The Land of In Between by James Ryle

And He said to them, “You yourselves come apart into a deserted place, and rest a little. For those coming and those going were many, and they did not even have opportunity to eat.” (Mark 6:31, Living Bible)

The Scripture tells us that the Lord called the disciples to a desert place to get some rest. They had seen great ministry prior to their desert experience. And, given what we know of the rest of the story, they went on to even greater ministry after the desert experience was finished.

From this we learn that the desert place in the life of disciples is located in between seasons of ministry!

John the Baptist in the Desert 1Could it be that if you are presently experiencing your own desert experience, then the Lord is getting ready to call you into a more effective ministry than you have known?

The Bible says of John the Baptist, “He was in the desert until his showing forth unto Israel.” I wonder if John ever thought, “How long must I endure this blasted heat, these stringy locusts legs, and this rocky waste land!? I’m the prophet of the Most High! Let’s get this show on the road!!”

I wonder if Moses ever wondered how long he would tend sheep in Midian, or if Paul while making tents in Tarsus ever wondered if he would ever get a chance to preach about the unsearchable riches of Christ.

I wonder what Joseph thought in the prison of Egypt, or David in the cave of Adulam, or Daniel in the Courts of Babylon, or Jeremiah in Jonathan’s dungeon, or John on the Isle of Patmos.

It seems that God takes all of us through these times of darkness, dryness, dullness, dreariness, and dread. You are not alone my friend. Look around and see if any of these champions left you some words of hope scrawled on the walls!

Years ago (oh hallelujah) during a dramatic season of evangelism known as the Jesus Movement (amen,  praise the Lord) I was on the front lines in many spiritual campaigns( yea, glory to God) and I saw firsthand the Lord do extraordinary things. Indeed, there seemed to be no end in sight as we met daily and celebrated scores of new converts to Christ.

Hallelujah, praise the Lord; glory to God!  Amen, and Amen.

But then an odd thing happened to me on my way to a marvelous Destiny. The river dried up. Everything seemed to come to an abrupt halt, and I found myself sidelined while life apparently went on without me. Weeks turned to months, and then years.

I remember walking the streets in my neighborhood late into the evening, crying out to God. With tears streaming down my cheeks I would ask, “Lord, are you ever going to use me?” Now, all these years later, I look back in astonishment at some of the astounding things that God has done. And, I know that He is not finished with me yet.

Friend I know the same will be true for you. This desert you are in; this dry time you are going through is a season of preparation. The Lord is fitting you for something yet to come. You are not ready for it; and it is not ready for you. The best thing that can happen is for you to “grow, and become strong in spirit while you are in this wilderness.” In God’s good time, He will move you from the Land of In Between and “show you to Israel.”

Count on it!

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