Finding new life in the desert place
The desert is an uncomfortable place. Unforgivingly hot and so very dry, deserts have a reputation for being one of the loneliest places in the world, seemingly void of all life. For some of us, this is where we find ourselves right now—in a season where we’re feeling spiritually empty, all alone and deprived of what we think we need. While the desert place may seem unfruitful and worthless, it is not without its purpose. It’s the perfect environment where the difficult but necessary process of growth can truly take place. It is in the dead, barren wasteland of the desert where God revives what was previously dead and releases new streams of living water to quench our parched hearts.
“Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”
The Israelites have a significant history as a desert dwelling people. After being enslaved for 430 years in Egypt, God heard the cry of His people and raised up Moses to lead them out of their captivity. With mighty signs and wonders, God guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night and when pharaoh’s army was closing in on them to destroy them, God protected the Israelites by miraculously parting the Red Sea and providing safe passage over to the other side. Even when their disobedience led to a 40-year delay in seeing the Promised Land, they were never abandoned—God faithfully provided manna from Heaven and poured water from the rocks to satisfy all their needs. Centuries later when God punished the Israelites with 70 years of captivity in Babylon, He still heard the mourning of His people and kept His promise to restore Israel and bring them back to their land. Over and over again in obedience and disobedience, He made a way for His people in the wilderness and the same still holds true for His children today.
Surprisingly, it was in the desert place where the Israelites experienced a renewed faith and intimacy with God. Just as the desert was a place of testing for Jesus and a place for repentance and conversion for John the Baptist’s ministry, God often uses the desert for His divine preparation and promise. Here, our hearts are purified and made right before the Lord so that we may witness the great and miraculous things that He has in store for us. When we come to the end of ourselves and stand before God in repentance and acknowledgement of our need for Him, we develop a deeper trust in Him to supply us with everything we need and we can confidently allow Him to guide our next steps. This revival in our heart sets the stage for the supernatural power of God, where He can take what is dead and bring out new life, just like flowing streams of water in a dry and barren desert.
Do you find yourself in the desert place today? Trust that where you are right now, God already has a plan for you and He’s preparing you for greater things. When you feel dry and empty inside, He will fill you afresh with His power and goodness. When you feel alone, know that He is with you and will not forsake you. When you are in need, He will be your Provider. When you are lost in the wilderness in need of direction, He will be your guide. When you’ve come to the edge of the Red Sea and you don’t see a way forward, He will part the waters. Where He leads, He’ll provide and what He promises, He will faithfully deliver beyond what you can ask, think or imagine.
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