Rabbi Schneider - Lessons From the Wilderness
You know, it's interesting as we study the history of Israel as Father God birthed them as a nation, he led them, beloved, out of Egypt, but listen to this, through the wilderness for 40 years. Now remembering that, I want you to think about this. Jesus, Yeshua HaMashiach, who is Israel's divine head, when he began his ministry coming out of the Jordan River right after Jesus heard the Father's voice saying to him, you are my beloved Son, and in you I am well pleased. Immediately after that, the Spirit of God led Yeshua, led Jesus into the wilderness, listen now, where he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and did combat with the devil. And so we see both Israel and Yeshua Jesus who is Israel's divine head, beginning their fullness by first going through, listen to this now, a wilderness experience.
I want to say to you today, beloved one, that the pattern is no different today. Before Father God brings us in to our fullness, we must first, each one of us, go through our own personal wilderness experiences. Many of you are going through a wilderness experience in your life right now. Wildernesses can take many different forms. It can be the loss of a job. It can be the loss of a loved one. It can be so many different things that causes one to find themselves in what they are experiencing as a time of wilderness. But what I want to say to you right now, beloved one, don't waste your wilderness because there's things that Father God can do for you that he can do no place else, listen to this, except when you're in the wilderness. We receive things from Father God when we're in the wilderness that we can't receive from him when everything is going well. In other words, beloved, the deepest things that we'll receive from him will be when we're in the wilderness.
I'm gonna talk about this a little later, but I want you to consider this. It was only when Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years that they saw every single day the Spirit of the Lord manifest in the center of their camp as a glory cloud by day and as a pillar of fire by night. For 40 years they only saw God's manifest Shekinah glory while they were in the wilderness. And it's no different for you and I. Father God feeds us with revelation knowledge and with deep spiritual impartation as we call out to him, and depend on him, and walk with him hand in hand through our own wilderness experiences. Beloved one, don't waste your wilderness. I want to talk to you today about principles that apply to how we can make our wilderness experience most fruitful.
Number 1, beloved one, I want you to consider this. Israel, when they were in the wilderness, they were there for 40 years. It wasn't just a short thing. It didn't happen in an hour. They had, listen, 40,000 meals in the wilderness. They slept in the wilderness 14,000 nights. In other words, it took a while for God to accomplish in his people what he was accomplishing in their lives in the wilderness. I want to go with you now to the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter number 8. Let's read about what Father God said he was doing as he brought Israel through the wilderness. Now remember, Israel is a prophetic shadow of the Church today. In other words, Paul said that the things Israel went through, they went through not just for their own sake, but God also brought them through the wilderness and recorded it for us, listen to this, for us, Paul said, the Church today upon whom the end of the ages has come. In other words, Israel's wilderness experience was for their benefit, but Paul says it's also applicable to the Church today. And that's why it's recorded is addition to the fact that God recorded it for his first covenant people who are the Jewish people, Israel.
Let's read Deuteronomy, 8, now. I'm beginning in verse 1: All the commandments that I'm commanding you today you shall be careful to do, listen, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God swore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing, you, to know what was in your heart. I'm just gonna walk through this chapter with you, beloved one, verse by verse making application for your life as I do. First of all, I want you to get a glimpse of God's ways, who he is, how he acts, and what his plan is for you and I today. Look at verse 1. What was God's plan for Israel? Listen what he said, verse 1: that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land. Let's just look at this. This is so powerful and so beautiful. Some people think God is angry. They think God is stingy. They think God is sad. They think God is bitter. I mean, when they think of God they think of him mostly as sad and angry. But this is not who God is. God is full of happiness and love. Jesus, his Son, is anointed with the oil of gladness. No, God is a big, great God who loves us, listen, and wants the best for you and for I.
So listen again as we read the Word. First the Lord says that you may live. Jesus said, I have come to give life and to give it more abundantly. Listen, Father God delights in his children, listen, being alive, being full of life, being happy. He goes on to say that you may live and multiply. He wants you and I, beloved, to have lives that are increasing; in other words, that our spirit man is increasing in the spiritual realm in spiritual space. In other words, that our peace is becoming greater; that our joy is becoming fuller; that our knowing him is becoming deeper; that our sense of satisfaction is becoming fuller. Jesus said he that believes in me, he said, rivers of living water shall flow from his innermost being. And he said, and you will drink from the well of life that's within you, Jesus said, and you will, listen to this, thirst no more. So we see this same thing here. God wants his people to live, to increase, to multiply. Listen to this, and he wants them to go in, he continues on, and possess. I'm gonna read it again: be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers. He wants you and I to take more and more of him. He is our land.
Father God said to Abraham, I am your exceedingly great reward. Father God wants this for us. In other words, he wants us to be blessed. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, get this now, who blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. I want you to know, child of God, you're a winner. God has great things in store for you. God's purpose and identity is that you are a victorious one and he's gonna get you as you continue to depend on him to the top of the mountain. You're gonna possess life and you're gonna possess it the way Jesus said you would. You're gonna possess it more abundantly but notice that before Israel could take possession of this full life that Father had for them, they first had to, listen, go through their own personal wilderness. In other words, beloved ones, we're gonna see that God was humbling them and he was testing them.
Let me read that for you. Put it all together. God has a great plan for your life, and he's got a great plan for my life. He's got a great plan for all our lives, but before he can bring us in to the fullness of our inheritance in him, he first has to strip us, and humble us, and get us totally dependent on him. He has to wean us off of relying on all other things. He has to bring us to the place where we put him first in our life. And then when he gets our heart, and our soul, and our thoughts in order, he can bring us in, beloved ones, to the abundance that he has for us. Let's listen to this again. I really want you to get this because so much of what the teaching is today makes people believe that God's just gonna bless them and it's gonna happen overnight. And they don't understand there's a process to entering into the fullness of the blessing. See the Bible says through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
Listen again. The Lord said: be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you. That's the first thing. Why did the Father lead them in the wilderness? To humble them. What does it mean to humble? To humble means, beloved, to make one dependent. To humble means one's soul is bowed low towards the Lord. To walk in humility is to walk in dependency on God, and to walk in reverence or respect towards God. So Father God was literally building humility and reverence, and putting first things first in the lives of his people through the process of bringing them through the wilderness.
You see, beloved one, your wilderness, hear me now, has a purpose. Your wilderness has a purpose. There's a reason that you're in the wilderness. God's doing something there for you. Deep calls to deep from the wilderness. And when deep calls to deep, beloved, the Spirit of the Lord enters in. Listen again: You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. Now I, I definitely want to clarify here because all of us know that God is omniscient it's called, which means all-knowing. All of us know this about him. So why does it say here that Father God led them through the wilderness to test them to know what was in their heart? Doesn't he already know? He already knows. What is happening here is two things.
Number 1, when the Lord said that he might test you, testing in Scripture carries with it the idea, listen now, of bringing somebody up to the next level. In other words, Father puts us through tests not to see whether we'll pass or fail, because he doesn't know and he has to test us to find out. He already knows what's in our heart. Jesus already knew what was in men's hearts. Father God knows what's in us. He knew Jeremiah and Ezekiel while they were still in their mother's womb. No, in the fullest sense of the word, beloved, biblically a testing is a trial that God brings us through, listen now, in order to bring us up to the next level. So he was bringing them through the wilderness to test them; in other words, to refine them to bring them up to the next level. It causes them to go through something that would change them and bring them up into the next level. And so the same thing is true for you and I. Father God will bring us through things to reveal our hearts to us and then to bring us up to the next level as we realize often times we're not quite as far along as we thought we were.
Let me ask, have you ever faced something in your life that you never faced before? You came into a set of circumstances. You came into a challenge or a test in your life that was a brand new challenge and a brand new test. And you were feeling pretty good before you entered the challenge. You were feeling pretty good in your walk with God before the testing hit you. But then when you entered into the testing, you realized that your heart wasn't as pure and full of faith as you thought it was before the test came. And so you hit the test. You noticed that you're failing the test in some sense, not that we're failing completely but that we're just not walking through it as perfectly as our heart wants to. We notice that there, there's a bad attitude sometimes that comes; that there's a toxic stress sometimes that enters in; there's anxiety that sometimes can enter in; there's fear that sometimes can enter in. We sometimes react to the people in our lives more, with less patience because of the test, and we know that we're not handling it right. There's a yes in our heart but we recognize as we're walking through the test that in some sense we're failing. We're not failing completely, but we're just not succeeding as much as we would like to.
And so what do we do? We call out to Father God. We call out to Jesus in the test and we say what? Help me. Help me, Father. Help me, Jesus. Help me get my attitude right. Help me to get my heart in order. Help me to walk with a better attitude. In other words, how many of you when you're going through a test, you just lose patience with people. You're on the road and you find, you know, bitter things coming out of your heart at other drivers. Or you're in the supermarket or just dealing with people in everyday life and you notice yourself being less loving because you're going through a stressful time. And you're grieved about it. And so what do you do? You call out, Father, help me, strengthen me. And what does he do when you do that? Listen, he girds you and brings you up to the next level. See that's what was happening here with Israel. Father God was transforming them in the wilderness, and he does the same thing with you and I, beloved ones, as we go through our wilderness experience, get this now, clinging to Father God, crying out to Father God, depending on him.
And as we do that, listen, he brings us up to the next level. He continues on in verse number 3: He humbled you and let you be hungry, and he fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know. When you and I go through a wilderness experience, we find our provision supernaturally in God in ways that we often can't and don't when things are going easy for us. In other words, it was only in the wilderness that supernatural manna was on the ground six days a week for the children of Israel, listen to this, for 40 years. It was only when they were in the wilderness that the water supernaturally came out of the rock. It was only in the wilderness that they saw the glory cloud again by day which turned into a pillar of fire by night in the center of the camp. In other words, in the wilderness we often experience the supernatural provision of God in ways that are above and beyond that which we often experience when things are going easy for us.
And so listen, don't waste your wilderness. If you're in the midst of a wilderness right now, guard your heart from being bitter. Guard yourself from complaining. Don't let the devil steal your joy even though it's a hard time. But in the midst of your wilderness, listen, thank God because the Lord says he is causing, listen, all things to work together for good to those that love him and are called according to his purpose that we would be conformed to the image of his Son. So don't waste your wilderness, otherwise you might have to go through another wilderness because you didn't receive what Father wanted you to receive in this wilderness. So if you're in a wilderness right now, listen to me, I want you to get on your knees. I want you to get on your knees with me and I want to be thankful, beloved one, for the wilderness. Let's just get down right now.
Father God, in Jesus's name, we want to thank you, Father God, that you cause all things to work together for good to those that love you and are called according to your purpose. Father, we believe that right now that this difficult time that we're going through, Father, that you have a good purpose in it; that you're bringing about something good from it; Father, that you're ministering to me in a way and you're imparting to me in a way that you can't when things are going well. So I want to thank you, Father God, even though it's difficult for me right now, I want to thank you for what you're doing in my life, in Jesus's name, hallelujah beloved ones, and for Jesus's fame.
Do you know, we're gonna continue on this next week, but you know what the Lord said to the children of Israel? At the end of Deuteronomy, chapter 8, he said to them: I brought you through the wilderness where the serpents bit you, where you were hungry and thirsty, he said, I brought you through this great and terrible wilderness, listen to this, in order, hear me now, that I could do good for you in the end. In other words, the wilderness was preparing the children of promise, the children of Israel. That wilderness was preparing them for what they were about to receive. So if you're going into a wilderness or are in a wilderness right now, I want you to know, God has good things planned for you. Get ready, beloved, for a breakthrough. Don't waste this time in your life.
In Jesus's name, Father, I just speak right now over those that are going through a wilderness in their life. I ask you to strengthen them. Father, right now I just make a supernatural strengthening into the inner man of every son and daughter of yours that's watching this broadcast right now, that needs a help, a touch from you, Father God, that's in a wilderness experience. Father, I speak life to them. I release resurrection life to each one of these precious souls of yours, Jesus, in your name.
Now son/daughter of God, man/woman of God, in Jesus's name, I want you to begin to thank God for where you're at right now. I want you to develop a thankful spirit. I want you to begin to rejoice for where you're at right now 'cause you're gonna come out of this wilderness experience, beloved ones, with gold. Even as Israel came out of Egypt with the spoils of the land, you're gonna come out of this wilderness experience, beloved, with precious gemstones of the Spirit imparted into your heart. And those things that you're receiving right now in the wilderness, beloved, they're gonna be precious anointings that you're gonna carry forward with you out of this wilderness all the days of your life. They're gonna be a comfort and a foundation for your spiritual life as well as being used of the Lord for you to minister out of them to other people. So let God bless you today. Thank God for your wilderness in Jesus's name. I love you. Shalom.