Summary: Part 2 of 2. How to find God and celebrate His presence during our desert experiences.
Growing through the desert seasons – 2
September 13, 2009
Three weeks ago I spoke about the desert and our experience as we move through the desert experiences of life. Then I dropped you off in the desert and told you to come back 3 weeks later and I would finish talking about the desert. Well, it’s 3 weeks later, and it’s time to take a look at what it means to be in the desert and what to do while you’re there. We looked at 3 questions,
1. How did I get here?
2. What am I supposed to do in the desert?
3. When am I going to get out of here?
To give a really quick review, the answer to When am I going to get out of here? Simply is, I don’t know, but you’ll get out in due time. It’s not necessarily the answer we want to hear, but it’s the only answer available. We don’t know when we’ll get out, we simply need to keep pressing forward and trusting in the plan God has for us.
The 2nd question, How did I get here? Does it really matter? If it was your fault, someone else’s fault, or God’s fault, does it really matter? You see, the real question we’re always confronted with is . . . what are you going to do with what you’ve got? In other words, what are you going to do while you’re in the desert?
Most often when we’re in the desert, we’re not all too happy about it. Remember the desert can be a hot place, one where we begin to feel dehydrated and thirsty. However, the largest desert in the world is an entire cold continent - - - Antarctica.
You see, desert seasons are inevitable. Whether or not you proclaim Christ as your Lord and Savior, if you’ve live life long enough, you will experience the desert. If you haven’t, you will.
Three weeks ago, I explained that a desert of the soul can be a season when the heat is turned up in your life, or when your heart turns cold, or it can also be a time when you’re giving out more than you are taking in.
A few weeks ago, we skipped question 2, and that will be our focus for the rest of today. What am I supposed to do while I’m in the desert? I believe Isaiah 40:3-5, gives us some help ~
3 A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
What are we supposed to do in a desert? Make a way for the Lord. Why? Because He’s coming to meet you there. God isn’t waiting for you on the other side of your troubles. He’s not waiting for you to get out of the desert on your own. Nope, He’s coming to meet you in the middle of your desert experience, and He will infuse His presence into your situation, if you’re willing. But you have to prepare the way so that you can meet Him.
Now, before I get into some practical things you can do to prepare for the Lord, I want to make a couple of statements. I want to tell you a couple of things God impressed upon me this week.
1. Not every step works for every person. I can only generalize in a message. Each of us are unique and different and what works for one person will not work for the next person. However, that being said, when we prepare a way for the Lord and prepare to meet Him, in whatever way that works for us, we will meet Him and we will find ourselves singing a song to the Lord, and move out of the desert. So, remember, not every step works for every person, if you have questions about the right steps for you, come and talk to me, and we’ll work through it together.
2. I had 2 conversations with people who were in the desert this week. As I spoke to them, this thought come to mind,
Sometimes when we think we’re in the desert, we really aren’t in the desert. Sometimes when another person speaks about the desert, our personality type might be that we assume that’s us. Maybe because we’re quiet, we’re not out there with the rest of the world, but that’s just your personality. It could be that God is working on you in such a way that it feels like the desert, but it’s wonderfully spiritual growth. It doesn’t mean you’re in the desert season of life. Remember, being in the desert is not the happiest time of life. A few weeks ago, I read the words of David from Psalm 63. This is what the desert feels like . . .