Why the Wilderness?
PatRobertson.com - Pat presented this teaching following a story about Andy Benes, a St. Louis Cardinal pitcher who learned humility when his contract with the Cardinals fell through.
The Bible says, "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18) Andy was proud. He was a big-time pitcher with a big-time ball club. He needed to learn a lesson. He couldn't understand what God was doing to him. But God was doing something.
God will often put us into the wilderness. He took the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness. It was not just a little bit. It was 40 years that he put them in the wilderness so that they might learn. That they might learn to know Him. And that they might learn that man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. That they might learn to trust Him. That He might see what was in their hearts, and that they might begin to look inside and learn what was in there.
That time in the wilderness is not necessarily bad for us. There are many people who have been sort of put on the shelf and have said, "What is going on? I am a well-known singer. I could be a teacher. I'm a pastor, or I'm an executive, or whatever I am, and all of a sudden I am benched. I am traded to another club. I'm in a different league, and I don't understand what is happening." What is happening is that God Almighty loves you so much that He that knows you need a little time in the desert.
We used to have a song -- Moose Smith was our bandleader in the old days of The 700 Club when we had an orchestra. He had a song that he wrote called "Take Another Lap Around Mount Sinai Until You Learn Your Lesson." It was a great song with Moose and the boys singing "Take Another Lap Around Mount Sinai."
The Israelites could have gotten to the Promised Land in 11 days, but it took them 40 years. They had to keep going around and around and around Mount Sinai until they learned their lesson. That's what happens to us.
After a while we get deeper in the Lord, we learn more of Him, and suddenly something better comes. We find in Proverbs 3:5-6 that you, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him." And the Bible says, when all this is over, "He will direct your paths." And I think that is the important thing to remember.
If you trust in the Lord, because what Andy finally wound up doing after he had learned the lesson, he began to trust in God. My life now is in your hand. If you want me out of baseball, that's fine. If you want me someplace else, that's fine. I'm yours. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not onto your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths."
That's the way it is. And we can count on God to direct us into His perfect will if we just submit to Him.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.