The DESERT EXPERIENCE
-by Ken Brown.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
– It is imperative that every child of God should understand His ways. – We think in straight lines and fixed points, and move in a consecutive manner, that is, from point to point (we start and finish a book; we look forward to something, and look back on something; we measure progress by time spent or goods produced; when we travel, we leave a departure point and arrive at a destination point, etc.)
– God doesn’t think in straight lines, He thinks in circles. He’s doing many things simultaneously, He’s at the beginning and the middle and the end of many things – all at the same time. Therefore, He doesn’t think of things in the context of time, He exists outside of time. Time is irrelevant to Him. He is not affected by time.
– God’s timelessness presents a very real problem for us. God may speak into our life today and we will assume that it’s going to happen today, or very soon. We will probably place it on a time line of some sort. But, God may be speaking to us from a point that is still far into our future. The reason is because He is not concerned with time, and this is why: God does not measure time; He measures growth! When God deals with us, His purpose is growth, maturity, and preparation. And, it always involves death to self! God will draw us into a desert experience with Him to give us the opportunity to grow (to die to self), to learn to trust Him or to gain more insight into His ways.
– And, because of the way we think, our first question is always “How long is this going to take?” We’re not having fun. Dying to self is never fun. But God won’t tell us how long it’s going to take, because He understands that if we know how long, we’ll just try to hold our breath until it’s over. He doesn’t want us to hold our breath. He wants us to die!…
– For us the practical result of all this is that God has spoken words into our lives (even though we must be careful and know, what was spoken by God, and what wasn’t). And because of this, we know He has wonderful plans for us, and that excites us. We have aspirations for God. We want to do all those great things He’s spoken into us. But, many times what we really experience is great frustration, because those things He’s spoken aren’t happening yet! When you’re frustrated, know that God loves frustrated people. He knows you’re frustrated because you care. Also know that the reason they may not be happening yet is that God is still measuring growth, not time.
– In our relationship with God, His purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son. And, He’s content to take as much time as necessary. We, on the other hand, want everything to happen now, without suffering, pain, or sacrifice on our part. And God’s only response to that is – too bad. Adjust your thinking. I’m doing this my way.
– When God is dealing with us, we must learn the value of doing nothing. This seems to be a contradiction; but most everything we do with God (if we do it right) is a contradiction to us… We have to learn the value of doing nothing before God. That’s why quiet time with God is so great – you don’t have to do anything. Just hang out with God.
You don’t have to fast for three days to get His attention, or recite long prayers to impress Him. Just rest quietly before His presence and wait for Him. If He doesn’t speak immediately, He will eventually. But, you do have to learn to wait. It’s a matter of respect and submission on your part. God does not act according to your time, He acts according to His will. Anytime a believer decides to press in to God and really get to know Him, one of the first things God will teach him is His Sovereignty! God moves in His time and acts according to His ways. Religion teaches that man is the creator and God is what they created. They expect Him to do what they say, when they say it. Of course, He doesn’t. But they’re too stupid and bound up in their own deception to notice. – Also, God operates on a different noise level than we do. When we cry out to Him, He whispers back to us. God wants us to learn to be quiet, even when everything around us is in turmoil. Psalm 46 starts out with an earthquake and a tidal wave and ends with God telling us to “be quiet and rest assured that I am God (and everything is under control, regardless of what you see or hear)”.
But know this, when you learn how to rest in God, you’ll be accused of not caring about what’s going on around you. In this world, anxiety and hand wringing is the universal sign that you really care (that, and whether or not you’re wearing the appropriate color ribbon or symbol on your lapel). However, in the Kingdom of God, anxiety is only proof that you’re dumb. After all, you’re supposed to be having a relationship with the Prince of Peace.
– God delights in drawing us into times of intimacy with Him. Later in this paper we will see just how He does that. In each cycle of intimacy there are two specific points we must be able to recognize. The first is submission and the second is obedience. In order for us to benefit from being in God’s presence, we must first acknowledge Who He is in submission, and then be ready to obey.
Copyright: Andrew Strom of John the Baptist TV – usually lets people share information which is in his email newsletters which contains information that is on his website/blog unless a specific copyright is added.