Are You in the Desert?

Recently while reading in Exodus chapter sixteen, I was struck by the name of the desert Moses led the Israelites through.

The Desert of Sin

But what struck me most was what happened there and how much it parallels our lives today. Five points stood out to me. Perhaps if we see ourselves in any of these situations, we’ll recognize that we’re wandering in the Desert of Sin and allow God to lead us out.

While the people of God were in the Desert of Sin they:

  • Grumbled against their leaders. We see that the whole community complained that Moses didn’t know what he was doing and surely must want them to suffer. Leaders aren’t perfect, but if they are humbly seeking God—we can tell by the fruit of their lives—let’s honor and pray for them rather than complain about them. There is a place for questions & discussion in humility, but not prideful arguments (vs.2)
  • Made dramatic declarations of doom and death. They proclaimed they would have been better off in their past (Egypt). Moses intended for them to starve and for everyone to die. How many times have we made declarations based on emotion that had no basis in truth? (vs.2-3)
  • Disobeyed. They decided to rely on their own plan to hoard manna, but that resulted in something putrid and inedible. Obedience provided for them. Leaning on themselves stunk. (vs.20)
  • Ignored God’s instructions. When they dismissed God and relied on themselves, they ended up disappointed. God did exactly what he said, but they didn’t trust him and tried to secure something more for themselves. We can never get more for ourselves than God’s best that he wants and plans to give us. (vs.27)
  • Forced God to keep them wandering. Forty years is a long time. Often we don’t realize that we keep ending up in the same place because we’ve grumbled, made false declarations, disobeyed and ignored God. God intends to lead us into good. The length of time that takes might depend on our response to him. (vs. 35)

Since the beginning of time, man has allowed the enemy to sow seeds of doubt in man’s mind about God. Does he really mean what he says? Can he truly be trusted? Did he actually say that?

Let us not be deceived by the enemy of our souls. God’s plans for us are for good. Even in the most difficult places he will provide whatever we need. We don’t want to be stuck wandering around in the Desert of Sin.

Where Is Your Thinking Taking You?


“If you change your thoughts, you will change your existence.”

I’m not sure who said this, but I saw this quote recently and it made me think.

The Bible says that “as a man thinketh, so is he.” I’ve never fully embraced that idea. I guess I didn’t really understand the meaning behind it. Or maybe I grasped the concept with a “Yeah, I get that” but didn’t actually internalize it. Then. But now?

What I think is what I become.

So what am I becoming? Where are my thoughts taking me?

When it’s been a season of great challenge in mental toughness, how do we handle life? I understand this from the viewpoint of an athlete. I was one once. But how do we apply this to everyday life? When bills pile up, the car breaks down, illness sets in and our relationship seems stuck or the business or job isn’t panning out the way we expected?

And then we get that call…you know the one that sucks the air out of you with it’s unexpected, tragic message.

How do I think about all that? Where do my thoughts take me?

Down a path of fear, regret, doubt or anger? Do I allow self-pity, bitterness or resentment to set in? Are conversations or situations replaying in my mind in the middle of the night keeping me awake in anxiety?

What are my thoughts doing to my existence?

There’s a reason God says we need to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. God knows how easily our thoughts can lead us astray into an existence of hopelessness, despair, depression or even destruction.

But how do we take a thought captive?

  1. Recognize that we have a choice about what to think. Often, we feel as if our thoughts happen to us, when the truth is that we can choose them.
  2. Feelings – our emotions are God given, but we don’t have to let them control our thoughts. How I feel in a given moment, may not accurately reflect the truth of a situation. I may experience anger, but I can choose how to think and act about it.
  3. When I have a thought, ask if it is bringing me into a positive, life-giving place or leading me into a small, negative space. There is always another perspective.
  4. What does God say in his word about me, my life, his plans for me? Are my thoughts lining up with that?
  5. Speak the truth instead of the doubts.
  6. Remember that God loves me and wants good for me. He says I lack nothing because he’s my shepherd. If my life shows a lack, but God says I lack nothing, what is another way I can think about my situation according to God’s truth?

It isn’t easy, but with practice, I’m learning to change my thinking. God says that he transforms us by the renewing of our minds. Changing our thoughts, changes our existence.

I believe this is only truly possible with allowing Jesus to take our thoughts captive and making them line up with his thinking. Maybe our very first step would be choosing a relationship with him. He’s always waiting for us with open arms to come to him and receive what he did for us on the cross.

Do you like the existence you currently have? Where are your thoughts taking you?