(Compiled by Linda Lorring)
First Things First with Christine —
Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands (Deuteronomy 8:2).
When I’m caught in heavy traffic, I get excited when I remember a shortcut. It’s such a great feeling to jump off the interstate, hit a few side roads and pass all those cars stalled in the rush-hour standstill.
But many times my brilliant idea is thwarted by highway engineers. My ingenious shortcut is suddenly sabotaged by construction, a roadblock and then a detour that leads me through multiple turns right back to the interstate. I end up back where I started, forced to return to the traffic jam and go through it to get home.
It’s the same journey on our way to our promised land. Despite our best efforts to find alternate routes, there’s only one way to get there—through.
Even the children of Israel could have shaved some serious time off their trip. Going through was essential for them, but their trek through the wilderness was actually only an eleven-day journey. It didn’t have to take forty years, but in essence they chose that for themselves by fighting the process—grumbling, complaining, resisting the work God wanted to do in them.
We all have some version of the wilderness to go through. It’s a season that exposes how vulnerable we are, how defenseless we feel, how small we are in comparison to the wide expanse of this world. It’s how God prepares us to be well able to overcome the giants in our lives. It’s a place we cycle through over and over again in our lives—but in different areas—always getting freer and freer from shame each time.
It’s never a place we go looking for. But God is changing our thinking. He is leading, transforming, delivering and freeing us. We just have to decide that where He leads, we will follow.
God’s goal for us is freedom, true spiritual freedom—a life no longer bound by the weights of shame’s false guilt and relentless regret, no longer haunted by shame’s fears and worries, no longer captive to shame’s old habits and self-protective responses that keep us repeating those same old shame-filled patterns.
God’s goal for us is not merely to change our circumstances; it is to change us! That is the evidence of His unconditional love for you and me.
Taken from http://christinecaine.com/
Today’s devotional (April 20, 2016) was taken from Chris’ newest book, UNASHAMED.