Most of us know the story of Moses and the journey of the Israelites from slavery to the land of Promise (Canaan) as told in the Old Testament. What should have only taken a couple of weeks (by walking), ended up taking 40 years of wandering in the wilderness.
Tonight, at the strike of midnight, we turn the page on another month, another year, and another decade, and many are still wandering in the wilderness, hoping 2020 will be better than the year before, knowing that we will face new challenges, work on unfinished goals, revisit derailed resolutions, and expect good changes to come.
But, like the children of Israel, months, years, and even decades past, and we find we have not progressed much in our journey. Sure, we've had a lot of changes - some welcomed and some not-so-much.
While we had good intentions, our lack of self-discipline often afforded us more excuses than anything. And there have been times we were well on our journey and life threw us an unexpected curve-ball, leaving us derailed and feeling defeated.
Raise your hand if this is you.
There is something we can learn from the Israelites and their journey. Although they only had about 240 miles to travel (what would have taken half a day by car or about seven days by horse), wandering in the wilderness had more to do with their mindset and attitude than it did with distance.
Despite having witnessed God's powerful display of majestic force in the parting of the Red Sea, which made way for them where there was no way; despite having been led by literally a tornado of wind during the day and a tornado of fire by night as God not only protected them but directed them on their journey; and despite giving them provision (manna) to meet their nutritional needs, many of the Israelites were still not satisfied.
Many of them had been slaves for their entire lives, so freedom - albeit sounded good - was unfamiliar. As a result, many rebelled. Many lost hope because their expectations were not met. Many felt defeated because it was taking too long to see God's promise come into fruition.
Even after witnessing God's miracles quite regularly, several turned their backs on God and created false idols to worship, simply because they wanted more from God.
We can look at the children of Israel and think "What spoiled, ungrateful brats!" Yet, in many ways, we are just like them. Today, thousands of years later, we, too are often wandering in the wilderness despite the countless provisions, opportunities, miracles, and revelations God has given us over the decades. Sometimes our own imprisonment in mediocre routines is so familiar that we deny ourselves the "Promised Land" because we have become comfortable with the status quo.
Isn't it time to end your wilderness journey? Isn't it time to stop making yourself and God empty promises you know you won't keep? Isn't it time to forget about the past and stop living in the prison of your own making? Isn't it time to demand freedom, face the fear of the unknown by activating your faith, and trust God to lead you to the opportunity He has waiting for you?
In 2020, let it be your year of Revolution! Forget about "resolutions" that are mere words. Take action! Be bold! Do what you've always said you were going to do but keep putting off! Take a risk! Pray intently and seek God's direction. Ask Him to lead you out of the wilderness and into the land He has specifically for you.
Let 2020 be your year of exodus, going from the land of ritualistic routines and mundane madness to a place where you are leaving your mark for the better, impacting people's lives, and making a difference in those you come in contact with - starting with your family.
Declare your own Revolution in 2020, and start by humbling yourself in the sight of God and asking Him to forgive you for wandering in the wilderness far too long.