RWM Blog April 2016
Many mistake it for punishment and fail to see the real picture. We all go through rough times in our Christian walk. Times when we just don’t feel like praying, reading the bible or even going to church.
This is called a Desert Experience. Its always great to be pumped up and excited about serving God, but going through a desert experience is just as important for our spiritual growth.
God uses this time to teach us to be humble. ‘Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart.’ (Deuteronomy 8:2a) God uses our time in the desert to humble us if we are proud and even arrogant. When God strips us of pride in the desert, he reminds us of the fact that we are just weak and needy people. But He also reminds us that His power is made perfect in our weakness. ‘And He said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”‘ [2 Corinthians 12:9(a)]. He reminds us that we should not rely on our own strength, but on His.
God teaches us how not to forget Him. ‘When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God’ (Deuteronomy 8:11a). If you want to stop yourself forgetting God in the good times, then learn to praise Him when times are tough. Praising God when we are hurting is in no way easy, but this is what God expects from us. He is worthy of our praise even when we don’t feel like we’re up to praising Him. We must get to the point where we shift the focus off of our circumstances and onto Him by praising Him no matter what is going on. In that way you surely will not forget God.In the desert, God takes us into a deeper walk with Him. This is where the lessons are learnt and the true value of the desert experience is extracted. ‘Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.’ (Hosea 2:14). In the desert all the competing voices are stilled and God reveals more of Himself to us as He takes us into a deeper relationship with Him. This is where we fall more in love with Him as we get to experience and feel His loving grace in our life first hand. He teaches us that He is our refuge and our ever present help in trouble. He teaches us to trust in Him during this time – to take us through on His strength, not ours. “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you. He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” [Psalm 55:22]. “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify me.” [Psalm 50:15]. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea”[Psalm 46:1-2].I challenge you to thank God for the good times and bad times. Thank Him for His faithfulness to you during that time. Praise and worship Him for His unfailing love to you. If you are going through a desert at this time begin to really listen to His voice. What is He saying? What does He want us to know and learn? Remember God is working something awesome in your life. Pray and seek Him with earnest during this time and it will be a time that brings incredible growth and blessing to you. Nothing is easy, nothing is really instant – press through – your hope is in our Father’s faithfulness!