RYAN CAPITULO: TODAY we shall continue with our life-changing and wonderful talk series called Wilderness: Lessons and Inspiration from the Book of Numbers.

For Talk 2, we will preach the message:

Move When God Moves; Stay When God Stays.

Please extend your hands to the Word of God and let us glorify His Word by singing:

God’s Direction

In Numbers 9: 17-18,

we learn the nation of Israel would move and stay as directed by God Himself. That’s wonderful, right?

Because I looked back at my life, and I realized that I did not allow God to direct me when

I was younger. I would impose my will on God.

So, when I was young, this was how I prayed:

Lord, help me. I want to get into the best schools. Lord, help me.

I want to be a doctor. I want to be an obstetrician-gynecologist.

I want to be successful.

That’s how I prayed. But you know, when I got older, and my relationship with God matured, He made me realize that I should be allowing Him to direct my life.

Yes, that’s what God told me: I should allow Him to direct my life. And when I did that, He led me to become a teacher. And I am so happy being a medical educator. When I did that, He led me to be an advocate for the marginalized.

When I did that, when I allowed God to direct my life, He led me to be a Builder here in The Feast.

Please extend your hands once more and let us glorify the Lord:

A Walk in the Wilderness

Whenever I hear the word wilderness, my mind automatically goes to these pictures I took when I went to the Yosemite Park, California, in the United States.

This wilderness is so beautiful. It is so breathtaking. And I was really so blessed to be there.

But mind you, 3,000 years ago, wilderness meant death.

Why Leave Mount Sinai?

During the time of the Israelites, 3,000 years ago, wilderness meant wild animals, vicious bandits, dry land, famine, and starvation.

Look at this dry land (above). That’s wilderness.

During the time of the ancient Israelites, it meant starvation and death.

I’m sure, there are many questions in your mind:

Why did they have to leave Mount Sinai? It was already a good place to live in.

Why did they have to move? Why did God ask the Israelites to pack everything up and walk again through the wilderness?

Why Walk in the Wilderness

Well, there are two reasons:

Take note: God promised the Israelites a land filled with milk and honey. He did not promise Mount Sinai. So, God was teaching the Israelites:

Do not hold on to Sinai. Do not hold on to your comfort zone because you have to reach the Promised Land.

You know, sometimes, before we achieve the best, we have to go through some difficulties, right? We have to go through some challenges.

So, God is teaching all of us:

Don’t be attached to yesterday’s blessings. Don’t be attached to Mount Sinai.

Be attached only to the blesser of those blessings. Be attached only to God.

My Dad Arturo passed away on November 14, 2021.

And I’m telling you, my parents are my greatest blessings. I love them very much. They are my heroes. But sadly, God called my Dad home. And on February 2, 2022, God called my Mom Mina home. So, I was devastated. I was so heartbroken, I won’t even get married.

But I was able to cope. I was always to rise from that sadness, that depression, that brokenness. Because I realized that everyone and everything is temporary.

We can handle the loss– because God is permanent.

The Tabernacle in the Wilderness

Look at this picture:

That’s the Tabernacle of the Lord— in the wilderness.

And as instructed by God, the tents around it, those are the tents of the Levites. Because they were responsible for the Tabernacle.

Then, around the tents of the Levites are the tents of the rest of the Israelites.

Look at that one in the middle—and imagine how difficult the job of the Levites was—because every time God would ask them to move, the Levites would disassemble all of those things. Everything.

Label them accordingly. Pack them up. And carry them to the next destination.

And I’m telling you, the Tabernacle is a very complex structure.

Look at the picture above. This is the picture of the Tabernacle. Very ornate, so many decorations. Very big. It’s 45 feet long, 15 feet wide, 15 feet high.

Imagine this: It’s time to move…The Levites will go to the Tabernacle. They will label every hook, and rod, and plank, and decoration, and curtain, and drapes, and every single part of the Tabernacle. Disassemble them, pack them, carry them, to the next destination.

And when they arrive in that new place that God has assigned to them, they will assemble the Tabernacle again.

Do you know how many times the Israelites moved in 40 years? 42 times.

So, it was like moving once every year.

There are years, even twice.

Yes, 42 times in 40 years, they had to pack everything up and set them up again.

The message of God for all of us today is this: God has an assignment for your life and it won’t be easy.

I’ll say that again: God has an assignment for your life and it won’t be easy. Life wasn’t meant to be easy, right? No. We encounter challenges to strengthen our faith and trust in God.

Bro. Bo Sanchez encourages us Feast Builders to be bi-vocational — meaning, we must have a full-time job and be a Builder at the same time. But I am not bi-vocational—because I am quadric-vocational. I am a full-time doctor. I am a full-time administrator in the hospital. I’m a medical education. And fourth, I’m a Feast Builder. I am not complaining. I love it. I love my life.

Actually, every single day, whenever I pray to God, I say this: “I’m thankful I get to do this.”

Yes, I’m thankful that God has given me the resources, the skills, the talents, the gifts to be able to do what I’m doing now.

And I’m sure, God is doing the same for your life. And you should be saying that too: “I’m thankful I get to do this.”

Now, for the second and third messages of this beautiful talk, I’d like to call on Bro. Audee Villaraza.

AUDEE VILLARAZA: Good Morning, Everyone!

I know what you’re thinking — because I’m in formal wear: Magnininong ka ba sa kasal pagkatapos. Are you going to be a wedding sponsor after this talk, Bro. Audee? Hindi po. — No. I just want to honor all the moms here. May we clap our hands for all the moms. Whether you’re here or online, thank you so much for bearing and carrying all our happy sacrifice.

All the single men in the house, may I teach you a wholesome pickup line? Now that we are in the book of Numbers, the next time you see a single lady, you just say, “You know, I’ve been reading the book of Numbers, and I just realized I still don’t have yours.”

Yeah? Don’t ever say that I don’t do anything for you, single men, okay?

You know how long I’ve been holding on to that joke? Since we started the book of Genesis. Because I knew somehow, we were going to study the book of Numbers. So, for three long books, I had to hold on to that joke.

Anyway, you know, for all the first-timers here, just in case you’re wondering what are we doing at The Feast—what are we studying.

For the past few months, we have been unpacking and reading, and diving deep into the first five books of the Bible– called the Pentateuch. We’ve gone through Genesis, we’ve gone through Exodus, we’ve gone through Leviticus.

Now we’re in Numbers. The next one will be Deuteronomy.

God Likes Counting

You know, if I may share: the more I get to read the first five books of the Bible—and it’s not easy—the more I realize that God is very organized. That God is a God of order.

Ever since Creation was done, there has been a sequence, a pattern.

Let me give you an example in the book of Numbers now. If you’ve been reading from Numbers Chapters 1 to 10, you’ll notice that there are a lot of statistics, a lot of data. Like, how many soldiers belong to the tribe of Israel, how many Levites and priests belong to each clan…so many numbers… And one thing that tells me is that, you know, God likes to count things.

The Bible says God counts the stars. And he has a name for each one of them. That’s from Psalm 1:74.

The Bible also says that God says the number of days that you will live in this world and you will not be given a minute later. That’s from the book of Job.

And I also love what the book of Psalms says: “Teach me to number my days so that I may grow wise, so that I know that I’m not permanent here.”

And did you know that God goes even as far as numbering the hair on your head? The Lord knows how many… God knows even with His eyes closed.

He instructed Moses and Aaron to list down everything—the number of soldiers, the number of Levites.

And take note: God is not like your regular sari-sari (convenient) store which has a list of your debts — debts for patis (fish sauce), bigas (rice), mantika (cooking oil). The Lord is not like that.

The Lord lists down everything. Why? Because He values everything.

He values you. He values me.

Everybody, clap your hands for the Lord. Because He values you. He sees you.

Organized Camp

Check out this image. This is how God wants the people of Israel to organize their Camp. If you see, there are three zones.

You’ve got the Outer Zone— comprising the 12 tribes of Israel minus the Levites.

Just in case you’re wondering– because I was so confused about this, this week…

If you notice, the 12 tribes of Israel, those are the 12 sons of Israel, formerly known as Jacob.

Now, if you notice, there are supposed to be 12.

But Israel’s got more sons. He’s got Levi, who’s in charge of the Levites. And he’s also got Joseph—the Dreamer. But then Joseph is not here.

I thought the chart was wrong…Until Bene Sanchez (Feast Builder and preacher, researcher for this talk)—thank you Bene—pointed out something amazing: that Ephraim, if you see at the west side, and Manasseh, they’re the children of Joseph. So, the two are adopted by Israel—so that Joseph is out of the picture.

are the 12 sons of Israel, formerly known

as Jacob.

Now, if you notice, there are supposed to be 12.

But Israel’s got more sons. He’s got Levi, who’s in charge of the Levites. And he’s also got Joseph—the Dreamer. But then Joseph is not here.

I thought the chart was wrong…Until Bene Sanchez (Feast Builder and preacher, researcher for this talk)—thank you Bene—pointed out something amazing: that Ephraim, if you see at the west side, and Manasseh, they’re the children of Joseph. So, the two are adopted by Israel—so that Joseph is out of the picture.

Symbol of God’s Presence

Now, you’ve got the Middle Zone—comprising the Levite, the priests whose No. 1 responsibility is to take care of the Tabernacle.

We call them the Grounds and Maintenance– they are in charge of packing, unloading, setting up the Tabernacle.

But then you’ve got the most important part of the Camp: The Inner Zone.

The Inner Zone is pretty much the Tabernacle – where the Ark of the Covenant is stored. And that’s the most important part of the Camp.

Now, I want you to look at this:

What does it show you?

It doesn’t take rocket science to understand this. You don’t need to have a Master’s degree in theology, or be a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) to understand the image.

What does it look like to you? From the north to the south, to the east, to the west… What is in the middle? The Tabernacle.

What did we say the symbol of the Tabernacle? It’s the symbol of God’s Presence.

Wow. God said that the Israelites should form their entire Camp with Him being in the Middle.

So, I believe that God wants us to organize our life the same way: That everything should revolve around God. That means your schedule, your calendar, your health life your financial life, your relationships—everything revolves around God.

And I tell you, if you do this, if you put God in the center of life, something amazing happens.

What’s in the Middle of the Wilderness…

This is a look of the zones– but we break them down so that you can appreciate what they really look like.

Because in effect, the Outer Zone, and the Middle Zone, and the Inner Zone, when you put all of them together, the result actually reminds you of a mirror image of what the real Garden looks like.

The Outer Zone is a representation of the

12 tribes of Israel—the Camp itself where they stay. That’s the Garden. The Garden of Eden.

Now, the Middle Zone, where the Levites and priests are in charge, that’s a representation of Adam and Eve—in the sense that they were the first priests that God ordained.

And you’ve got the Inner Zone, the Tabernacle—a representation of the Tree of Life, the Presence of God.

And in the Center of Your Life …

So, imagine this: What the author was trying to say is that when you look at this image, and when you really think about it, in the middle of the wilderness, you’ve got a Garden.

God wanted them to organize themselves just like organizing themselves in the Garden of Eden. So, in the middle of the wilderness, you’ve got a garden!

What is the point? My point is this:

When you make God the center of your life, you can be in the most barren of situations, you can be in your wilderness, and you can still experience a Garden of Abundance. Hallelujah! Amen.

Now, how do you put God in the center of your life?

There are many ways. And this is mine, very practical. I’ll share it with you.

For me to be able to put God in the center of my life, I acknowledge Him in everything that I do. I acknowledge Him when I wake up, I praise God for waking me up one day, and then I acknowledge Him before I sleep. I thank God, no matter how bad or good my day went, I acknowledge the Lord. Before I take my meals, I acknowledge the Lord and thank Him because He is my Provider.

He’s the source of every blessing. Before I drive on the way to any destination, I pray to the to the Lord and acknowledge Him—because I know that He’s my great Protector. Whenever I get sick, I acknowledge God– because I know that he’s my great Healer. And you know what happens is that every single time that I acknowledge God, no matter how bad my day becomes, it’s okay. Why? Because I’m always reminded that God is with me.

Acknowledge God in all the ways that you live. And you know what amazing thing will happen? The more you acknowledge God, the more that you will see God’s Hand in everything in your life.

So, acknowledge God and make your life revolve around Him. That’s original design of the Lord. That you would organize everything around Him.

Obey God even when it’s difficult.

Let me show you. Let’s go back to Scripture:

I want to talk to you about the cloud. Because today the cloud is a place where you store all your files and data. You know, all about the cloud.

Back in the day, every believer knew this: the cloud was a symbol of God’s Presence. In the New Testament, they knew that the symbol of Jesus’ Presence.

How did they know that?

Jesus, when He transfigured, it was up in a cloud. When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He disappeared in a cloud.

So, the cloud is a representation of God’s Presence.

This is what we’re saying—very basic: If the cloud moved, they moved. If the cloud stayed, they stayed. That’s cool.

But Here’s the Tricky Part…

How many of you know that the movement of the cloud is very unpredictable? I mean, we have yet to invent an app, or a software, or any technology that would tell us where the cloud would go. It’s impossible.

So, imagine them. Sometimes, because the cloud would stay for a few hours, they would stay for a few hours. And then they would get relaxed. But then, all of a sudden, the cloud would move. Sometimes, the cloud would stay for two days, sometimes for a week.

Let me show you in Verse 20:

It’s as if when you’re reading this, you’re getting the message that God did not want His people to be led by tradition or by routine. Or even by pattern.

So, what’s the lesson in this?

Here’s the lesson: God doesn’t want you to be too comfortable. He doesn’t. I know we’re all creatures of comfort. We love comfort. And I’m not saying that comfort is bad. I’m not telling you not to sleep with the aircon at night. It’s a very, very hot season. I’m not telling you not to enjoy the privileges of food delivery.

We like comfort, right? I’m not telling you to not to spend on that luxury item, or that piece of a vacation. I’m not saying that you should not enjoy the comforts of life. I’m just saying that sometimes, comfort will kill your calling. Too much comfort. Because if you’re going to do only what’s convenient for you, you’re not going to live in your calling. Because comfort is the enemy of calling.

It Starts with a Relationship

I’m so glad, you know, when I think about this, that if we did only what’s comfortable, Ministry would not look like the way it looks like today.

Can you imagine if all the servants here at The Feast would only do what’s comfortable for them and convenient for them? They wouldn’t be standing up. They wouldn’t be here very early. They won’t be travelling from Bulacan,

from Cavite, from Rizal, just to get here on time. But because they do what’s uncomfortable, our Ministry is thriving.

It’s flourishing

So, praise God for all the servants—for doing what’s uncomfortable.

And I might as well add this: That if you guys did only what’s comfortable— you know, you went to church when you only felt like it– Church would look so different.

But I’m so grateful and glad that you guys would do what’s inconvenient— to travel far, pay for your own fare, commute under the rain, walk in the heat – just to hear the Word of God today– and every single Sunday.

So, praise God for people like you who will choose and do what is uncomfortable.

And you know, the other message I want to say about that part is this: Sometimes, we really need to learn how to be sensitive to the Lord.

Because the Israelites, you know they moved when the cloud moved. But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t really listen, here’s my point:

You’ve got to learn how to discern what the Lord is saying. Because sometimes, you know, we’re staying in places where God asks us to move from. But we’re also moving to places where God asks us to stay in. So, how do you learn how to discern whether God wants you to stay or whether God wants you to move?

It takes a relationship. Because if you have a relationship with Jesus, you’ll be able to hear His Word. Jesus says I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me. They know my voice. (John 10:11 and 10:14)

So, if you really, really know and you can hear the Voice of Jesus, you’d be able to tell His Voice amid all the noise in the world. So, start that relationship

with Jesus. It starts with a relationship.

How To Follow Jesus

The message today is really all about obedience. It’s the core of the book of Numbers—how the people of Israel obeyed God even if it was difficult, even if it was hard, even if it was up to the point of death.

And when you think about obedience, there’s only one Person we can think of.

And you know Him. His name is Jesus. Because Jesus obeyed God in a perfect way. It was not easy but He did it. And we know it’s possible.

So, we follow Jesus because He is the Way. He is the Truth. And He is the Life.

And we go to the Father through Him.

But following Jesus requires two actions:

The first one is Consistency. Consistency is good.

You know, you follow Jesus daily. You take up your crosses every day. You make a commitment to be like Him. To love Him. To serve Him. To love like Him. To serve like Him.

Even if it’s hard. It’s got to be consistent. You’ve got to follow after Him again and again.

If the first one is consistency, the second requirement to be able to follow Jesus is intimacy or closeness.

You’ve got to follow Jesus at a very safe distance. You cannot stray too far away from the Lord.

I’ll tell you one last story before we start worshipping God.

My son Ethan—he’s already 5 years old—he loves swimming. We swim in the big pool in our condominium.

We started him in the water at the age of 2. So, he loves water. But now, at the age of 5, he still doesn’t know how to float or, you know, do the basic swimming. And we’re teaching him now. But he wears his lifesaver that he likes. And it’s giving him the confidence to stray away a bit.

But a few days ago, we were in the pool– Ethan and I, holding his sister Ellie, making sure that they’re both safe.

I observed that Ethan, because he’s now confident, sometimes, he likes to go to the other end of the pool and it’s the far end. I know that he’s wearing a floater but that’s a very deep, deep part of the pool.

So, you know, what I always tell him: “Ethan, please don’t go too far away from Daddy. Because if anything—God forbid—should happen to your floater, no matter how good I can swim, I will not be able to reach you because I’m just not that skilled of a swimmer. So, please, do not stay too far out from me.”

Why God Can’t Reach You

I like telling people all the time that I truly believe this:

That there is no person — here, online, offline– any person who is too far away– for God to heal. Too far away for God to rescue. And that’s true.

But I also believe this: That sometimes, you can stray away from God so far, that He won’t be able to reach you. Why? Because your heart has hardened.

Just like the Pharoah.

You become so arrogant. You become so proud. Or maybe because you’ve made other false Gods in your life and you’ve become that addicted person, and God is no longer King in your life.

You can stray away from God for so far that He can’t be able to reach you even if He wants to. Because you’re not welcoming Him anymore.

The message today is all about following Jesus.

And I want to end this way: When you read Numbers Chapters 1 to 9, you’ll notice this: That somehow, the author of this book, he was very redundant. He would repeat some pages again and again and you would think, you know, back in the day, they did not have Microsoft Word where you can copy and paste. You can copy and paste, copy and paste, copy and paste.

So, imagine, the scribe had to write that again and again, like in every chapter, saying that the Israelites obeyed the Lord, and they did as the Lord commanded— chapter after chapter, verse after verse, from Chapters 1 to 10.

And it kind of makes you think, what’s the point? You could have just made But they went through this effort of writing from chapter to chapter that the

people obeyed. Now what is the point of the author?

The Blessings of Obedience

Here’s my simple reflection: The Israelites wanted that when everyone reading every chapter, every word, every statement, and every sentence saying that the Israelites obeyed the Lord – this was an emphasis that yes, they obeyed God.

But here’s the thing:

In Chapter 11, we read that the Israelites started disobeying God. They started complaining about being in the desert and having no meat. And wanting to go back to Egypt. So, from Chapters 1 to 10, they obeyed God. Starting in Chapter 11, they disobeyed.

How many of you know that it’s hard to obey God? It’s hard. It’s difficult. Especially when you’re tempted to do the wrong thing. Especially when you’re tempted to do the convenient thing.

But following Jesus is a daily thing. You follow Him daily and you follow Him closely. And the more that you follow Him daily and the more you follow Him closely, here’s what happens: You start seeing that His ways become your ways.

That His patience becomes your patience. His mercy becomes your mercy. The way that Jesus loves people will become the way that you love people.

You have friends like that? That you hang out with that friend so much that you already look the same. Your mannerisms are already the same.

That’s what I am talking about. You follow Jesus daily. You follow Him closely and a day will come when you will start acting like Jesus. And you will obey the Father just like Jesus did– no matter how hard it will be.

Move when God says you to move. Stay when God says that you should stay. Be obedient to the Father just like Jesus was– to the point of death.

The Beautiful Promise

In the Tabernacle, you saw how the Israelites were camped. You know

they had the Tabernacle in the middle of their Camp. And they were protecting the Tabernacle.

But did you know that whenever they would move, they wouldn’t be this way: Okay, stay three feet away from the Tabernacle—Everybody one, two, three, walk.

That’s not how they did it. That’s very difficult to do.

I’m talking about thousands of persons doing that—600,000. Can you imagine all of them doing that all at the same time? It’s impossible.

You know what they would do when they would break camp?

They would carry the Ark of the Covenant (put in the Tabernacle) and they would put the Ark in front of their rank. And the Ark of the Covenant would lead the way.

Now, what is the message there? Wherever you go, God always goes before you. God always goes before you. Before you even arrive in your destination, God is already leading you there. His angels are already protecting you. He’s already preparing manna in that wilderness and the beautiful promise of God is that don’t focus so much on the blessing. Doc Ryan said this. Don’t focus too much on the garden where you are at. Focus on the Gardener because where the Gardener is, there will always be a Garden. He brings the Garden wherever He is.

No matter where you are in this life, in this season of your life, you can be in a barren wilderness—but if the Gardener is with you, without the shadow of a doubt, He will turn that wilderness, that grave into a beautiful Garden where abundance will be, where there will be healing, where there will be provision, where there will be purpose, where there will be love.


We’re going to worship the Lord right now.

And this is your moment – it’s between you and God. Forget the Worship Team here.

Forget every person beside you. It’s between you and your Father. Between you and Jesus and He walks amongst us right now. You may close your eyes at this moment. Let me pray for you:

Jesus, you are our King. Thank You for being our Gardener. For tending the fruits, tending the weeds, and removing all those that harm our

Garden. Thank You for watering us day after day. Thank You so much, Jesus.

Our bold prayer for today is that we want to become like You.

We want to serve like You. We want to love like You. We want to sacrifice like You did. And we want to follow the Father just like you do.

So, this is our prayer as we worship You. We give you our whole heart.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


This is a special moment. Let nobody stir or move or even change your perspective or focus in this moment. Because this is the moment when we commit ourselves to have life with Jesus Christ.

If there’s anybody here, Lord, who has never experienced a relationship with You, who has never encountered You, I pray that You show Your face and show Your goodness from this day on forward to this person.

There’s somebody here, Lord, who has walked away from You and is now only returning after so long. And I pray that You show them the same grace and the same love that they experienced that same day when they met You.

But I also pray, Lord, for every other person here who commits to have their life with You day after day and week after week. Those are all of us Jesus.

I want Everybody, to just put your hand over your chest and say this prayer with me:

Dear Jesus, I believe that You came down to this world to rescue me. And I believe that You raised Yourself from the grave to restore me to New Life. And so, today, I make this bold declaration: I commit, I decide, and I choose that You will be my King from this day until the very last breath of my life. And so, use me, minister to me, and change me. I will follow You. I will serve You. I will worship You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Let’s give a big hand to Jesus. Praise His Name. Bless His Name. Everybody say, Thank You, Jesus!

Published by THE FEAST (May 21, 2023)


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