Faith

The Wilderness of God’s Love Part 1: Welcoming

“Despite everything, you still grow.  Be proud of this.”

Naturally, as humans we want prosperity.  We want good living, we want health, we want “easy going”, and we want nothing more than to be successful in this life.  And that is not wrong.  It is not wrong to want times of praise rather than times of trial or pressure… But our character cannot develop if we are constantly comfortable.  In order to develop into a strong, faithful, trustworthy, fierce, and courageous person, we also need to struggle.  God created the garden, but He also created the desert, the wilderness, and the ocean.  He created the stars, and He created the storms.  He is the builder of all things, and all things can be beautiful if we learn to see Him through it all. God’s grace is willing to meet us at all times, in all places, if we are willing to do one thing: “go”.

Countless times of throughout the Bible, God tests people’s faith by calling them to “go”.  He calls them to “go” where life might not be ideal, or convenient.  He calls them to a place that might not necessarily be serene, relaxed, or delightful.  Yet, the Lord asks us to do such things as “going” in order to check if our faith in Him is as bold as we say it is.  We see this when Moses is in the desert leading people out of Egypt, and we see this in Jesus as well.

In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus is tempted in the wilderness by Satan.  However, Jesus went to the wilderness because He was led there by the Spirit (verse 1).  Jesus listened to where He felt that the Lord was moving Him.  It proved to be very successful, as we learned that Jesus was fully human and was tested just like us, however He still repented sin.

In The Wilderness of God’s Love, I am going to explore the idea of living our own “wilderness” in this materialistic, fast-paced, and tempting world.  I think it is very crucial that we accept the fact that we will experience adversity, misfortune, and unhappiness.  It is inevitable that as a Christian in our culture that we will have some suffering, and difficulties.  We will have moments that we don’t necessarily “feel” His presence, and many moments where we can’t see where He wants us to “go”.  However, He is still almighty, He is still powerful, He is still working, and He is still our constant, merciful, loving God.  Therefore, I am going to break The Wilderness of God’s Love into three different parts; welcoming, activating, and testifying.  Because, I truly believe that inviting the wilderness of His love into our life is an ongoing process, and involves many different steps to truly make the wilderness a powerful experience.  If the Lord is on our side while we enduring the wilderness, it will not be as painful, because we can trust that at least one good thing (small or large) will come out of this.  So… here is the first part of the series.

Welcoming in the wilderness.

wel·come

ˈwelkəm/

verb

greet (someone arriving) in a glad, polite, or friendly way.

We must seek to be glad in these times of troublesome experiences.  It is not easy to be rejoicing, or flattered that God is putting us through a trial that seems to be never-ending, or have no solution.  However, if we learn right away to greet our annoyances, bothers, heart breaks, or hardships with an attitude that reflects Jesus, we will see that there will be justice.  If we learn to immediately perceive misfortune as a season of growing in our need for God and our trust in Him, we will learn to see the little graces of the wilderness.  Acknowledging the wilderness or desert in your life will not only lift a weight off your shoulders, but will help God move you even more.  If we cannot even address what we are feeling or enduring, He cannot move properly because we are refusing His help, and His needs for us.

God will take you through places that you do not understand instantly, in order to bring you to where He needs you to be.  Therefore, when you are entering a time of uncertainty, or confusion, such as the wilderness of ongoing ups and downs in your life, take it head on with the Lord.  Trust that He is bringing you somewhere that you need to be.  His path may be a lot longer, with more hills, valleys, rivers, and deserts, but it will lead you to what you were promised by Him.  Have a positive attitude towards Him at all times and you will not be phased when He wants you to move.  You will not question His motives for you, because you fully understand that He wants the best for you.  Welcome the wilderness with a smile, knowing that God is on your side, leading you to where you DESERVE to be.  Embrace the wilderness with a positive attitude, trusting that He will provide you with all that you need, not what you think you need. The Word of God and the wilderness always go together.

Here are three quotes to embracing the idea of “ welcoming the wilderness”, full heartedly:

  1. “Attitudes are contagious, make yours worth catching.”
  2. “Being positive in a negative situation is not naive, it is leadership.  Be on pace with your Leader.”
  3. “You cannot always have a good day, but you can always face a bad day with a good attitude.”

Start seeking an attitude towards God that glorifies the work He is doing within you.  Radiate His love, show off His goodness, and start each day in the wilderness with a willing heart to go.

With all that I am,

Nicole

Bible Verses Relating to Welcoming The Wilderness

Isaiah 40:3-5

A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.

Ezekiel 20:36

“As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you,” declares the Lord God.

Deuteronomy 2:7

“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”‘

Isaiah 51:3

Indeed, the Lord will comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places And her wilderness He will make like Eden, And her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in her, Thanksgiving and sound of a melody

Psalm 107:35

He changes a wilderness into a pool of water And a dry land into springs of water.

Jeremiah 31:2

Thus says the Lord, “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness– Israel, when it went to find its rest.”

 

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