Rabbi Schneider - Why We Need to Know the Bible?
In order for you to enter into the fullness that Father has for you, you must go through the wilderness. We first see this illustrated, beloved ones, in the life of God's people, Israel. Before they were able to take possession of the Promised Land, they had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Now often times when we think of Israel wandering in the wilderness, we only consider the fact that it's because the spies, when they sent the 12 spies into the Promised Land to survey it, remember, and 10 of the 12 spies came back and they said, those guys are huge. They're gonna destroy us if we go in there. And because they were in fear and didn't operate in faith, they ended wandering, ended up wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. And that's absolutely true. But I want you to also understand this; that it was part of Father God's divine plan for them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years because there were lessons that God needed to teach Israel that they could only learn in the wilderness.
When I began this series last week, we looked at Deuteronomy, chapter 8. And in Deuteronomy, chapter 8, we read that Father God led his people in the wilderness, get this now, in order to humble them and test them. I'm gonna read it once again just to set the stage for the ministry today. Hear the Word of God. The Lord said this: All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall 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 has led you in the wilderness these forty years, listen now, there's a reason, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart. I want to continue on with this concept of the fact that the Lord specifically tells us here that he led Israel, beloved ones, in the wilderness to humble them.
Now what does it mean to humble? How do you, how does one get humbled? One gets humbled when they go through difficulty. Because when we go through difficulty, we become dependent because we don't have the resources within ourself to go through the difficulty. And so in desperation we posture our heart in an attitude of humility to receive from God that which we need to get through the difficulty because we realize that we don't have the capabilities ourself to get through. The Hebrew word here for humble is Anav. And it means to go through difficulty, to go through trial. We see this same principle shared in the New Testament. For example, we read about Paul's thorn in the flesh; how Paul was in a wilderness. He said, Father God, there's a messenger of Satan that's oppressing me, and it's assaulting me. Take it away. But Father God said to him, Paul, my power is gonna be perfected in your weakness. My grace will be sufficient for you. Paul then responded, I'm gonna therefore rather boast in my weakness rather than my strength, because in my weakness his power is perfected in me. It's the same concept.
Father God tells us here in Deuteronomy, chapter 8, that he was bringing Israel through the wilderness, get this now, to humble them, there was a purpose, to make them dependent so that they could receive from him what they needed, beloved, in order to enter into the fullness of what God had. Listen to what James tells us in the Book of James, chapter number 1, beloved ones, verses number 1-4, the same thing. My message today to you is, listen, don't waste your wilderness. If you're in a difficult time in our life today, beloved child of God, don't waste it. You're here for a reason. Father God is gonna minister to you and impart to you something that he can't impart to you if you're going through an easy time.
So listen, don't waste your wilderness. Thank God that you're at where you're at. He causes all things to work together for good. Have faith and believe that he's doing something in your life right now. He causes all things to work together for good; that he's gonna bring you out of this wilderness. And when he brings you out, you're gonna carry with you from this wilderness something that he imparted to you while you were in it. And that thing that you receive now in your wilderness is gonna be a huge blessing to you and others that you have influence with for the rest of your life. Listen to what James said in James, chapter 1, verse number 1-4: James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad. So notice that James' primary audience here, these are the twelve tribes of Israel.
Listen again: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter, hear me now, various trials. What are we talking about? Wilderness. Consider it a joy. What did I just say to you? Don't waste your wilderness. James said, if you're in a difficult time right now, if you're in a trial, consider it a joy. Don't waste it. Don't complain. Don't get bitter. Don't turn on God. Don't fall away from your faith. But rather rejoice because God's doing something powerful in your life right now. Listen what he says: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I want to talk about principles that apply to our life when we're in, beloved ones, the wilderness. I've already said to you the reason that you're in it is because Father God is going to impart to you something while you're here that can't be received when you're not. The Bible tells us in the Book of Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 11, that we should consider it once again a joy when Father God is disciplining us. Then the author of Hebrews continues, no discipline, and going through the wilderness, we're going to read in Deuteronomy, 8, the Father was disciplining Israel. Let me read two Scriptures. This is gonna be great. I'm gonna parallel. First I'm gonna read the New Testament Scripture from the Book of Hebrews, chapter 12, and we're gonna hear what the author of Hebrews tells us about discipline. And now I'm gonna, after, right after that I'm gonna look at the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 8, where Israel is going through a wilderness, and we're gonna see how Father reveals to us through Moses that this wilderness experience was actually, listen to this, the way that Father God was disciplining Israel.
What I'm saying is this, you may be in a wilderness right now because Father God is discipling you. No discipline, we're gonna hear, is pleasant while we're going through it but the end result is the peaceful fruit of righteousness which is why I said there's something that you're receiving in the wilderness right now that you can't receive any place else. Hear what the author of Hebrews tells us. Hebrews, chapter number 12, verse number 11: No discipline, notice he uses the word discipline, no discipline is pleasant while we're going through it, but after we have been trained by it, we enter in to the peaceful fruit of righteousness, or into the peace of God. Now hear this once again. The author tells us, discipline, when we go through it with the right attitude, produces peace in our life. Now consider that along with your wilderness experience right now, understanding that it may very well be part of the discipline of God; that as a result of going through this time faithfully, you're gonna come out in peace. Listen what the Book of Deuteronomy tells us.
Deuteronomy, 8:5: Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. Listen to the whole context here. 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.
And then he continues, verse 3: He humbled and you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone but lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.
Verse 5: Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son;
Verse 7: For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs flowing forth.
And he says there in verse number 9: You will eat without scarcity.
Verse 10: When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.
Verse 11: Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God.
Verse 14: Then your heart will become proud.
Verse 15: He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground. And then he says, that He might do good for you, in verse 16, in the end.
I want you to know, if you're gonna receive the fullness of what Father God has for you, you must go through the wilderness, beloved one, that you're in right now faithfully. This is why James told us, rejoice when you're going through a trial. Don't waste your wilderness. Notice that Father God said to the children of Israel in Deuteronomy, 8: I was training you to live by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of God. I don't know where you're at right now or what you're going through right now. What I know is this, it's critically important that you bind your heart and your thoughts to the Word of God. Seize his Word and don't let anything else in. The Lord was stripping the children of Israel from worldly ways of thinking, from natural ways of thinking, and teaching them instead to depend on him and to have faith in his Word. The Lord said here that I was disciplining you and humbling you that you might understand that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Jesus said, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. Beloved one, if we're gonna ascend in the spirit, if we're gonna enter into a deeper place in our walk with God, if we're gonna enter into a deeper realm of experiencing Jesus's supernatural presence in our life, we're gonna need to bind ourself to his Word. And what that means is if you're in a wilderness right now, you need to start to confess God's Word where you're at over your situation. Whatever your situation is, don't confess the lack of the situation. Don't start confessing discouragement. Don't start confessing defeat. Instead, confess what God's Word says. He wants to train us, beloved, to rely on his Word, and he does this often times when we're in the wilderness. And rather than being brought down by our circumstances, instead what we do is we bind our heart to the Word of God, bring our mind into agreement with his Word, and as we do that, we get trained by his Word. And then he supernaturally brings us out of the wilderness.
We learned a lesson there that's gonna be a blessing for us for the rest of our lives and is gonna result, beloved ones, in us prospering in the spirit because we've learned the principle of walking by faith; faith in what? Faith, beloved, in his Word. Listen to me. Don't waste your wilderness. Walking, beloved, in the wilderness in a way that's gonna produce fruit in your life involves realizing, listen to me very carefully, that God, listen to me, he is with you in your wilderness. God is with you where you're at right now. Sometimes it's easy for us to believe that God's with us. When we're in church lifting our hands with the rest of the congregation, singing a beautiful worship song, then it's easy to believe God's with us when we feel his presence. But Father God wants us to understand that he's with us wherever we go and wherever we're at.
Like the Scripture writer said, even if I go to the depths of the sea, thou art there. David said, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. I want you to hear me. Don't waste your wilderness. Begin to confess more so than ever before that Jesus loves you; that he's doing something good in you right now; that he's got a good purpose in your life and in this situation, listen, and that he's with you right now. Jesus said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Once again I want to remind you, it was only when Israel was in the wilderness for 40 years that they literally saw the Shekinah glory of God in the center of the camp for 40 years as a pillar of fire by night and a glory cloud by day. Father God wants to train you and I in the truth. We need to begin to confess that God has not forsaken us; that God is with us and that we're in this wilderness right now, listen to me, because he's preparing us, listen now, to do us good in the end.
This is what he told the children of Israel, beloved ones, in Deuteronomy, chapter 8. He said the reason that I did this is because I needed to train you and I needed to bring your heart into alignment with truth. I needed to humble you and get you dependent on me. I needed to prepare you because I'm about to bless you. And if I blessed you before I prepared you, if I blessed you before leading you through this wilderness, when I blessed you, you would have become proud and you would have got rotten and spoiled, and I would have had to reject you. Not that he ever stops loving us, but that we wouldn't be able to be in fellowship with him.
So the Lord said, because I have such an awesome future for you, because I have such great plans for you, because I have destined you to bring you into the land of fullness where you're gonna be satisfied, I had to first prepare you, in Deuteronomy, chapter 8, by bringing you through a wilderness to change your heart, to get you humble, to get you dependent on me, to put you in a posture where pride was broken so that when I bless you, you would respond to the blessing in a healthy way and that I could continue to bless you because you're prepared now through going through the wilderness and the lessons you're learned there, and the humility that was established in your life there, you're now prepared to receive the blessing. And because of that, you're now gonna be able to have joy in the blessing rather than having the blessing, beloved one, spoil you.
I mean some of us can relate to this even in the natural realm. We think about things in our life that we had to earn and how when we earn something by going through the trials, and the effort, and the discipline that was necessary to earn that thing, maybe something that we had to save up for. When we finally acquire that thing it produces life. On the other hand, if you just keep giving people something, they don't do anything to deserve it. They don't do anything to earn it. They, they, they, they haven't been prepared to receive the blessing. When we give them things, when they receive things, it could just spoil them and produces bad fruit.
Don't waste your wilderness. This is an important and necessary step, beloved, of salvation. You see, I want you to understand when I say this, salvation, hear me now, is a process. Sometimes Christian evangelicals think in such black and white terms. And it's good that we understand absolutes, that we have absolute doctrine. Jesus is the only way to God. That is absolute truth. There is no questions asked. But there's other areas, beloved, that we have to have a greater understanding on. For example, salvation; salvation is a process. It is true, when we receive Jesus into our life, when we confess our sin, when we receive him into our life and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and turn our life over to him, and begin to follow him, we have entered into a salvation experience. But I want you to hear me when I say, salvation is also a process.
In other words, there's an out working of salvation. We're being changed day to day. We're being transformed year by year. We're becoming more and more like Christ. It is a process. If you're truly walking with God, you don't look today like you did a year ago. You've changed. I'm not talking about your physical appearance. I'm talking about the fact that your inner man has been transformed. You see, one thing that never changes is the fact that things are always changing. Anything that's alive is changing. Salvation is a process, listen, and going through wilderness experiences in our life, hear me now, is part of the process. I'm gonna give you a Word of God right now.
I want you to receive it. Your life, beloved, is gonna be a cycle of trials and joy. In other words, there's gonna be seasons in our life where we're gonna be feeling lots of joy, lots of celebration, lots of peace. It's just gonna be a happy time, a full time. But then there's gonna be a season in our life that we're gonna go through a trial. And as we go through that trial with our eyes on God and continue to put one foot in front of the other in the wilderness, loving him, praising him, being confident in our faith that he's working something good in our life as we're in the wilderness, what's gonna happen is we're gonna eventually come out of that wilderness with a fresh release of joy, a bigger release of freedom, a bigger expression of fullness. And it's gonna be like that our whole life.
We're gonna go through a season of wildernesses, a season of trials, and each time we go through that wilderness, we're gonna grow, we're gonna be strengthened. And we're gonna come out the other end of that stronger and more full of life, full of peace, full of power, and full of him than ever before. I want you to know today, beloved ones, God has got great plans for your life. But let's not put our head in the rock and pretend that everything's gonna always feel good. No, God loves everyone that he receives and he loves you. And because he does, beloved, he's gonna continue to refine us through trials. I love you today. This is Rabbi Schneider saying to you, God bless you and Shalom.