you pictured yourself further along in life plans
    • Or never thought what u went through would happen to you
    • Things didn’t work out… you made a bad decision
    • And now you just live feeling like your treading water
  • Your story… my story is told in THIS story
    • We can all relate on some level to what we are reading
    • And the longer we live… the more we can relate

Moses was a shepherd for his father-in-law for 40 years

  • Best education you could dream of… money/power/influence
    • Ever wonder if Moses looked at the stars wondering “what if”
    • What if… I didn’t lose my temper that time
    • What if… I hadn’t dragged my feet on what God told me
    • What if… I would have been more ambitious/relatable/driven
      • Like we wonder “what if”
  • But Moses finds out God uses us not based on our greatness
    • But in spite of our weakness
    • God will USES THE GUY who lost his temper/dragged his feet

And God speaks to him through burning bush

  • Moses obeys God & God’s people saved/promise continues
    • Path they would have taken (Way of the sea – Is 9:1)
      • This was the logical Route to take
      • It was the relatively safe route to take
      • It was the most direct route to take (180 miles)
    • [Show maps]
      • 3 days if you don ‘t stop
      • 20 Miles a day – 1 ½ weeks
      • With couple million people… month at the max

But that’s not what happens… things happen a different way

  • Instead of the direct route (easiest/safest/logical)
    • Incase u haven’t noticed… God’s not a big fan of direct routes
  • Not the path Israel gets to take
    • They go from Egypt to Mt. Sinai
    • 10 commandments, tabernacle, sacrifices (spend year here)
      • Went this way to detox
      • 400 years in Egypt
        • Longer than we’ve been a nation
        • God wants to reconnect before they get everything

After one year – God ready to lead them to promised land

  • They get this supernatural GPS (Cloud by day / Fire by night)
    • Should take a month at the most

Duet 1:2 (NIV)

It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea (south side of promised land) by the Mount Seir road.

    • … and 11 days turn into 39 years

Now when I travel – I’m always competing about the GPS estimate

  • Can you imagine what Moses must have been like… 11 days NP
    • 39 years later they finally make it to the destination
    • And this is known as the wandering in the wilderness
    • God doesn’t take the direct path… He just leads them around
  • Wandering: Living in the space b/w where I started & want 2 be
    • Which is hard b/c… God does a lot of his work in this space
    • And this space describes a lot of our lives
      • Space b/w graduating and getting a real job
      • Space b/w dating and married
      • Space b/w the Job you have and job you want
      • Space b/w wanting a family and having a child
      • Space b/w the diagnosis and remission
      • Space b/w bing in debt and out of debt
      • Space b/w saying goodbye 2 loved one & reunited in Jesus

Question: How do you live in the space between

Not easy because most of us aren’t super excited about the journey

  • We’re all about the destination
    • I know I was poster child for “Are we there yet”?
    • Before you even leave the neighborhood
    • 39 more episodes of “Saved by the bell”
  • We want to get to where we are going
    • Focus is on where we are going, not where we are
    • How fast can we get journey over so we can get to destination

Here’s a way to prove it… Quiz T/F(Illustrate Point & feel guilty)

  • And be honest… you’re in church
    • I’ve cut through a gas station to avoid a red light
    • Frequently look at a clock nearby
    • People who talk slowly irritate you
    • Annoyed when person in front of me writes a check at store
    • Find yourself finishing others sentences for them
    • When delayed and running late I am upset (vote 4 spouse)
    • Difficulty finding time for doctors appointments
    • Leave church early 2 beat Sunday rush to fav breakfast place
  • No condemnation… We are all like this
    • Always in a hurry & cutting space between
    • Don’t like journey… want the destination
  • I see this whenever I’m going on vacation
    • Why are you in such a hurry… TO GET THERE
    • What are you gonna do when you get there… NOTHING
      • So we are in the HUGE hurry to do nothing

Problem is… God’s not in a hurry

  • He never rushes… also never late… he’s always right on time
    • Abraham – I want to be a dad… right on time
    • Joseph – I want to see my dreams come true… right on time
    • Moses – I want to see liberation… right on time
    • David – I want to walk into destiny… right on time
  • And what could/should have taken 11 days took 39 years.. WHY???
    • God more concerned WHO YOU ARE BECOMING
      • Not saying he doesn’t care where you are going
      • But HE CARES about the process because…

What God does in us while we are waiting is often times more important than whatever we are waiting for


God does some of His best work in the wilderness

And wandering is a part of becoming who God wants us to be

  • But how do we deal with that time b/w going & becoming
    • How does Israel deals with time between
    • Probably how most of us deal with it… not the best
  • Exodus account – Theme of wandering is whining & complaining
    • Often times a lack of faith shows up thru complaining/whining
    • And we see God’s people whining a lot about food

Num. 11:4-6 (MSG)

The riffraff among the people had a craving and soon they had People of Israel whining. (Starts as Riffraff and then everyone) “why can’t we have meat? We ate fish in Egypt – and got it free! – to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic. But nothing tastes good out here; all we get is manna, manna, manna.”

  • Whining and complaining about having miraculous food 4 journey
    • And God provides again and again
    • Food, water, clothing and sandals that never fall apart
  • But complaining becomes contagious – In any group of people (
    • Usually starts on outskirts… the people already negative
    • But it only takes a few people
      • Soon it spreads like an infection
      • Its toxic and destroys


Studies that show how devastating this can be to a community

  • University of Denver did a study on married couples
    • Concluded the best way to predict if a couple will stay together
      • How much they complain about each other
      • < 5 neg comments per 100 marriage has good chance
      • < 10 neg comments per 100 is main factor in failure
  • Israel complaining – This Food issue was from day one

Ex. 16:2-3 (NIV)

In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

  • Perspective… Slaves in Egypt – Not talking Texas Roadhouse
    • And what makes this a bigger slap in the face
    • “Died by the hand of the Lord”… Talking about the last plague
    • The whole BLOOD OF THE LAMB thing… wished it didn’t work

Problem: People who complain see every situation better than theirs

  • But God shows grace over and over

Num. 11:18-20 (NIV)

“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it…

  • Here’s what God is doing… He’s giving them some perspective
    • Often times our complaining needs perspective
    • Because we loose sight of how he has provided

John Oreburg

The thing that would change our lives the most is if we could look at different situations and say these for little words… “It could be worse”

  • We don’t say that… instead we say “I deserve better… It’s not fair”
    • What if we could just sub those words with these 4 words
  • When you’re doing things this week and something happens to you
    • Say it with me “It could be worse”
      • When you walk out of your A/C house…
      • When you get to your car…
      • When Monday comes and you go back to work
      • When you look at your Bank account
  • Its true… Sometimes we just need a little perspective
    • We get lost in the way things COULD BE
    • And become obsessed with how we think they SHOULD BE

Flight story (Hawaii) Kid so mad his mom didn’t get him a window

  • He just sat there on the plane for 6 hours fuming
    • On his way 2 HAWAII… but life not fair b/c I don’t have window
  • Everyday I get closer to heaven, but really want window seat
    • It is SOOOO easy to lose perspective
  • Father at his kids baseball game
    • Kid strikes out… Dad is so frustrated
    • He has a Son who is strong and healthy
      • One of 8% on planet that can drive a car & attend a game
      • Quit whining and a breath and say thank you

But we’ve all been there… I’d be complaining just like they did

  • Maybe you’re saying – I would complain over food like they did
    • Ya you would have… we complain when we eat the same 2 days
    • Yet we need perspective

STORY: Testimony from a woman on missions trip to Tobago

  • Worked among the leper colony there for a month – Night b4 left
    • Gathered a few for worship: Asked if anyone had special song
      • Hand went up… Lady with no nose, lips or fingers
      • Can we sing hymn, “Count your blessings”

TAG: Entire generation of people lost because they don’t figure this out


Why is this such a big deal to God

Because WHINING is the opposite of WORSHIP

  • Worship is giving glory to God for who He is and what He has done
  • Whining is ignoring who God is and overlooking what He has done

And our story is supposed to be all about worship to God… Glory to God

Num. 14:11 (NIV)

The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?

  • I think God is wondering what do I have to do…
    • And people who struggle with complaining… here is perspective
      • Everything God is asking of me is too much
      • Everything God has done for me isn’t enough

And we lose perspective

  • In spite of food, deliverance, water, protection the danger is…
    • When in the space b/w we loose sight of what God has done
  • I’ve got all these problems… God sent His son because he loved me
  • But I’ve got all these health problems… Jesus gives us hope 4 future
  • But if I could only have that house… that car… Jesus died in ur place

TAG: We whine instead of worship

God is holding up the walls of the red sea but we can’t see it because we are so worried about walking on the sea floor

End: So lets worship… that’s what we need 2 do – not whine… worship



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