ASBC wandering booklet - Page 10

Sunday, April 26th
Pastor Howard-John Wesley
The Clarity of the Clouds - Wandering in the Wilderness Part 2
Exodus 13:17–22
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was
shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people
around by the desert road toward the Red Sea.The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Moses took the bones
of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your
aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on
the edge of the desert. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night
in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the
pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
This sermon is Part 2 of a series on the examination of the signs of God’s presence and guidance in the wilderness.
The forty year journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness mirrors the uncertainty of the pandemic journey we
find ourselves in today. Wilderness seasons bring scarce resources, difficult grief, political upheaval, and fear, but they
teach us how to trust God in a way we never had before. In the midst of the wilderness we always find out that God
provides clarity, direction, and guidance through clouds.
Pastor Wesley invites us to ask the question, “what are your clouds?” In other words, how do we discern God’s voice,
will, and direction for our lives? You don’t have to be dependent on somebody else to discern God’s will for your life.
God’s voice is always speaking and God’s will is always being broadcast. The issue is we aren’t always tuned and we
don’t have the right device. The device is a dedicated and disciplined devotional life. Pastor Wesley recommends that
we incorporate these 5 components of a healthy devotional life:
1 Daily Scheduled Time With God - don’t wait until you need God to spend time with God. If it’s not scheduled
it doesn’t really matter to you
2 Dedicated Space and Place to Be with God - God’s primary sanctuary should not be where you go on Sunday,
it should be a place in your home
3 Commitment to Reading The Word of God - The Bible teaches us God’s language and God’s vocabulary
4 Committed Daily Prayer Life - Your ability to discern the will of God in your life is in direct proportion to
your prayer life
5 An Open and Obedient Heart - God will never speak to you about something you’ve already determined you
can’t or won’t do

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