(Photo by Natalie Reed)
His Purposes in the Desert
By Zelda Dominguez
Desert times are fruitful times. Though they seem barren, lush fruit is being produced in our lives when we walk through the desert.
“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the works of your hands. He knows your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing”
– Deuteronomy 2:7
I’ve heard it said many times, a person is either coming out of hard times, is in a hard time, or will be going into one. No one expects times of disappointment, waiting, sorrow, unexpected loss, or pain, but at some points in life there are seasons through the desert. When we are children, people start to ask, what do you want to be when you grow up? Then in high school you are faced with, what do you want to do with your life? You are expected to know what route to take in order to attain that which you want to become. How is a teenager supposed to know what they want in life? Yet that’s how it goes, visiting colleges, applying for jobs, scholarships or schools. Then setting a mental timeline to accomplish those goals.
Have you noticed things don’t always go as planned? I wanted to be finished with college by age 25, and I also wanted to be a fashion merchandizer, but that didn’t happen… I didn’t want to have a miscarriage, but I did. So many things in my life didn’t go as I thought, but I’m thankful. Can you relate?
When I was 13 my parents bought a new home. They were able to choose the lot and floor plan. They also met with the designer to discuss changes they wanted made to the house. Each week we would drive to see the progress of the home being built. One week they found they weren’t following the master plan to their specifications. They had to speak with the contractor to correct that.
God has a plan for the construction of our life, a compilation of specs and details that accomplish Gods purposes. He is the architect of our lives.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” God’s master plan is already written for our lives.
Psalms 139:16-17 says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.”
Psalms 37:23 says, “The steps of good men are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take.”
So why do things not go as we thought? In those times we are tempted to think God has forgotten us. We may feel like giving up. We may ask what we did wrong. If you feel like God is doing nothing, he is doing something. God is up to something even when it doesn’t seem like it. He will never forsake you. God manifest his presence in the desert. He is with us in the dry times when we say how did we get there? Did you know that life’s interruptions are God’s interventions? C. S. Lewis once stated, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pain.”
The key to seeing Gods plan while in the desert is to take your attention off the circumstances, and place them on God’s presence in the circumstances. We so easily start to exalt the problem, circumstance, or situation, when we need to intentionally fix our eyes on Jesus.
God equips you for his purposes in the desert. He wants to give you the character, substance, the fortification, the foundational work that will be necessary for Him to accomplish His work through you.
He met Moses in the desert in a burning bush and later led him to lead the Israelites through the wilderness.
He met Daniel and delivered him from the lions, when he refused to stop praying to God.
He met Joseph in the desert when his brothers sold him off as a slave, was with him in prison, and ultimately made him second in command to all Egypt.
He met Ruth and Naomi in the desert when their husbands died and he lead them back to Bethlehem, and provided for them.
He met Abraham in the desert when God called him to leave his country, relatives, and go to the land that he didn’t know. Later, as God called him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham obeyed and God provided a lamb to take Isaac’s place.
He met Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, told her not to be afraid and provided for her.
He met Jesus as he was tempted in the desert, and later when he was in a dry season in Gethsemane.
The desert has things to teach us. Delays are only detours. It’s all part of His plan and timing. We learn things there that we can’t learn anywhere else. We learn in new and deeper ways to cling to him and wait for him. When we come out of the desert, the desert lessons stay with us. Delays are only detours. God re-charts your course in the desert. Sometimes our dreams never materialize, but don’t disengage what God want to do. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose.”
It’s easier to resist, complain, or try to make our own personalized blueprints to try to build on. Is there any way you are choosing convenience or comfort over God’s directives in your life? Trust him. God wants you to see the wondrous things he will accomplish in you. Don’t be fearful about the hard road he may ask you to take. Be encouraged and excited about seeing His divine, supernatural activity in and through you. Some points were taken from Discerning The Voice Of God (How to recognize when God speaks) part three by Priscilla Shirer. Check it out – you will be blessed!