During a recent blogging conference, I had a mountain top experience. God moved -- and moved me with Him. I was swept away with the vision that God revealed to me for my blog, my life -- my faith.
Then I came home. Many times the mountain top experience high lasts for a couple of weeks -- but this time is different. It's a low valley. A spiritual desert. I cannot sense God's presence, and that bothers me greatly. During prayer, I received the idea to look up all the biblical references to "desert."
I found the entire chapter Isaiah 35. It's stunning visual wordplay captured my heart. God knew I would see this passage:
"The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.” [verses 1-4].
God brought me to this spiritual desert to search for Him. So the mountaintop experience I had at the conference would not be in response to the incredible speakers, friendships forged, acquaintances met -- but in HIM. I came off the mountain and landed in a desert. Searching, trying to understand that although it will be a difficult row to hoe, He has given me a passion for encouraging people in the Christian faith. He's given me this outlet to minister to people.
It's hard, friends -- to pour out yourself with each and every post. To examine the motives behind words and choices made with graphics. To use the spiritual gifts He has given me to explain Scriptures, using real-life examples as illustrations, to encourage you in your walk of faith.
Walking with Jesus is not easy -- especially now. We read almost daily reports of our Christian brothers and sisters being crucified, beheaded, raped, burned alive...the atrocities are too much to bear. We ask God why -- and in Isaiah 35 He provides a glimpse of His purpose: Stand your ground. Don't give up the faith. God will come and He will set things right.
In the meantime, we are overwhelmed and cluttered and over-scheduled...and the first thing to go is time with God. "Oh I'll read two chapters tomorrow..." we say, as though we're kindergartners with reading logs that need to be signed. What to we do?
We get in the Word and we stay in the Word. Put aside any other books, even Christian books. Read Romans. Read Romans 8 out loud; claim it, pray it -- SHOUT IT. A Christian who is not in the Word of God is a Christian unarmed.
We pray. We pray some more. We get our faces to the floor and pour ourselves out, as drink offerings to the Lord God. We forget our plans and to-do lists and ask HIM what His plan is for our life -- for our day. We give it to Him. A day given to God is already a productive day.
We under-schedule and de-clutter our to-do lists and commitments. We align our schedules with God's. We make it a point to have quiet in our day to absorb what He is saying.
Friends, I am writing this for myself as much as I am you. I get so wrapped up in the to-do list that I lose sight of what is most important: God. Family. Homeschool. Writing. Do you do that? Are you so over-committed and overwhelmed that you can't hear Jesus saying to be still?
Listen. Jesus is a gentleman. He will not just come in and fix your life. He has to be invited in, and then He will work with you to make changes. Just like He is working with me to make changes. Those changes are not easy. But just to know that even in a dry desert, God will make crocuses bloom and springs burst forth with refreshing water, allows me to believe -- really, fundamentally believe -- that He is with me even in these hard spiritual deserts.
(c) 2015 Terrie McKee
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