So I’ve been back in the swing of out of state relational ministry travels this winter. It has been such a full, beautiful time with many opportunities to see God’s movement in the lives of so many and encourage those near and far from Jesus to come closer.
During this particular travel season, I’ve found God stretching me a bit further in my faith than before. Over the years, the Lord has shown me in this itinerant, relational ministry work we’re doing together how critical it is for me to pray, consistently abide in Him, and seek His direction for where He wants us to go and when and how long. And as usual, He’s been faithfully giving answers…
But lately it definitely hasn’t been in quite the timing I prefer. =/
This is the final post in a 3-part series. Read part 1: Alone in the Desert.
Like navigating the open terrain of a physical desert environment, it’s critical to recognize your desert and respond accordingly. As those familiar with the desert know, it can be a lonely place. You can easily buy one of the many lies of Satan that you are alone, no one understands you, and that God brought you here to die. But that’s not true. God is always with you and will never abandon you. He’s got an amazing, special plan for each of our lives, including our desert experience, and He’s gracious to give us everything we need to thrive. Continue reading
This is the last post of this 4-part series…
In my time alone with God, my heart-book showed a large deficit that seemed like it would never be resolved. At first, I thought I’d just have to get used to the discrepancy, ignore the mistakes I made, and figure out the best way to live with them while not overdrawing my account. The only problem was that by ignoring it, I’d just continue to make the same mistakes and the deficit would grow larger.
After a while, I got so used to living with the discrepancy that I shrugged it off with little more than an “oh well.” But the truth is, as my heart’s balance continued to decline, so did my hope, and my loneliness and seeming silence from God only grew larger. It seemed there was nothing I could do to fix it.
This is the third post in my 4-part series on the heart.
“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” -Paul, A Letter to the Philippians (3:7-11)
Although my usual patterns of Scripture reading, prayer, singing, reading, and journaling still left me wanting, I kept at them. These were the only means I knew how to seek the Lord, and I knew I needed Him. I later felt compelled to read Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, which I had read years ago, but it seemed like something I needed now. I see now that God was graciously leading me even when I didn’t see it too clearly.