We are in the time period from Passover to Pentecost. The Israelites made this same journey in Exodus 15-19. They left Egypt and headed towards the mountain of God (which is in modern day Saudi-Arabia). In this journey, they faced the obstacles and challenges of the desert.
We each go through dry spells. These are times when we don’t feel the presence of God like we have in the past. I want to share a few tips to help you survive the dry place and not lose confidence in God.
- In the dry place, the first thing we want to do is complain. This is what the Israelites did. Paul said in Phil. 2:14-15, “14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky”. Stars stand out in the sky because of the light they emit. When we don’t complain when our outward environment looks unfavorable, we are shining like a star.
- Don’t let unforgiveness towards God or others develop. In the dry place, we can tend to develop a hard heart towards God and others. This can be dangerous because it will prevent us from recognizing when you are coming out of the dry place. We tend to think “No one else has ever experienced this” or “I am the only one going through this hard time”. Jesus has experienced worse than all. He suffered the sins of all mankind.
- Unforgiveness leads to bitterness. Bitterness leads to self-destructive behavior where we say or do things that ultimately harm the self.
- Don’t forget what the Lord has done for you. Think of the Israelites for a moment. They complained about not having water in Exodus 15-17, but God had just delivered them from so much. He sent 10 plagues on Egypt to free them from bondage. He parted the Red Sea. This was the greatest act on behalf of a nation in history. Remember the things the Lord has done for you. Even if God did not do anything else for you, you have still been blessed beyond most other people because you have been eternally saved from the Lake of Fire. He has freed you from something -drugs, alcohol, etc. Rejoice in what the Lord has done instead of complaining about what you don’t have. Job said in his trial, “Though he slay me, still I will praise Him”. (Job 13:15) One of the tests in the desert is to be faithful in remembering what the Lord has already done.
- Stay in the positive and focus upward. When the Israelites were in the desert place, they focused on their outward surroundings. They focused on having manna. They focused on the water they received (or lack thereof). They did not focus on who gave the manna and who brought forth the water. There are miracles in the desert place, but our eyes have to focus on our God and not our situation.
The desert place is where our faith is strengthened. It is where we are taken to another level. Don’t lose your faith or confidence in God. Always remember God is in control of everything. Nothing happens unless He allows it. As Winston Churchill said, “There is a great purpose being worked out here below”. You were born in such a time as this for a great purpose.
Stay in the positive. Let’s survive the journey in the desert.