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Desert Wilderness

Called to God's Office  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God likes to talk to us when the distractions are limited. He gets our attention when we are in dry, lonely, and hardship places like the desert wilderness.

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Called to God’s Office

NASB Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the [a]west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of [b]a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, “[c]I must turn aside now and see this [d]marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Have you ever been called to your boss or supervisor’s office? Sometimes it can be intimidating because it’s not very often you get called to the office for good news.
I’ll admit that sometimes when I ask church leaders to come to my office, they aren’t too excited about it. Sometimes they will give me a look of curiosity and I’ll tell them it’s okay. I just needed to talk to them about something in private.
I wonder what it would look like if God called us to his office? If God said, (Name) I need to see you in my office how excited would you be to get in there.
We love God right? We would be overjoyed to get that invite wouldn’t we?
I see some of y’all thinking “I’m not ready for that meeting.”
Because he knows everything!
Here in our passage we read about Moses who has fled to the wilderness to start a new life because he killed an Egyptian. He ends up getting married and is with his father-in-law’s flock in the desert wilderness.
You will hear me refer to the wilderness and desert together as desert wilderness because the Hebrew word for desert and wilderness is “Midbar” and it means the same thing. It means both desert and wilderness.
Now what do you think of when you think of the desert or the wilderness?
They represent throughout scripture hard times, times of loss, crisis, problems, loneliness, separation, tears and tragedy.
We have moments in our life that we experience all these things so there are times we despise being in the desert wilderness.
This is what is on my heart this morning. How do we get through these dry episodes in our life? Why can’t I just get to where God wants me to be without going through the desert wilderness? It never feels good there? Nobody wants to go with us there either?
Ask somebody when you are in a dry place to come and join you and see what they say? It’s not the go to place? It’s not a place we ever make plans to be?
We end up there! Does anybody know what I’m talking about today?
It’s not the go to place? It’s not a place we ever make plans to be?
But check this out, this is the same place, the desert wilderness that God have His Law, His Word and it is also the place that God reveals His presence.
Tell you’re neighbor, “The wilderness is Holy!
So when things are hard in our life, they are holy!
When we end up there, in the desert wilderness, it is a season of God’s holiness in our life! It’s when we find that God is with us.
Watch this!
Midbar means desert and wilderness and it comes from the root word davar which means to speak.
So what is the wilderness then? It is the place God speaks, the place to hear his voice.
The wilderness is the place God speaks to us. If you’ve ever been in the desert or in the wilderness, you’ve been in God’s office. God calls you there to talk to you and to bring you in to his presence!
He brings Moses to wilderness to do what? To talk to Him through a burning bush.
He brings Elijah to the wilderness to speak to him in a small, still voice. So ladies and gentleman, God brings us to this dry place of little and no comfort to talk to us.
I hope I’m helping somebody.
So, whay does God bring us to the midbar to talk to us?
What’s there? Just think about it for a second. Nothing! Nothing is there but rocks, dirt, sand, mountains and some occasional streams!
If God could get our attention when everything was going good and we weren’t so busy, we wouldn’t need to go to his office.
God calls us to his office in the wilderness because he does the same thing I do when I call people to my office. I want to talk to them in private and remove any distrations.
God wants to talk to you alone sometimes and he doesn’t want all the distractions we have going on with people, activity, and entertainment. In the wilderness, the distractions are gone. It’s just me and God.
Sometimes when we are in the desert, it may take a couple of days or weeks before we realize that God wants to talk to us. We’ll complain about being there and become frustrated with environment not knowing that we are in the presence of God!
God brings Moses to his office to talk to him. He does the same to us. The desert wilderness is the place God talks to us and brings us in to his presence. I came today to tell you the midbar is not the place to fear. It is the place to embrace. The midbar is the place to embrace!
Think about the distractions God might be trying to remove so he can talk to you. When you are in the holy place of trouble and isolation, tune in to God’s voice because there is something he wants to say. The wilderness is holy ground, the place God speaks.
Lastly, earlier I talked about some of us would be tripping if God called us to his office because we would be concerned about God knowing all our stuff.
God is a God of order and he does things systematically. The temple is a good example of this. It faced the east with the altar of sacrifice at the easternmost part of the temple and the holy of holies being the westernmost end of the temple. So, just think of it this way that God goes from east to west. Everything that happened in the Temple happened starting in the east westward.
Even the high priest would make sacrifices in the Temple and he would begin on the east side of the temple with the sacrifice ending up sprinkling the blood on the ark of the covenant in the west. This was symbolic of removing sin away from the temple into the east of the wilderness.
Now why is this significant? The earth is a sphere and it turns on its axis from east to west. The earth has a north and south pole but no east and west pole.
How far is the north from the south? The distance is from pole to pole. It is measurable. It’s finite. All north comes to an end at the north pole. All south comes to an end at the south pole. If the temple was built on a north south system, sin would have been removed just some few thousand miles from the sinner.
How far is the east from the west? There are no east or west poles!!!!!! So they never end.East and west have no end or are infinite. They go on forever. The Hebrew word for “East” actually means everlasting.
God removes our sin as far as the east is from the west so when he calls you in to his office, he wants to talk to you about what he is calling you to do and not about the sin he removed from you. Your sins are too far that you would wear yourself out trying to keep up to them.
Yet, there is no east or west pole!!!!!!
If you’re not in the wilderness right now, make an appointment to meet him in his office. He talks to you there and brings you out better than you went in.
Let’s pray.
Next Week Sermon is No Worries in the Wilderness
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