dream-in-the-desert

WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

We all have a story. What’s your story? Perhaps right now you are going through the desert or have just come through one? 

Is this how you feel right now? 

2 Cor 4: 8 – 9 Are you hard pressed on every side, perplexedpersecutedabandonedstruck down. (edited) 

Do you feel that in the desert you are feeling deserted, and forsaken? 

Perhaps you are in the desert because you put yourself there. Or you maxed out every credit card available in retail space, just so that you can keep up with the Jones's. Sometimes we are the author of those times. Our sin produces hardship, and then we complain that it’s God’s fault.

In life, we all lose one thing or another – it might be a job, a relationship or friendship, ailing body, failing finances, setbacks.

But I have a message of hope for you today

Understand that God has a better replacement for them, something better is waiting for you.

But joy comes in the morning. You may not see that now and probably don’t feel it at all. In the storm, even your wind screen wipers don’t work, you can’t see, you panic, your emotions are like a tsunami, you’re in a washing machine, don’t know if you’re up or down.  But the storm does eventually settle down, and you’ll be able to think more clearly.  Your ability to see improves.

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Or perhaps God sent you into the desert to test you. Test your attitude, Test your gratitude.

How you see your time in the desert will determine the outcome and how long you stay there. You either view it as a time of cursing or as a time of blessing. I’m urging you to see it as a time of blessing.

Don’t lie down and “die” and wait for Jesus to rescue you. No, in the desert allow Jesus to transform you. But you have to make that decision to be available for the Spirit to work on you and with you. In the desert is the best time to learn things, as the distractions of success are not there.

JESUS’S STORY

Let’s look at the life of Jesus:

 Matt 4: 1

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

 Jesus was sent into the desert for a purpose to be severely tested.

 

He had his armour on.

He wore the belt of Truth – because He IS the Spirit of Truth

He guarded his Heart and mind with the breastplate and a helmet

He was preparing to walk out his purpose, to bring peace to mankind

He had absolute trust and faith in God

And of course, he used his spiritual weapon, the Sword of the Spirit by quoting the Word of God.  Eph 6: 10-18

LESSONS IN THE DESERT

Thankfully the desert is a season. It does come to an end. The desert is a transition time. Some of us are in this wild place and desolate place for 3 weeks, some for 3 months some for 3 years. 

It’s a time of preparation. John the Baptist - said – “prepare the way”.  The desert is the preparation time for Jesus to come and work in your heart.

Don’t lose heart. God has a better plan. Believe it and live it. It’s a time that announces your imminent release.

  • ARMOUR

In the desert it's the time that you have to put your armour on. Jesus is our example. Be immersed in God’s truth, guard your heart and mind, don’t lose faith and wield that sword. Speak the word. Strengthen yourself spiritually in the dry time, or time of spiritual warfare.

The battle is on, because the enemy wants to distract you, to de-rail you, to prevent you from fulfilling your walk. The enemy is afraid of what is inside of you

Don’t fight God. Work WITH God and not against Him

God has given you a dream, he has given you a promise. Guess what – the devil was listening in on your conversation. So, there’s your battle plan!

  • DON’T CAMP

     Don't camp like the Israelites did in front of the mountain, at the foot of the mountain. 

Don't camp like the Israelites did in front of the mountain, at the foot of the mountain. 

After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. Ex 19: 2 

It doesn’t take you anywhere. Don’t prolong your time at the foot of the mountain. It will seem insurmountable, unconquerable.

Every time you fail the test, you will go around the mountain again. Try to learn your lesson quickly otherwise you will go around the mountain again. 

Round and round and round again. It’s going to make you dizzy and disorient you.

In the boat Jesus said “Go to the other side” – keep that in sight – keep going straight – don’t change direction. He knew the storm was coming and their faith was being tested. Jesus did not say “stay in the boat or turn around”. He said go to the other side. In the midst of the storm, the disciples failed the test of faith. How’s your faith doing in the storm?? 

Keep moving, keep doing, keep growing. Stop complaining. You have a new destination to travel to. You have an appointment with destiny.

Some of you stay in the desert because you refuse to learn, you refuse to equip yourself. Don’t waste your time in the desert. If you camp, you might miss God's season for your life.

  • PERSEVERANCE

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb 12: 1-3

Jesus never lost sight of his purpose and that is so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1: 12

Condition – LOVE GOD – so if you are angry with God, frustrated with God, it’s not going to happen.

  • CONSECRATE

A common error we make – and it’s our human nature – is that we run away from God when things get tough. We stay away from church. We go into hiding. This is the time to do exactly the opposite. Be intentional about staying with God, be intentional about coming to church and finding strength in God's community. 

This is a time to consecrate yourself to God, and tap deep roots, grow roots in the desert, Strengthen yourself in the desert. It’s a choice that you make.

  • PRODUCE FRUIT

Don’t let the emotional Tsunami stop you from dreaming. Sometimes the biggest enemy is on the inside – within us. And we resist change, we want to hold on and not let go. 

It’s a time of character growth. Come out a better person, not a bitter person. Be more like Jesus, not less like him. 

Jacob was created. Israel was formed – in the desert, in exile. God wants to form you in the desert. Jesus wants to transform you from the inside out. 

Go for counselling, surround yourself with people who will build you up and minister to you, change the way you do things.

Sometimes the thing we have to lose is OURSELVES – something that God wants you to deal with.  Perhaps you are the jealous type, or prideful, or hurtful or negative, or cynical, envious, fear of man.  It’s painful on an emotional level BUT joy comes in the morning.

In the desert God equips you – he doesn’t whip you!

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful
.John  15: 2

Where God wants to take you, you can’t go – the way you are. Right now, you are unprepared for the next level. So, you have to walk through the refiner’s fire, burn off and leave some of your old self in the ashes.

  • FIND YOUR PURPOSE

Your PAIN has to have a PURPOSE. 

Don’t waste the time of pain, but find your purpose in it

God Offers Comfort to All

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

2 Cor 1: 3-4 

Once you have been through the desert or even while you are in the desert, you may be the only well-watered oasis for someone going through a desert in their lives. Come out of the desert with a new story. Write a new chapter or begin a new book – in the power and strength of Jesus. 

The desert is a place where you leave something behind.  You desert it.

You desert your old self -your old ways, your old life, your old thinking.

YOUR ANCHOR – HOPE

Heb 11: 1 is a scripture we need to hold onto

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hope is your anchor.

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Hope is a confident expectation, an assurance, a conviction. Be fully persuaded that God will finish what he started. If Jesus said it, He will do it.

Only when you have been transformed, and equipped can God take you to the next level. Your pain has to propel you to produce fruit.

Use the time in the desert to sharpen your skills, to grow, to empower yourself. Read the word, become familiar with HIS truth. Go on courses to learn more about your circumstances. Perhaps how to budget, or an anger management course. Come to Jesus for forgiveness and to forgive those that have hurt you, let you down, scorned you, abandoned you.

God wants to take you to the next level and He wants to equip you for that future.

Don’t lose hope in the desert. Don’t lose hope in HIM. Continue to hope in the desert. Never lose sight of His purpose for you. Don’t lose sight of your dream in the desert. Continue to pursue your dream. Don’t bury your dream, or let it die. God is working it out for you. Prepare for the dream. Get ready.

Jesus Christ never lost sight of his purpose in the desert, His dream to see His people reconciled to God, HIS Father. That was his Goal, His Anchor.

Don’t YOU lose sight of that.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deut 31:8

Act 2: 25“For David says of Him,

         ‘I SAW THE LORD ALWAYS IN MY PRESENCE;
         FOR HE IS AT MY RIGHT HAND, SO THAT I WILL NOT BE SHAKEN.

26‘THEREFORE MY HEART WAS GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED;
         MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN HOPE;

27'BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT ABANDON MY SOUL TO HADES,
         NOR ALLOW YOUR HOLY ONE TO UNDERGO DECAY.

28'YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN TO ME THE WAYS OF LIFE;
         YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF GLADNESS WITH YOUR PRESENCE.’

Let God’s word and His promises be an instruction, a road map to reach your destination.

Remember to persevere.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Heb 10: 36

Do you remember this scripture earlier on – I didn’t fully quote it.

2 Cor 4: 8 – 9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

You see, though you go through the desert you will not be destroyed nor abandoned. God is WITH you all the time.

FINISH STRONG

Be ready to walk into your destiny and your calling, your promise, your promotion when you come out of the desert.  Step into your season of opportunity. You cannot afford to come out of the desert weak and unprepared. Then you’ll miss God's season for your life. Come out strong and equipped. 

You can’t get ready to do that AFTER you’ve come out. It’s too late. You’ll miss your season, and you may have to wait for years and years for the cycle of opportunity to come around to you again. 

We see in the story of Jesus how he comes out of the desert, full of power,

full of the spirit and entered into His ministry, proclaiming the fulfillment
of scripture. Jesus went out and established His authority.


“I’m anointed” Is 61: 1 

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And so are you - anointed to set the captives free. Your pain has to have a purpose. Go set the captives free. Go and be dangerous. Come out and conquer the world. Come out and establish your authority. Come out and share your fruit. Be an oasis in someone else’s desert.

Embrace your dream in the desert. 

You choose how you come out of the refiner’s fire.  Smelling like you’ve been smoked or smelling refreshed and strengthened; carrying the fragrance of Christ.

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© Désirée Borchert