My personal Deuternomy 8 story.
I was 32 years born and raised in Egypt. I was set free from Egypt in 2004. Then I spent 10 years in the wilderness... during my wilderness residence, I experienced healing, deliverance, teaching and discipleship. I even ministered to others in the wilderness with me, who hadn't yet experienced what I had.
One major "thing" remained part of me, from my slave days in Egypt, while so many other things were gone. I carried it with me, protected it, lived my life around it, despised it, loved it and even believed I could never be free from it. Other's who knew me, but DON'T KNOW GOD believed I'd never be free too! I knew God's word says otherwise, He promised me freedom. He doesn't release us from the sentence of Hell, to keep us living in a state of hell while we wait to go to Heaven. Jesus came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly. John 10:10 That "thing" for me was smoking. For years after He saved me I prayed, begged and pleaded with God to deliver me from the addiction. I had surely learned about suffering, and obedience, in many other areas of my life, since 2004, but this I just wanted to be miraculously delivered from, without ever having to withdraw, resist, stand firm or battle. He had other plans.
So, on 2/14/2014, a day He chose not me, at 10pm I quit smoking. I was miraculously in an instant delivered. I've had to walk out the promise of Freedom by NOT SMOKING day by day. Looking back, I prefer it that way. I could write a book on that journey alone and its only been 38 days!
Now, I've left that thing in the wilderness and I'm headed into the promised land. Not sure what resistance I'll meet as I claim what God has promised to me and my offspring, but I do know this, IT'S MINE and my enemy will not overtake me because God won't allow it. God uses the wilderness for several purposes, some is faith building, some is dying to self, some is training and teaching, some is testing, but we are never meant to stay in the wilderness. What keeps you in the wilderness? Its name may be smoking, food, pornography, alcohol or drug addiction, shopping, gambling, control, anger, loneliness, fear and many others I haven't named but one thing is for sure. It's not a permanent residence. We all go to the wilderness, ask Him whats required to get out! :)
Deuteronomy 8 (NIRV)
"Remember What the Lord Has Done 8 Make sure you follow every command I’m giving you today. Then you will live. You will increase your numbers. You will enter the land and take it as your own. It’s the land the Lord promised with an oath to your people long ago.2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way. He guided you in the desert for these 40 years. He wanted to take your pride away. He wanted to put you to the test and know what was in your hearts. He wanted to see whether you would obey his commands.3 He took your pride away. He let you go hungry. Then he gave you manna to eat. You and your parents had never even known anything about manna before. He tested you to teach you that man doesn’t live only on bread. He also lives on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes didn’t wear out during these 40 years. Your feet didn’t swell.5 Here is what I want you to know in your hearts. The Lord your God trains you, just as parents train their children.6 Obey the commands of the Lord your God. Live as he wants you to live. Have respect for him.7 The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land. It has streams and pools of water. Springs flow in its valleys and hills. 8 It has wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey. 9 There is plenty of food in that land. You will have everything you need. Its rocks have iron in them. And you can dig copper out of its hills.10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God. Praise him for the good land he has given you. 11 Make sure you don’t forget the Lord your God. Don’t fail to obey his commands, laws and rules. I’m giving them to you today.12 But suppose you don’t obey his commands. And suppose you have plenty to eat. You build fine houses and settle down in them. 13 Your herds and flocks increase their numbers. You also get more and more silver and gold. And everything you have multiplies. 14 Then your hearts will become proud. And you will forget the Lord your God.The Lord brought you out of Egypt. That’s the land where you were slaves. 15 He led you through that huge and terrible desert. It was a dry land. It didn’t have any water. It had poisonous snakes and scorpions. The Lord gave you water out of solid rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert. Your parents had never even known anything about manna before.The Lord took your pride away. He put you to the test. He did it so that things would go well with you in the end. 17 You might say to yourselves, “Our power and our strong hands have made us rich.”18 But remember the Lord your God. He gives you the ability to produce wealth. That shows he stands by the terms of his covenant. He promised it with an oath to your people long ago. And he’s still faithful to his covenant today.19 Don’t forget the Lord your God. Don’t follow other gods. Don’t worship them and bow down to them. I give witness against you today that if you do, you will certainly be destroyed. 20 You will be destroyed just like the nations the Lord your God is destroying to make room for you. That’s what will happen if you don’t obey him."