A Hope and a Future – Temptation in the Wilderness

So many voices and they are all SHOUTING! It’s hard to listen through all the noise. I need to withdraw; to retreat.

Retreat.

To the wilderness, to just wander, so I can really listen.

But in the wilderness, there is temptation. Temptation to return to the rulers of Egypt with their towering monuments, temptation to not fight the adversaries that lie ahead.

In the wilderness, there is the temptation to settle for instant gratification and the temptation to forego the pain and suffering of the cross.

But we are called to carry our crosses and to keep moving forward. Where are we going though? There is tremendous fear in the voices of the unknown world that lies ahead.

A few years ago, our church leadership was encouraged to read a book called Canoeing the Mountains about how the Lewis and Clark expedition team expected to canoe the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. They assumed that the path forward must be a mirror image of the past, but it wasn’t.

Like those explorers, a massive mountain range lies before us on our path forward as a church, as a community, as a nation, even as a world. We may need to listen to different voices than we are accustomed to and trust strangers to help us navigate the terrain.

In the wilderness, there is a still, small whisper that beckons us, but we will have to leave our canoes behind and take up our crosses for the road ahead.

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.

(Read the interested story behind this song.)

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