Summary: 4 Points on learning how to deal with the "Wilderness Seasons" of our lives. 1. GOD WANTS TO DEVELOP A STEADFAST HEART WITHIN ME. 2. God leads us into seasons of growth and not gratification. 3. GOD WANTS TO DEVELOP THE COURAGE OF A WARRIOR. 4
Running with a Limp
The Role of the Wilderness
When Jesus comes into our lives, things sure do change don’t they?
I recall when I was a new believer, I used to work out at the gym all the time, and there was one occasion when a I wanted to use a rowing machine and noticed a towel on the bench. No one was around, so I put the towel on the side and used the machine. A few minutes later, this giant muscle guy that looked like he was fresh out of a muscle magazine walks up to me and just goes into a barrage of UNCHRISTIAN words and calls me all these names.
In my old days, I’d probably deck the guy, but now, I’m a Christian and sometimes, I am realizing, that I probably shouldn’t do what I feel like doing. Well I back down and later ask my dad for some advice.
I sought some fatherly advice from my dad who told me, “I’d pick up the towel, throw it to the right, and when his head turns to look at the towel, I’d knock him in the face.” Here is confession time. As a new believer, I know I am a Christian, but for a long time, I regretted not doing what my dad said.
Fast-forward a few years to a gym here in Hilo. I recall a guy here in a gym where I worked out, that I asked if I could grab a weight. I tapped him on the shoulder. He turns around begins going off on me again. Calls me some UNCHRISTIAN names! You know what he does then? HE PUTS HIS TOWEL DOWN ON THE SIDE MACHINE. YOU KNOW WHAT IS GOING THROUGH MY MIND. He puts his finger in my face and begins to threaten me. I WRESTLE WITH WHAT TO DO BECAUSE MY FLESH SAYS, “I CAN NAIL THIS GUY” I THINK, “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? JESUS WASN’T A WIMP.”
It’s like the Lord said, “Blessed are you when your are persecuted for MY name sake. Ty go and apologize.” “I don’t want to Lord. It’s not for Your name, it’s for mine. I didn’t do anything wrong.” By some miracle, my feet began to move. One foot, then the next. The next. I went up to him. Got in his face and said, “What’s your name?”. He paused, looked like he was ready for a fight, and told me his name. I told him, “My name is Ty. I just wanted to tell you that if I offended you, I rrr… I rrrr. I apologize. If I offended you, I am sorry. I apologize.” It was like a big burden was lifted off my shoulders. Since that time, he and I got to develop a relationship where I got to share Jesus with him.
To this day, Pastor Allen and I are still friends. No just kidding.
How many of you know that sometimes, God calls us to do what we would rather not do? How many of you have ever had to do something you don’t feel like? Throw me out some things that you have to do, that you don’t feel like doing…
Ø Washing the dishes.
Ø Taking the rubbish to the dump.
Ø Guys, putting down the toilet seats.
Ø Working out issues with your spouse. Fights with your spouse. I said fights.
Because we are good Christian people, we say that we don’t have fights, we have, “conversations”. My fights with my wife usually ends up the same way every time. With my wife coming to me on her hands and knees. Then she says, “Ty, get out from under the bed and fight like a man!” What else do we do that we don’t feel like?
Ø Going to work. – How many of you feel like going to work every day? But we understand that there are some things we don’t feel like doing that we need to do anyways.
All of us have to endure some decisions to make and do things we don’t feel like doing. Although we don’t like all that we do, we understand that we need to do them nonetheless.
I’d like to talk to you today about something that we don’t like having to do, but if we are going to be all that God wants us to be, we will have to endure.
We all have to go through wilderness times at some point in our lives. All of us. Young, old, tall, short, skinny, less skinny. All of us. All of us, at some point or another, needs to deal with people that we would rather not deal with and endure situations we would rather not endure.
Once upon a time, I was an athlete. Believe it or not, I was a wrestler in high school. It is a very physical and competitive sport, and there was something important I learned in the sport that has carried over to my life still to today. Sometimes, if you want to be the best you can be, you need to compete with injuries.