As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
Interesting that in my time of wilderness, at the point that I felt I could not endure it any longer, something happened… my perspective of life in general has taken on a new picture as I wait for the promise.
For me, sometimes life seems to slowly evolve into a new way of living over time; outside my comfort zone. Do I fight it? Yes. But I eventually surrender my control. Since I know He is ever with me I can rise to the challenge.
The Trial, The Fire, The Wilderness, The Desert, The Black Hole, The Refiner’s Wheel –
Whatever you want to call it, it is temporary.
But any way you look at it, it seems to be a place of silence and nothingness…definitely not a fun place to be. It is a time when God seems (note I said ‘seems’) to remove the resources and support we normally rely on to feel secure; like:
A preparation time…
Here are the nine things, from my limited point of view, that I have become aware of while in my desert;
- Don’t just sit and pout. Evaluate your life and your relationship with God. Are you in tune with Him?
I certainly came to realize that no amount of crying, begging, or being mad moved God one bit nor was He impressed with my drama.
- Discern whether there are any habits, attitudes, unbelief, or denials you have been avoiding dealing with. Hint: NOW is the time to get right!!
This is the best time to look at the root of fear in your security issues. Do we really trust Him for our daily needs every day, or just when it looks like that paycheck might not come in?
- Don’t trust your feelings. Trust Him in spite of your feelings! The Voice will come I can guarantee it: “God is abandoning you. Just go ahead and lose hope. He has left you utterly alone.”
All lies! Feelings change by the hour and they come and go. God is unchanging.
- Keep in the forefront of your thought life that a trial of this magnitude is intended to develop maturity of character and refine you.
Let it happen; succumb to losing control. Because the minute you do He takes over. You could stay on that merry go round a long time trying to control it. Just stop the merry go round and get off!! Just LET GO.
- Know that the change in you will influence every single person you come in contact with, including, possibly, thousands of other people.
Our deserts are not just about us, but about the people God brings into our influence. Let the fire refine you. It won’t last forever even though it seems like it will.
- Don’t hurry the experience along, (as if you could). Remember Joseph? He couldn’t do anything to get out of that hole he was put in by his brothers. He probably tried everything including yelling to the top of his lungs, climbing, catapulting, and did I say yelling? All he could do was pray and wait upon the Lord for deliverance.
And then when God got him out of the hole, it was to go into exile in Egypt.
- Lean on God. I mean let go and fall backwards off the cliff into His waiting arms. Talk to Him!! Sing to Him. Praise Him in thankfulness in spite of yourself.
- Be silent and listen for His still small voice. His wonderful melodic and wise and restful voice.
He is speaking, even in the silence.
I just don’t feel alone anymore. Never. Even when it seems He isn’t paying attention, I know He is. I don’t trust my feelings. They are very fickle. He has not let me down yet. My feelings certainly have.
- Be willing to leave your box of preconceived notions of how God has to work according to your interpretations, truths, and leadings; And enjoy the new discoveries in the Kingdom that He begins to show you. But remember it is in HIS time, not yours.
You just might be resting on top of a rich storehouse of spiritual riches for your soul that you could not imagine. Whatever He has out ahead for you it is a good plan and not for evil!
Oswald Chambers said, “Whenever God gives a vision to a saint, he puts the saint in the shadow of His hand, as it were, and the saint’s duty is to be still and listen… When God gives a vision and darkness follows, waiting on God will bring you into accordance with the vision He has given if you await His timing. Otherwise, you try to do away with the supernatural in God’s undertakings. Never try to help God fulfill His word.”
God uses tests to bring us to spiritual maturity and He requires us to wait on His deliverance through those isolated trials so that we can know it is really Him when His plan does unfold.
When we have a vision that God has given us, sometimes it seems like all hell is unleashed against us first. It just never fits our picture. It doesn’t make sense to the human mind. Look at it all through your spiritual eyes.
I now see God in this trial.
Satan is such a bluffer and has no power other than what I give Him by setting myself in agreement with his words introduced to my mind.
Don’t agree with Satan!! He only has the power you give him.
Jesus is teaching me to persevere, to obey, and to wait on Him for His perfect timing.
I figure if He isn’t true to His word to take care of me when I am waiting then why am I even doing what I do. He is either true or He is not. Why waste our time if He is not? When I put His words to me to the test He never fails to bring them to pass. It may not look like what I wanted it too, but it is always a better plan.
You will return from your desert experience His promises are true. He will change the way you look at things. He is sufficient to meet our daily needs, one day at a time.
It is about learning to just rest and follow in His strength and not mine.
We have to choose life if we want to live in Kingdom ways. We have to be willing to risk.. I am convinced that the only safe place for us is to press in deeply into the magnificent, wonderful, reckless, overwhelming love that God has for us. His love is the only safety net that will hold.
Really, do we have an option?
As John Eldridge says, “How is that life of fearful control working for you?” Or how is it working for those around you that have to live with your control?
Let’s be free in the love of God.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7).
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