Shirley Frost - Second Convention, Williams, Western Australia - November, 2005

Hymn 327

Since the beginning of this Convention that hymn has been so much in my thoughts, “He who hath led will lead.” I have thought back on the past to the days of beginning. There has been so much to reassure me and encourage my heart as I thought of the conviction, the revelation, the assurance that I received in my own experience with God in the very beginning – what I would call the beginning - when the gospel came to me and I heard and understood God’s great plan for my life. There have been a lot of things taking place on the journey but one thing one is assured of: God has led even till now, and His hand will lead us further on into His Will. Paul wrote to the Corinthians; because we have heard of the journey of the children of Israel through the wilderness, and there’s a lot I have known in my own journey and yet will know in the same journey. Our life is like a journey with God from the day when He first put His touch on our lives and His love won our hearts.

1 Corinthians 10:1-12, "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud and all passed through the sea………” There seemed to be so many negative things among them, but they were written for our example for us to take notice of and be warned by. It was a miracle God ever brought those people out of the land of Egypt, the land of bondage, and led them 40 years where there would be no apparent provision. And God fulfilled His promise and He did bring them into the land He promised to give them.

A wonderful journey, but some perished by the way. That journey began with the lamb that was slain that night when the death angel passed over Egypt. Already the ties and provision had been broken and plagues had come upon that land and all that Egypt had to offer was nothing compared to what God could do. They were in terrible bondage but God said He would bring them out and that night the journey began with a little lamb; innocent, slain for the guilty. The death angel passed over and they were partaking of the lamb, dressed, ready for the journey, ready to begin to take the first step. They were told to remember that night all through the journey; all through the future years. As they sheltered under the blood, they were passed from death unto life and had a new hope for the future. It was just a beginning of that great journey.

God led them out and brought them to an impossible situation by the Red Sea and He made the way where there was no way and took them through like the waters of baptism. There are those today that have taken that step, led by God, guided by His presence. They passed through those waters and the bondage Egypt held over them. The next day they saw the Egyptians dead on the sea shore: God had dealt with the past and there was a new future ahead of them, great rejoicing and a song. After a few days journey they came to the bitter waters of Marah and they murmured because they couldn’t drink it. But there was a branch cast in and the water became sweet. All along the journey God reminded them of the lamb.

Sometimes in the journey, God speaks and maybe it seems a bit harsh to us and we feel God’s commandments are too harsh. But they were to hear His commandments and obey. We think the narrow way is too difficult; but we think of the branch cut off. In Zachariah, God said, “I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.” If we ever think God is asking too much and the way is getting too hard, just think of the One who gave everything for our sake. The One who came from heaven and laid His life: the sweetness, the love, the mercy, compassion, the long suffering. Doesn’t it sweeten the way and the word? He wants to lead us on into further experiences. It sweetened the waters and they drank and continued the journey.

Then they came to the 12 wells and 70 palm trees. God was leading them on in the journey but it wasn’t long and they hungered. God provided for them; He didn’t punish them and they proved again His word that fed them and the water that sustained them. He provided it all in spite of what they were and the times they didn’t see when they should have seen. There was a time when some despised His provision, “Our soul loathes this light bread.” They were looking back to Egypt and wanted something more solid. But it had filled them in the beginning; some of them perished though because they despised God’s provision. Jesus spoke that His meat was to do the will of His Father.

There’s great depth through the word that God would speak if we put it into practice in our lives because it will lead us to dying to self that’s necessary in our lives. There’s a depth to it if we are willing. We don’t want to despise the simple message God speaks; let’s do it and we will prove the strength to continue the journey.

Paul said some murmured, complained, and rebelled. There came a time when 3 men rose up, Korah, Dathan and Abiram and they said they took too much upon them. But they had never chosen it, God put them there and they were to lead the people out. Certainly, people could find failure in their lives. Moses spoke of his own failure, and Aaron too when so many perished because of idolatry. Maybe only God knew; but God made it clear that Aaron was chosen by the rod that budded and because of their critical spirit there were those that perished. But Aaron stood between the dead and the living and made intercession. God had put those men in that position, they hadn’t chosen it but God put them there. It’s the picture today: God lives, knows and he provides.

We read in Numbers 26, “Notwithstanding the children of Korah died not.” It’s a very individual matter, and as individuals we need to understand what God has revealed to us and made clear, and He will lead us on too. There were experiences; mountains that they came across. In chapter 1 and 2 of Deuteronomy, God drew near and spoke to them and they would have liked to have stayed there. But He led them on and they came to Mount Seir that belonged to Esau and they compassed that mountain – that old first nature. We often come up against that mountain and some things we just keep going around and around. But God said, “You have been there long enough, you just leave it.”

Sometimes we think there are problems and we can’t move them. Some years ago, a young couple came to us very distressed and it just seemed they couldn’t get over it or around it. There were some in their meeting and it was affecting them deeply. Jesus gave the example – just forgive. Well, they said they were sorry and went on to say, “If we only knew they meant it, we would forgive them.” But sometimes the problem is not really the mote in our brother’s eye but the beam in our own eyes. Jesus said we must forgive. Jesus on the cross of Calvary didn’t wait for anyone to say they were sorry for the way they treated him, but said, “Father forgive them.” We need to leave the mountain of Esau behind and take our journey. He brought them into the Promised Land and who was He bringing in? Some of the strong men died because they murmured and because they were hungry. He brought in the children, the little ones that left Egypt: no strength in them. He brought them through the journey with a strong arm. We need not doubt that He will lead us safely to the journey’s end. He that hath led will lead. He that hath blest will bless.