Living in the Wilderness

Originally uploaded by Lrwilks
There is something so beautiful about the times in our life of wilderness and desert. The seasons come and seem dry and weary but in the end the Lord fills us with a joy and a wholeness we never could have imagined. I am struck again and again by Christ’s own story of wilderness, as well as many other biblical characters. Think of the heroes who spent much time alone, in the wilderness: Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites, King David, Elijah, John The Baptist, and Jesus himself. Each of these people either chose to escape to the wilderness or were beckoned in by the Lord. But no matter what the circumstances they left or returned full of the Spirit in their life in a way they never had been before. I think often of the story of John the Baptist and how he spent almost 30 years in the wilderness before anyone even knew who he was or who he would become. And I think that is the beautiful thing. God knew he needed and used that time to prepare John’s heart for the ministry he would have. Jesus is similar in that he gave up his power, pride, and perfection to dwell among men, yet spent 33 years just dwelling. Just living amongst his culture, learning the language, customs, and existing. He wasn’t anyone to anybody except the very few who knew who he was before his ministry began. And for some reason that was God’s perfect plan. To show the people that Jesus really did understand and know them, and love them. So what does this mean for me? This summer feels like much of a time of wildernessing. Where I am called to places of much spiritual dryness and uncertainty. Yet I believe I am being called to just love. To understand these people and their circumstances. To learn their “language,” customs, and culture. And of course, little by little the Spirit is beckoning me deeper. And even more so these individuals that I am spending time with and praying over. Christ is doing things in hearts that I cannot see or imagine. And I am resting in his promise that he desires every heart to come to repentance. He just knows better right now-he knows that these people I love so much and myself need this time of wilderness to really understand who he is and to seek him out for ourselves. A few months ago I posted about this sermon from the Urbana 2010 conference, but I want to share it again. Money and Power: Oscar Muriu This summer I am being called to “dwell among men full of grace and truth”-even through the seasons of wilderness. And it is a great reminder that my heavenly Father, among others, went before me and endured this, so that I can.

God I desire to know you more. To know you deeper. To be beckoned into a wilderness where your love is so great-it is all I see. And I will trust that “you are doing new things, behold, glimpses are springing forth, now I see them. You are making a way in the wilderness and rivers in my desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

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