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Week Four | Embrace the Becoming

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Wealth of the Wilderness Online Biblical Study
Reading Assignment – Ch. 7 & 8
Hebrew Word of the Week – mishkan מִשְׁכַּן
🎙️ Listen to the Audio version 🎧 | Read time 8.25-minutes

Has God ever captivated your attention through an annoyance?

As I parked and prepared to attend a local MOPS gathering one Friday morning, I wearily bent forward to pick up yet another feather.  It seemed a pillow had exploded—though I never did find the culprit—and feathers floated all over to make a mess of my home, clothes, and car. But that morning. . . BOOM!  As the tender white feather brushed my fingertip, Psalm 91:4 flashed like a bright light through my mind:

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91:4, NIV

An Encounter with the Divine For Reals

Little did I know that I had experienced what Rebekah Joy calls the fifth posture—perceiving encounters with the divine. From that moment, the message of Psalm 91:4 established a tabernacle residence, mishkan, in my soul.  

Before this occurred, I weathered many wilderness seasons, including years of worldly living, divorce, and infertility.

As Rebekah Joy states so beautifully,

“In our wilderness seasons, God pursues us. . . inviting us to experience and encounter Him.”

rebekah joy, pg. 89 – Wealth of the wilderness

And encounter Him I did.  

God showed me how to take off a captivity mindset and embrace a mindset wrapped in freedom in Christ. My independent spirit needed to comprehend that dependence on Him was all that I needed. And do you know why? Because change was coming.

40 days after the encounter with the feather, in my 40th year of life, I stepped off a plane and inhaled the sweet, floral fragrance waiting to meet me. . . in Israel.

Embrace the Becoming

I LOVE the sixth posture—embrace the becoming, that Rebekah shares in chapter 8 of Wealth of the Wilderness. Without the divine encounter of the feathers, I may have given into the encroaching fear and ended up canceling my trip.  

Becoming perfectly describes my experience of “tabernacling” with Psalm 91:4 and saturating myself in what some call the fifth Gospel—experiencing the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, geography, and culture of the Holy Land. 

With hindsight and the help from Rebekah’s words, I now perceive the gift of transformation that previous wilderness seasons prepared me for. Perhaps you will too.

I needed to more fully understand avodah. I was overly focused on work and missed the need to worship. The hard work I struggled to do on my own made me look up and realize God was leading me into a fuller posture of worship as I worked to bring glory to Him. 

As you work through your own wilderness hindsight, consider how you may have experienced this transformational shift.

If only I had known the significance of 40 then!  Rebekah teaches us that, “forty often signifies ‘change is coming’ and can indicate a time of testing or preparation.” (page 99) I began to embrace the role of “Bible teacher” and, with my desire to be a writer, found I had something to say and started tapping the keys of my laptop with new fervor. 

Do you have a “40s” story of your own? 

As I considered the things I went through, particularly the infertility years, I found I had a lot in common with Moses’s 40 years in the wilderness. During that time, I became involved in ministry and learned to shepherd women in the local church. The Lord knew I would need this skill as I halakah-ed into a new season as an author and ministry leader. 

Do any biblical stories resonate with your own wilderness experience?

I can attest that God prepares us well for the seasons to come—especially in the desolate wilderness. 

My sweet friend, we can weather the wilderness well. 

Let’s not rush to arrive, but ask the Lord to tabernacle with us as we become. May we sit in the barrenness and patiently wait for the living God to finish His work in us.  

Let’s recap…

1. Mishkan, meaning tabernacle, is a reminder that God meets His people in challenging places and doesn’t leave them there.
2. Encountering the divine may reveal significant changes are on the way.
3. Comprehension of avodahwork and worship, may reveal insights into our wilderness seasons.
4. God communicates coming change through “40s” in the Bible. . . as well as in our own lives.

Have you encountered the divine in a unique way and how did it change you? Have you sat in a wilderness season long enough to cause your becoming?  What did that transformation look like?

Shop this study

Wealth of the Wilderness | Rebekah Joy

A 6-week study to develop halakha—Hebrew for “a way of walking and living”—that positions us to inherit the unique riches available in and through wilderness seasons. Ten postures form the framework of Wealth of the Wilderness, each with a relevant Hebrew word as its foundation.

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