The Story: Wandering

“Now choose life—so that you and your descendants will live—  by loving the Lord your God, by obeying his voice, and by clinging to him. That’s how you will survive and live long on the fertile land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors: to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” – Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (CEB)

This week’s scripture references:  Numbers 10-14, 20-21, 25-27
Deuteronomy 1-2, 4, 6, 8-9, 29-34

Are we there yet?  That is probably the most frequently asked vacation question.  Excited about the promises of new adventures, rest, and relaxation, most of us can hardly wait to reach our vacation destination.  And when those detour signs interfere with our arrival time, excitement soon turns to frustration, doubt, grumbling and complaining.  God had rescued the Israelites from slavery, showed them his power, guided them, and gifted them with his presence. But even so, trusting God and his leading was challenging for the people of Israel.

In what ways is trusting God challenging for you?

The people of Israel are just about to reach the promised land. They are standing on the edge, so close to receiving all that God has promised! And yet, they aren’t ready to receive what God has for them. They struggle to believe, become afraid, grumble and complain.

In what areas of your life do you find yourself grumbling and complaining?
In what ways do you struggle to believe in God’s provision in your life?

God doesn’t give up on the Israelites and God has not given up on you.  He allows the people of Israel to experience a detour on their journey which helps to transform them. Before Moses dies he offers the words of encouragement we find in Deuteronomy 30. Moses tells the people to choose life by loving God and following his ways.

How have you experienced growth and transformation from a detour in your life?
What does it mean to choose life?
In what ways are you striving to love God and follow his ways?
In what ways is God calling you to trust his leading and guidance?
In what ways is God calling you to take a leap of faith?

Read the following statement of faith from this week’s call to worship:

There is only one God who is at all times everywhere in creation. Every man, woman and child is a child of God: we all belong to God’s family. We therefore say God loves us as a parent loves the child. Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, incarnates that love to the full. From the Torah, Jesus highlights two calls which frame our partnership in the work of incarnating God’s love; to love God with all our might, to love our neighbor as ourselves. The Holy Spirit is the grace of God working within us. This is the God in whom I place my faith and to whom I devote my life.   
Statement of Faith adapted from Michael Hell


As you read this statement of faith, what stirs in your heart?  How is God calling you into partnership in the work of building Christ’s kingdom of love and grace? In what ways does your belief guide your faith and give meaning to your work?  What is the vision that God is calling you into?  How is God calling you to place your faith and trust in him?

Can you hear the still, small voice of God? Are you listening?

English: Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afa...

English: Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afar, as in Numbers 27:12, by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To listen to this week’s sermon, Wandering, Sermon 1/4 in “Detour” The Story Mini-Series, click here! 

For Family Devotions related to this week’s message, click here!
For more information and additional resources for The Story at Faith UMC, click here!

About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
This entry was posted in Devotions, Discipleship, The Story and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Story: Wandering

  1. Hey! I’m doing The Story with, a church based in Sunny Southern California! Blessings on your journey through the story!

  2. Pingback: Wandering | Theology In Brief

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