Category Archives: self improvement

The Wilderness – It’s Where God Grows And Refines You

The word Exodus means “going out.” So the Book of Exodus records the redemption of Israel through the whole process from Egyptian bondage to Canaan, the wonderful land that God had promised to give Israel.

God had plans to form a nation of people that would totally belong to Him. He wanted to show them a new way of living and bless them so much that the godless and heathen nations around them would take notice of His Blessings upon them.

In this time, many of the people worshipped multiple gods – one for each area of their life, home, work, etc. They would have idols made of gold and silver and place them in a prominent place in their home. God wanted to show them that there was no comparison between the silver and gold gods they worshipped and the One True God who was invisible to their eyes, but very visible in His love, guidance, mercy, and compassion.


Below is a quick summary of the genealogy of the Nation of Israel.

***Many years before Israel became a nation, God told Abraham to leave his home and country and go to the place that would become Canaan. He was to live in that place as a sojourner, and may have never truly understood the significance of what God told him to do. But he has been recognized down through history as Israel’s Father of Faith. God told him that his descendants would be so many that they would be like the stars in the sky – they couldn’t be counted. Abraham had a son named Isaac, and Isaac had a son named Jacob.

***Jacob was Abraham’s grandson. It would be his sons that would become the heads of the 12 tribes of Israel. God had told Abraham years before that Israel would live in bondage in Egypt. So because of a terrible famine Jacob and his entire family of around 70 moved to Egypt so they could obtain food. From there they grew rapidly and had become 2 – 3 million by the time they left Egypt.

***To accomplish the great things He had in mind for His new nation, God chose Moses and his brother Aaron to lead His people to the land that He had promised Abraham many years before. There were 7 generations from Abraham to Moses.

***The Book of Exodus covers the journey of the Israelites from Egypt into the wilderness. God produced daily miracles for Israel so they could see firsthand how he intended to take care of them. God would form this new nation on His terms; so, therefore, it would be like nothing that man had seen up until this time.


This nation would be led by an Invisible God that would care for every need of His Chosen People. God intended to give them great blessings, and wanted in return – that they would love Him with all their hearts, souls, and minds, and would make serving Him the most important thing in their lives.

God knew that Israel had been under the rule of Egypt for so long that it would take some time to change their way of thinking. For over 400 years they had been in an almost totally heathen land which worshiped many gods instead of the One True God.

They were not spiritually ready to possess this great land God had promised to give them. First, they must learn to trust Him with every aspect of their lives. God wanted them to trust Him so much that they would look to Him for help FIRST, no matter how great the obstacles around them seemed to be.

***In the Book of Leviticus they were given new laws on how to be sanitary, sacrifices they were to make, instructions for how to build a portable tabernacle, laws for governance of so many people, etc. They were given many exact instructions so this new way of life would be different, but exceedingly better than the one they had known for so many years in Egypt. But at this point they couldn’t see and comprehend this much better life that God had in store for them. All they could see was where they had come from and what they could see now around them.

But God seemed to take them further and further into the wilderness instead of leading them directly to Canaan, the land of milk and honey that He had promised to give them. God usually accomplishes things in a much different way than you and I would do them.

He immediately started to give them tests to prove that without a doubt He would meet their every need. He supplied ‘manna’ for them for 40 years while they were in the wilderness, and also made their clothes and shoes last for the same amount of time. Everything about their trip was supernatural, because they had to totally depend on God or they would have starved. It is estimated that there were between 2 and 3 million of them. God met their every need as they ended up staying in the wilderness for 40 years.

If the Israelites had learned to truly depend on God, they probably would have spent less than two years in the wilderness. But because they refused to believe that God could do what He said He would do, they had to wait for a whole generation of people to die so that the new generation could possess the land God had promised. That took 38 years.

God still works the same today as He did in the day of the Israelites. He reveals His Plan for your life, and then he prepares you to carry out His Plan. As you are waiting for that to happen it may seem that you have been led into the wilderness just like the Israelites. But God’s purpose is to send tests your way so that He can show you He will always be there to meet your every need.

Most of us don’t like tests and try to avoid them any way possible. But tests are what God uses to reveal who HE is and also who YOU are. Every test you pass helps you to draw closer to God. His desired outcome for your life is supernatural strength, growth, and maturity as a Christian so that He can use you in whatever way He desires.

I’m not sure that I will ever LIKE going through tests, but now I know that God gives them to me for my own good.

But your trip through the wilderness doesn’t have to be as long as that of the Israelites. You can make the choice each day to learn to hear and obey God. He always wants you to receive ‘His Best,’ but to receive it you will have to wait for His Timing.

You might have to wait a while, but once you get ‘His Best’ you will never want to settle for anything less. Real peace comes from knowing that you are in the center of God’s Will for your life.

God said that He will ‘never leave you nor forsake you’ if you are one of His Children. He tests you in order to remove the things from your life that keep Him from being able to use you as He desires. When the dross is burned off in the refining fire, all that is left is the pure gold. It is at this point that God can start to use you in ways that you could never have imagined.

Many people think that God is irrelevant to everyday life, and following Him is boring and mundane. But nothing could be further from the truth. Making the choice to surrender my life to God has been exciting, hard, awesome, tearful, sad, peaceful, and many other things – but it has never been boring and mundane.

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This post written by Cathy Deaton.

Please check out my other sites:
How To Deal With A Selfish Person
Handbook for Victorious Christian Living
Blueprint for Victorious Christian Living
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Cathy Deaton

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About Cathy Deaton


My name is Cathy Deaton, Owner of Fan the Flame Ministries. God has radically changed my life, and He has shown me that I am to share the awesome things I am learning with the Millennial Generation (1981 – 1996), but I love connecting with Christians of all ages.  I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life. You truly can make a difference for God in an uncertain world.