Category Archives: Lessons in Wilderness


GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I?

Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names

PART 2 – eBook 2

And the Lord said to Joshua . . . “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.'”

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God [lessons in the wilderness]. . . . ”     Joshua 3:8-9

Part 2 is comprised of the second three modules of the book and is Part 2 of the FREE eCourse Bonus on this Web site. They are:

Module 4 – Chapter 6: God is Jehovah-Shalom [The Lord is Peace]

Chapter 7: Because God is Jehovah-Shalom, I am Like a B-E-A-R

Module 5 – Chapter 8: God is Jehovah-Rohi [The Lord My Shepherd]

Chapter 9: Because God Is Jehovah-Rohi, I am Guided

Module 6 – Chapter 10: God is El Shaddai [The All Sufficient One]

Chapter 11: Because God is El Shaddai, I Am Blessed

M4D Bear Facts of Faith – Jehovah Shalom

The “B” of the BEAR Facts of Faith

B – Believing The Word – Believing Comes Before Seeing

Bear Facts of FaithBeth Moore, author of Believing God, asks, “Do you believe God or do you merely believe in Him? Do you take God at His Word, believing what He has told us, or do you just believe in His existence and the salvation He offers?”7

Some Christians believe parts of His Word have passed away and cannot be believed for today. However, God says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35), and Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Miracles seen in the Bible are the same for us today, if we believe. Jesus even tells us that if we believe, He will do greater miracles through us than He did while on earth (see John 14:12). Even He could do no mighty works because of unbelief in His hometown (see Matt. 13:58).

Before God spoke, “Let there be light,” He saw in His mind what He wanted the formless dark earth and water to be. He believed it would happen. The story of Lazarus drives home this point. After Jesus asked for the stone to be rolled away from Lazarus’ tomb, Martha, the sister of the dead man said, “By this time there is a bad odor, for he has been dead four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:39-40). Believing comes before seeing.

The “E” of the BEAR Facts of Faith

E – Expecting from the Word – Having Eyes on the Circumstances and on the Word at the Same Time is Impossible

Bear Facts of Faith
After we believe God has our answer, our hearts are filled with expectation. Until we expect to see something happen, we will not know when the answer comes.

Webster’s dictionary says, “Expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning.”8 It also implies hope, for “if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Rom. 8:25).

The Greek word for “wait eagerly” in this verse means to expect, and to look for, which includes two elements: hope and patience. Once we have made a decision to believe a promise discovered in God’s Word, whether it is protection from a storm or an enemy, salvation for a friend or loved one, or to pay a bill, we have hope. From that point on, we enter into “earnest expectation” with patience, which from the Greek, implies “turning the head away from any distracting influence.”9

When Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Moab and Ammon came to make war. Surrounded on all sides by a vast army, the Israelites came together to seek the Lord. The king encouraged the people, saying to the Lord, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chron. 20:12).

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, son of Zechariah, who said,

“This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them . . . . You will not have to fight in this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.'” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17

How I learned to receive by faith

Keeping our eyes on the Lord means keeping our eyes in His Word. When we look at His Word, we are looking to Jesus who is the “Word made flesh.”10  Chapter one of this book established that the angel of the Lord who spoke to Hagar was Jesus.

The first chapter of John says Jesus was the second person of the Trinity who spoke into existence everything that was made. “In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).

The bottom line is this: when our eyes are not in the Word, we are not looking to Jesus. When we are not expecting from the Word, we are focused on the problem, or the circumstances, allowing fear, doubt and worry to overtake us. We cannot keep our eyes focused on the problematic situation and on the Lord at the same time. The word from our mouth, working in conjunction with His Word, opens the door for Him to fight those battles.

“Earnest expectation” that “turns the head from any distraction” assumes that once we have made a quality decision to trust God concerning a situation, we can expect opposition, harassment, trials and challenges. Words contradicting what we believe will come. That’s when we have to fix our heart and keep on believing, saying out loud, “[I] will have no fear of bad news; [my] heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord” (Ps. 112:7).

We can lay our requests before God each morning (see Ps. 5:3), but unless we expect something to happen, it’s unlikely we will see the result from exercising our faith.

The “A” of the BEAR Facts of Faith

A – Asking from the Word – Praying the Scripture, not the Problem

Bear Facts of Faith

The book of James tells us what to do when we have a problem. After we begin to believe God’s Word has a solution for every situation and embrace hopeful expectation for the answer, we need wisdom such as Jehoshaphat received through Jahaziel.

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” Furthermore, he says, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2).

Jehoshaphat did this very thing. Alarmed, he resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for himself and all Judah. He praised the Lord, recounting the covenant promise to Abraham and God’s deliverances in the past. He put his faith in God’s ability, rather than his own, to take care of things in the present. He then spoke positive, believing words, “You will hear us and save us” (2 Chron. 20:9). He did not belabor the problem. God already knew it, and he knows ours, too.

ASKING from the Word means praying the Scripture. His Word is His will. His Word contains the answer to any problem we could have. The more we take our words from God’s Word, the more we are looking to Jesus who fights for us.

For God says, “. . . I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it” (Jer. 1:12 Amplified). Jesus himself defeated Satan during his forty days of temptation with Scripture. He tells us, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).

Seeking God’s wisdom, and asking from His Word, involves hard work much like digging for hidden treasure, such as picking up acorns one by one like bears should naturally do. Furthermore, having God’s revealed wisdom and then doing something about it is a matter of life and death–to our marriages, children, cities and nation.

As we put voice to Scripture in the midst of our situation, the entrance of His Word gives light (see Ps. 119:130). When Chanté and her mother spoke Scripture over Kim, words of Light actually expelled the darkness from her. And, it all came through exercising the BEAR Facts of Faith.

Tomorrow we will put the “R” on our BEAR.


  1. Beth Moore, Believing God, (Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, TN, 2004), back cover.
  2. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary-Eleventh Edition, (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, Springfield, MA 2003), p. 439.
  3. Dick Mills, The Word Daily Devotional (Harrison House, Tulsa, OK, 1990), p. 320.
  4. See John 1:14.


M4C Because Jehovah Shalom, I am Like a BEAR

In this life I’m a woman. In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear. When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.
Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that, too.
When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.
If you’re a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them, too. I could deal with that.
If you’re a bear, your mate expects you to wake up growling. He expects you to have hairy legs and excess body fat. Yup, gonna be a bear!


we are like bearsReincarnation is not substantiated in the Bible, but this email forward is priceless. We don’t have to wish to “come back as a bear” to be like one. We already are. We are creatures of habit, just like bears. And, like bears, those habits may mean life or death.
Black bears of California have a natural food supply they must work hard to find. After coming out of hibernation with 50% less body weight, they search for berries, eat grass, tear apart logs for carpenter ants and dig up yellow jacket nests. Before winter arrives again, they can be found shaking acorns from oak trees, then picking them up one by one.2

In the wild, brown-bear mothers in Alaska do not give the fish they catch to their cubs. They teach them how to feed themselves for their own survival. Like humans, though, most bears prefer what is readily available. They know what ice chests usually contain, and can smell food even if it’s wrapped in plastic and locked in a car. They can tear the window out of a car door or rip open a locked trunk to get what they want. But, going to this unnatural means to get what they want may cost them their life when surprised campers or protective park rangers shoot them.

Black bear yearlings, in their first season away from mom, know the least about finding wild foods and are most vulnerable to the temptation of easy meals. They may be the first to become campground bears and the most difficult to return to a natural diet.3

Just like campground bears, we Christians can become dependent upon easy meals, being spoon-fed by others, if we don’t learn early in our walk with the Lord to go to our natural source of supply–God’s Word.

This chapter will serve to give a taste of what Jehovah-Shalom can do in our lives such as bringing peace out of turmoil and working miracles when we need one. True fulfillment will come only as we seek our natural source of nourishment: eternal, living water and bread of life which is God’s Word. For us, this can mean spiritual life or death.

Kim had to learn this discipline-that peace remained only when she kept her eyes in the Word. Proverbs 30:8 says, “Feed me with the food that is needful for me” (ASV). When we ask God to do that, He will, if we’ll just open His book. God’s wisdom is for every Christian who searches for it:

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.  Proverbs 2:1-8

Jehovah Shalom Teaches Us the BEAR Facts of Faith

How I learned to receive by faith

What promises!: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, victory and protection for the faithful ones! Digging for treasure in God’s Word always brings a reward. When we create this habit of seeking nourishment from The Source, Jehovah-Shalom teaches us the “B-E-A-R” Facts of Faith: B-elieving the Word, E-xpecting from the Word, A-sking from the Word and R-eceiving from the Word.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6).

Faith is like a two-sided coin, with fear on the other side. Gideon feared, but at the word of the Lord, he reversed the coin and put his faith in God who brought the victory. Like Gideon we, too, can flip our coin when fear enters our heart. We do that by applying knowledge of these four principles of faith that work together.

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” We will examine these four treasures from God’s word after we understand how faith works. Faith is displayed in our lives through our actions and by our words working in conjunction with God’s Word. After all, it was Joshua who was told by God that if he would meditate in His Word and not let it “depart from your mouth,” (Joshua 1:8) observing to do everything in it, he would be prosperous and successful.

Words “from our mouth” matter. Pat Boone’s daughter, Lindy Michaelis, had been digging in her natural source for food-her Bible. One day, her twenty-six year old son, Ryan Corbin, fell forty feet to the concrete floor through an unmarked roof opening of his apartment building in 2001.

Ryan was not breathing when paramedics arrived. For six months, Ryan was in a coma on maximum ventilator support with brain injury, and he was unresponsive to outside stimuli.4 Lindy spoke formative, positive words, along with Scripture, day after day over Ryan’s lifeless body.

After four years of prayer by people all over the world, and constant “Mama Bear” mothering, Ryan is now in a wheelchair; he can move his legs, and he can recite memorized Scripture. Lindy attributes Ryan’s recovery to the creative spoken word over him, for “Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . .” (Prov. 18:21 Amplified).

Why are words so important? In looking at the power of the creative spoken word, it helps to see words as substance, capsules of energy transported from one place to another. This is what a radio does: transports words. Webster’s dictionary defines a radio as “wireless transmission and reception of electric impulses or signals by means of electromagnetic waves into which sound is converted.”5 When God spoke the words, “Let there be light,”6 He created the environment for energy that would later be used to transmit words.

The first chapter of Genesis says that in the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered in the formless, empty darkness. Then something changed. He spoke. Nothing happened until He spoke. Because He spoke creative words, the heavens and earth came into being. Nine times, He spoke them, and then Scripture says, “And it was so.” Light was created first, and without this radiant energy traveling at 186,281 miles per second, carrying God’s next words, nothing else could be created.

God formed everything by first speaking, “Let there be.” His words created the “being.” When God created man last, His words were different, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness . . . ” (Gen. 1:26). It took the Trinity to make man’s three parts-spirit, soul and body. Unlike other creatures that can make sound, man has the ability to speak words originating in his heart and mind-like God. [He also has a soul that is void without choosing God and His ways.]

God has Given Us the Responsibility of Wisely Directing our Words with BEAR Faith

Bear facts of faith

Have we become aware of the awesomeness of this yet? No wonder Jesus said, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken” (Matt. 12:36). Lindy Michaelis knew she was created in the image of God. She knew she had creative word power. With this awesome ability to influence and create comes great responsibility.

God has given us the responsibility of wisely directing our words. We are seated in the body of Christ–at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places. Jesus gave us the keys to the kingdom of heaven (see Matt. 16:19); those keys are “how we use words.” We must take this very seriously. Our words are capsules of creative or destructive energy. They are not vapor that dissipates into thin air, never to be seen again. We see their results in our spouse, our children and our friends. They are matter; they are transmitted and felt.

The following “B-E-A-R Facts of Faith” and corresponding principles give us a guide in how to wisely command and control our words. Keep in mind they are the bare facts of faith, not necessarily the only way to pray. Jesus outlines the bare facts of prayer in Matthew, Chapter 6. Yet, He asks us, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Faith involves action and must be mixed with prayer, and exercised to become strong. It is always a good fight.

Whatever the outcome of our “good fight of faith” (see 1 Tim. 6:12), we can trust it is God’s plan for us, but only when we have fought it. Fight it and you will witness Jehovah-Shalom entering your world.


  1.  Sierran Black Bears article from (accessed October, 2005).

  2. Ibid.

  3. From this incident, the Corbin and Michaelis families have created a foundation for support of traumatic brain victims called “Ryan’s Reach.” Information can be accessed from the Website: Financial, emotional, physical and spiritual needs are addressed. (accessed October, 2005).

5. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary-Eleventh Edition, (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, Springfield, MA 2003), p.1025.

  1. See Genesis 1:3.


M4B God is Peace – Jehovah Shalom – Gideon

So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it, The Lord is Peace. . . .Judges 6:24

Gideon Did Not Need a Large Army

GideonGideon, a judge of the Old Testament, also found he did not need a large army to overcome fear in the land and in his own heart. The book of Judges tells the story of the Israelites in the Promised Land, after the death of Joshua, before the Lord gave them Kings–such as King Saul, David and Solomon.

Through the lifetimes of six judges, the people followed the Lord. Each time a judge died or a generation died out, the people reverted back to worshiping the false god of their enemy–Baal. They chose gods of their own making, becoming selfish, rather than dying to self and allowing God to fight their battles for and through them. After their enemies gained the advantage over them, due to their sin, God always forgave the Israelites. They confessed their sin and God repeatedly delivered them in the way only He could do-supernaturally, so only He could get the glory, just as He did for Kim.

God never does anything to bring peace that could mistakenly be credited to man’s human ability. There is no better example of this from the stories of the judges than that of Gideon.

After forty years of peace and Judge Deborah’s death, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord for seven years. During this time, the Midianites and Amalekites oppressed them so much they actually retreated to the mountain clefts and caves to live. They came out to plant their crops, but the enemy invaded their country like locusts and camped on the land, ruining their crops and slaughtering the livestock. Once again, the Israelites cried out to the Lord for help.

The Lord sent a prophet, who said:

This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land. I said to you, ‘I am the Lord your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me. Judges 6:7-10

Then, one day, Gideon, the son of Joash, was threshing wheat in a hiding place safe from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, and said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (Judg. 6:12).

“But sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:13-14.

Am I Not Sending You?

Gideon, am I not sending you?Let us put ourselves in the shoes of Gideon. Suppose we are doing laundry, and the Lord appears to us and calls us a “warrior.” We are hungry to see the miracles we heard once happened, that are in the Bible, and now God is telling us that if we are to see those things happen, they must come through me. “Am not I sending you?” the Lord said. Chanté and her mother had to choose to be used by God. Chanté spent two years, after being delivered from drugs, in a lot of prayer asking God to change her and to use her.

No less than we would do, Gideon resisted, complaining his clan was the weakest of all and that he was the least in his family, thinking, no one ever gives me a second thought. But the Lord told him, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together” (Judg. 6:16).

Gideon wanted a sign that this person talking to him truly was the Lord. Gideon asked him to wait so he could prepare an offering. The Lord waited. Gideon prepared a goat and unleavened bread and brought it to Him. The Lord had him put it on a rock, take his staff, touch the meat and bread; fire consumed the peace offering. Immediately, the Lord disappeared. This was the sign Gideon had asked for.

Gideon Built an Altar and Called it “The Lord is Peace”

When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Ah, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!”

But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord is Peace. . . .Judges 6:22-24

Blue sky and clouds with text overlay: The Lord is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord is Peace

Gideon heard these words of peace from the Lord after He had disappeared. The root word from Hebrew for peace is shâlôm, meaning health, security, tranquility and welfare.1

That night, the Lord was still with Gideon and instructed him to tear down his father’s altar to Baal. Gideon knew ten men who were willing to help him, and they obeyed. With the wood from the heathen altar, they created a proper altar for sacrifices to the Lord God.

Gideon and Kim both went against their parents’ wishes and way of life. Gideon did what his father was afraid to do. Surprisingly, his father stood up for Gideon to the town’s people saying, “If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar” (Judg. 6:31).

Unlike Gideon’s dad, Kim’s mother persecuted her by calling her “stupid” and berated her because of her Godly standards. Not only did she try to convince Kim she was crazy, but she put in the minds of Kim and her sister that each hated the other. It would only be after Kim’s mother’s death that the Lord would reveal to Kim if her mother ever became a Christian.

After much doubting Gideon chose to be obedient to the Lord and gathered all the men he could to help him defeat their enemies.

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave. . . .
–Judges 7:2-3

Twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. Less than one third had faith in the Lord’s ability to save them. Still, the Lord said there were too many men. He told Gideon He would handpick them. Gideon took the men down to the water to drink. The men who lapped the water from their hand-those who stayed alert and watching, not taking their eyes off the situation-were chosen. Of the ten thousand men, only three hundred remained.

During that same night, the Lord told Gideon if he was afraid to attack and wanted encouragement, to go to the camp of the enemy and listen to what they were saying. Gideon and a friend arrived at the opposing camp outposts just as an enemy guard was telling his friend his dream, “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”

“His friend responded, ‘This can be nothing than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands'” (Judg. 7:13-14).

Encouraged, Gideon worshiped God, ran back to the camp and shouted, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands” (Judg. 7:15).

Dividing the men into three companies, Gideon put trumpets, empty jars and torches in their hands. The men broke the jars, blew the trumpets, and shouted, “For the Lord and for Gideon!” The Lord caused the men in the enemy’s camp to turn on each other with their swords. Gideon and his men pursued the army and their leaders, overcoming them all. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land enjoyed peace for forty years.

* * *

Kim learned, as did Gideon, she could trust God’s ability, His power, and His goodness in her life. She learned there are times when God desires to exhibit that ability, power and goodness through others-when she was unable to do it for herself. (She also learned that many movies and television shows kept her in bondage.)

Kim recalls when Jesus raised his dear friend from the grave, He utilized help from others for Lazarus. He “. . . called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go'” (John 11:44). Jesus then asked those around Lazarus to remove the soiled stinky rags from a four-day-old corpse, because Lazarus was so bound he could not do it for himself.

Chanté and her mother were “mighty warriors” who stormed the kingdom of God like two ferocious BEARs–they did not rest until they possessed what they needed and wanted–peace for their friends. They knew that aside from Jehovah-Shalom there is no peace.

They B-elieved God, they E-xpected the victory; they A-sked from God on Kim’s behalf; and they R-eceived from the Lord. They did it all “in the name of Jesus.” By so doing, Jehovah gave strength; Jehovah-Shalom blessed his people with peace (see Ps. 29:11).


  1. Spiros Zodiates, Th.D., Executive Editor, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, (AMG Publishers, Chattanooga, TN 1990) p. 1785.