Don't die in the wilderness
21. Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
22. And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
23. And the saying pleased me well: and I took twelve men of you, one of a tribe:
24. And they turned and went up into the mountain, and came unto the valley of Eshcol, and searched it out.
25. And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us.
26. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:
27. And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
28. Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.
29. Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
30. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes;
31. And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
32. Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
33. Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.
34. And the LORD heard the voice of your words, and was wroth, and sware, saying,
35. Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers,
Don’t Die in the Wilderness
I don’t know about you, but I’m a strong believer in the words of the Bible. My bible says in Romans 6:23, that “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It also tells me that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” It says to us that “If any man says he has no sins, he deceiveth himself, and the truth is not in him”. That’s what the Bible says.
So, according to these scriptures, all of us must die. Whether you want too or not, whether you will accept it or not, you may be in denial, but baby I need to tell you that all of us have got to leave here. This world is not your home.
I know that this may bring disappointment to you, but there is hope for you tonight. John 3: 16 says, “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” You might one day have to die out of this body, but your spirit will never die.
If you will look back into creation, man is the only creature that God created and He breathed into him the breath of life. Because God did that, our spirit cannot, and will not ever die. The body must return unto the dust from whence it came, but our spirit will live forever.
There is one of two places that your spirit will go when you die out of this body, either heaven or hell. Now don’t think for one minute that just because you are who you are, just because of what your last name is, just because you are a member of Travelers Rest, God is going to automatically let you in. Don’t think for one minute that because His mercy endureth forever, that He can’t have any wrath upon you. He won’t put you in the fire.
Now, no man knows the day or the hour when death will come, but I can assure you that one day, if the rapture don’t catch you, death will come knocking at you door.
If you want to make it to heaven, you must follow those commanded that God has set before us down here on earth.
Earth is the dressing room. Right here, right now is where you purchase your ticket to go to heaven. This is where you get it right so that you won’t be left. This is where you find spiritual life, so that you won’t have to worry about physical death.
I come by here to tell you tonight Travelers Rest, you don’t want to die in the wilderness. The wilderness is a place of wandering. A place where one is considered lost. If you will gently study Israel’s wandering in the wilderness, you will find out that for forty years, they were steady making circles.
Now, Israel was a type of church, God was trying to lead them to a promised land. We are the church of today, and God is trying to lead us to the promise land as well. Many of us are just like Israel, we want to stay in the wilderness.
When you are in the wilderness you ain’t going nowhere.
You ain’t getting any better in your relationship with God.
You are praying, but you really ain’t saying nothing.
You are singing, but all that you are doing is making noise.
You are coming to church, and that is all you are doing is just coming. You are paying but you are not paying like you ought to pay.
You are in the wilderness.
Now-a-days, folks got their own little agendas for coming to church. Some folks come to church because they have got to Usher,
or they are going to lead a song with the choir today.
Some come because they have got to teach Sunday School.
Some come only because they have got to see how the preacher is going to preach.
Some folk come to church only to find fault and to look for failures. Some folks are possessed, distressed, and in a mess with demons, and they come only to tear down the vision that God so desires to build. I need to tell you that all you are doing is wandering in the wilderness.
I come here tonight to praise God. I come to lift Him up. I come to magnify Him. I’m like Mary, my soul doth magnify the Lord. If you didn’t come here today for that purpose and that purpose only, then you are living in the wilderness.
If you can’t love one another you are in the wilderness.
If you can’t forgive someone who done you wrong years ago, then you are living in the wilderness.
If you can’t be at peace with one another, you are in the wilderness.
If you can’t lift one another up in prayer, you are in the wilderness.
So many things happening right now, and we need one another’s prayers to make it.
God wouldn’t move Job’s afflictions until Job first prayer for his friends.
I just believe tonight that somebody’s in the wilderness of;
I need to tell you, don’t die in the wilderness. If you die in the wilderness you will never be able to enjoy the beauty and bounty of the Promised Land.
Watch this, God lead Israel to the wilderness. Why? They had to go through the danger of the desert, a land with no food, a waterless wilderness, which should have made them hungry for the blessings and fruitfulness that awaits them in the Promised Land.
Ain’t y’all sick and tired of being in mess?
Ain’t you tired of confusion?
Ain’t you tired of pain and problem?
God has got peace and pleasure waiting on us if you can’t just make it through the wilderness.
If we can just become obedient to His will. But as we will see tonight, there are three things that Israel did to cause the entire generation to die in the wilderness.
They followed the recommendation of others
God commanded them to go in and possess the land. Yet there were some of the people that suggested that spies be sent out to spy out the land. God knew that there were giants there, but God was going to fight for them, if they only obeyed, and go in.
Verse 22, “And ye came near unto me every one of you, and said We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.”
Some churches today are the same way. God has promised you that He will supply your every need. And when the pastor come with something new, somebody will go talking about, we can’t do that.
I told my church some time ago that the spies were sent in to spy out the land, but the devil deceived them to look at the people. They went looking at the wrong thing. God knows how big your problem is.
He knows about your giants of sickness.
God knows about your giant of financial despair.
God knows about your giant of divorce.
He knows about your giant of unemployment.
But God wants you to learn how to look at Him, and not your problem. I declare tonight, God is bigger than your problem.
We’ve got to be careful when you began listening to other people. Some folks refuse to listen to God, but will listen to everybody else. Reminds me of a story (there was a woman who’s dishwasher tore up. She called a repairman. While she was on the phone with him, she told him that he could come over and fix the dishwasher on the next day but she would not be at home.
She also told him never mind her bulldog, he would not bother him, but whatever he do, don’t say anything to the parrot. When the repairman got to the house, he had his little helper with him.
He saw the biggest bulldog that he had ever seen, but like the woman said, the dog just laid there and let the repairman do his work.
But the entire time he was there, the parrot was screaming, and cussing and saying bad things to the repairman, and finally, his helper told him, would you please just tell that parrot to shut up. The repairman said to the parrot, would you please shut up? The parrot looked at the dog and said, “Get him spike”.
When God tell you something, you better listen to it, instead of listening to the recommendations of other folks. God told Moses to tell the Children of Israel to “go in and possess the land”.
Moses was ready to go in, but he listen to the recommendation of the people. Moses carried this to God and God said to Moses, yeah, let them send in spies. See, one thing that God will not do, He will not force His will upon you.
They rebelled against God.
Verse 26, “Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God”. How did they rebel, first thing they did was they murmured. I need to let you know that there are a lot of complaining folks in church today.
Folks in the church today will argue, they will complain, they will become divided over little bitty stuff.
Tonight, we are just like the people of Israel. See, things are not really going their way now, and because of that they are murmuring. Scripture says, they were murmuring in their tents. A lot of us today won’t do anything to help the church move to the next level, but when we get home, we will get on the telephone and murmur.
We will talk about one another, and we surely are going to talk about the pastor. Just like He did Israel, God has the church today moving in a certain direction, and most of us are coming out to the church and we are fighting against every little thing that goes on. If Israel had just obeyed what God told them to do, and not sent out spies, they would have been tremendously blessed and enjoy the prosperity of a Promised Land.
Some of us come in the church murmuring. Phil 2:14 says, “Do all things without murmurings and disputings”. There is a way to do it without complaining. If you are murmuring today, you are in the wilderness. They murmured that the Lord hated them. He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to destroy us.
Then they questioned God. They said, why shall we go up? Our brethren have already told us that the sons of Anak are there. They are giants, we can’t defeat them. God had already promised them the land. God have already promised the church, that if we abide in Him, and let His word abide in us, we can ask what we will and it shall be done. Still today we are questioning God.
Still we are walking around talking about, I can’t have that. God have told you that you can have whatsoever you say in Mark 11:23 and still we are rebelling against God. Don’t die in the wilderness.
They rejected God.
Verse 32. “Yet in this thing ye did not believe the Lord your God”. Watch this now, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had delivered them out the hands of the evil taskmasters of the Egyptian. Before their eyes, God turned the Nile River into blood. Didn’t they remember the lice and flies?
Didn’t they remember the boils that fell upon all the men of Egypt and the beasts? Didn’t they remember the hail that God rained upon Egypt, or the frogs, and darkness? Or how God killed all of the firstborn of Egypt.
Didn’t they remember how God intervened at the Red Sea? He lead them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. But now it comes time for them enter into the Promised Land and the people have nerve enough to say that they don’t believe God.
All of the miracles that we are seeing around us today have not cured us from our unbelief. Many of us today don’t believe God.
I’m not talking about believing IN God, but believing God.
And when we don’t believe God, we are living the wilderness.
And I need to tell you today, that God is watching us,
Just like He did Israel. For He is an all-seeing God.
And He told Israel, “Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers. Only Joshua and Caleb shall enter in because they believed My Word”.
I come by here to tell you that the only way you are going to get out of the wilderness is to believe God’s Word.
His Word will;
Feed you when you get hungry.
Will be water in dry places.
Rock you late over in the midnight hour
Wipe the tears from your eyes.
His word will
Lift up a bowed down head
Give ease to a troubled mind
Stopped at the graveyard,
Called Lazarus from the grave.
His Word, His Word,
Calmed a raging sea, Stopped a funeral procession, raised the
Sat on a mountain side,
Took two fish five loaves of bread,
Fed a multitude of five thousand men,
Not counting women and children.
Came down through 42 generations.
Hung bleed and died, for your sins and mine.