God’s Way in the Wilderness

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43:19

Wilderness:   a tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings    Merriam Webster
    Have you some areas in your own life that might fit this definition? Is there some location spiritually in your world that you would call uncultivated: an area no one has taken the time to prepare for growth?
    Is there some place that is uninhabited: no one has ever gone and seen the potential that is locked inside?
God is a specialist in exactly those areas we have abandoned. God is concerned about places in our heart that we have forgotten. God is claiming for his own the things we have given up on and is saying today,
“I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wilderness.”
Let’s look briefly at someone in the Bible who was just like us. His name was Elijah.
 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”  Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 1 Kings 19:4-5 
Elijah had given up. Elijah had decided that his life no longer made any difference. Elijah felt that he had given his best, but it wasn’t enough. The good news for Elijah and for us is that God didn’t agree! God tenderly comes through the presence of His angel and stands by our sides when we are sleeping. God tracks us down into the most remote regions of our wildernesses. God wakes us up by a gentle touch on our shoulder and the first thing we discover is the wonderful aroma of fresh bread which He has made with His own hands. We find a cup of cold water there waiting, just for us to drink.
Our plan has been to quit. God’s plan has been to restore! Our plan has been028 (1)
 to resign. God’s plan has been to re-assign.
Our plan has been to be alone. God’s plan has been to send us to new people. Our plan has been to retire. God’s plan is to put us to work!
When our travel plans end in the wilderness – He resets our GPS for the mountain of God!
He will  make a way,
Give us new strength,
Bring us to the mountain
When God makes the way He will be with us for every step of our journey!

The Fire and the Whisper of God

…And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper 1 Kings 19:11-12

A lot has been said (and sung) about the fire of God falling. There are many contemporary songs calling on God to send the fire, or that God’s fire is falling. Though on the day of Pentecost the Bible does tell us that the Holy Spirit manifested himself in tongues of flame over the heads of the disciples, it was not the same. The fire Elijah saw both on the mountain of God and at Mount Carmel was a fire that fell and burned everything up in its path. It was a manifestation of the Holiness and the Judgement of God. Anything that fire fell on was consumed.

But in fact, the revival we need is not in the wind, it is not in the earthquake and it is not in the fire. The revival we need is in listening to the quiet voice of God. I recall back when I was younger working long hot days in the woods, cutting trees. At lunch time on the hottest days, I liked nothing better than to take off my heavy work boots, and sit on a rock in a stream letting the cool water flow over my aching feet. The strangest thing wSept-Oct 2013 014as the power of the gentle sound of that stream. When lunch hour was over one of the other guys working with me could call my name over and over again, but unless we made eye contact I couldn’t hear a sound. The whisper of the stream carried away all other sounds and filled me up with a quietness all its own.

In the same way the revival, both in our church and in our own personal life comes only when the sounds of the earthquakes, the windstorms and the fires are washed away with the gentle whisper of God. He longs to draw us to Himself, fill us and send us on our way with a new hope and purpose. We need to take off our shoes, sit in the holy presence of God and open our heart to that low whisper from heaven. That is true revival and that is the heart of God.