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I've been wanting to write this post for awhile now, but I think I had to let it sink in first and become my truth before I could find the words to share it with you. So here goes...

I've been reading my Bible chronologically (while skipping back and forth to other places) but I have to say, I was a bit nervous as I approached Leviticus lol I've been told it's a bit of a rough and wordy read, and it is, but WOW did God surprise me with some hidden nuggets in there that have grabbed ahold of my heart and not let go. This verse in particular has played over and over again in my head the last few days and I know I've talked about this before - but this just made it this message seem to click for me in a way it hadn't before. Bear with me on this one and read the whole verse... I promise, it's worth it.

"This is the law of the burnt offering, of the grain offering, of the sin offering, of the guilt offering, of the ordination offering, and of the peace offering, which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai, on the day that he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai." (Leviticus 7:37-38)

Okay, whew. There is SO much goodness and wisdom to unpack in there. Ahh!

The first thing I am reminded of throughout all of the chapters of Leviticus that talk about the offerings and sacrifices that were required by the people to bring to the Lord for atonement of sin, guilt, peace, etc. is how incredibly amazingly thankful I am for Jesus!! And how seeing that the whole Bible paints this beautiful story that points straight to Him, how He is woven throughout even piece of it, just makes me fall in love with Him that much more. It has always been God's plan for us to know Him, to draw close to Him, to be in relationship with Him and Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice, He is the "lamb without spot and without blemish" who paid the price once and for all, who tore the veil, who made a way for us to boldly approach the throne of God, that we might know Him and live with Him forever. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

The second thing this verse struck me with is that there is the epic list of every type of sacrifice that Moses had just been instructed about by God. There were sacrifices for burnt offerings, and grain offerings, and sin offerings, and guilt offerings, and ordination offerings, and peace offerings... you get it, alllll of da offerings. But what I took from this epic list is what leads into my next, and main point, of this passage; God deserves our absolute best in every season and every situation. Whether it be a time of abundance, or loss. A time of repentance, or a time to celebrate peace; God deserves all of us, always. Even in....

The wilderness.

Which brings me to my third and final point. I bolded this part of the verse because it struck me so directly to the season of life I have been in for a minuteeeeee y'all. Like five minutes, ya feel me? Here it is again, "on the day that he commanded the people of Israel to bring their offerings to the Lord, in the wilderness of Sinai." (Leviticus 7:38) Did you catch that? It didn't say God said "if you feel like it" or "if you think it's a good time for it", it said He "commanded" the people of Israel to bring the Lord their offerings, where? In. the. wilderness.

So here we are friends, in the wilderness. That time where you're waiting on an answer to a prayer, where you're hoping deeply for something and it just isn't happening how you thought it would... or at all. That place where you feel "stuck", where nothing seems to change, where frustration builds, where you can begin to wonder if God's even listening... He is, and He's there with you, and He cares. And He's reminded me over and over again lately that this, this place, right here, right now, this is where He is. He's not waiting for me on the other side of A,B,C, and D happening, He is right here in the moment with me and this is the moment! This is the place to bring Him all that I have, because He's already given me all that I need. So often I think I feel ill-equipped, I feel like once I get to a certain place or accomplish a certain thing, then I'll be useful, then God can carry out His purposes for me; but this is His purposes for me, right here, right now!! And here in the wilderness, He is at work in me. Just because I may not physically see change, does not mean that God is not busily at work in this place. Preparing my heart, aligning the circumstances, preparing other people, building my character, training and preparing me for something I might not even be aware of yet. Y'all, this is the place and now is the time! But it takes partnership on our behalf, God meets us right where we're at, but we've got to be willing to show up and meet Him there too. To recognize the amazing blessings, gifts, purposes, and opportunities He has given us in the mundane, in the daily life, in moments that we so often take for granted, He is there, and He is working. So my question to me, and to you, is will we meet Him there? It's time that I do.

The wilderness is an opportunity, if we choose to make it so. An opportunity to know God more, to build a solid relationship with Him, to have time and space in which to fall in love with Jesus. It is a place in which we discover who God made us to be and what He calls us to do. It's a time in which we can pour into others; our families, churches, friends, and communities.

It is a place where we learn contentment, and that Jesus truly is enough. The truth is, we're always in the wilderness in a way, until we're home again with the Father. Whether in good seasons, or in really, really hard ones; God never changes and He is always with us. When we bring Him our all, He can use it in ways we never even imagined. When I place my focus on giving my best to God and growing His Kingdom, instead of my own, then suddenly my whole perspective shifts. He can do much with my little, and I already have all that I need to do His work, all I have to do is use it.

All my love,

Nicole <3

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