God does not enter your desert experience by chance. You cannot find your way out of the wilderness on your own; the extent of that journey requires Divine intervention. Because of the high value he places on you, the God of supply makes his help available when you feel lost, fearful, desolate and without comfort. Under such conditions, you possess a hearty spiritual hunger and thirst. You are more open to receive nourishment from him. In that place, the Almighty One surrounds your inner sense of emptiness with his great love and gives you hope for finding a way out of the wilderness.
A desert lies useless, an uncultivated wilderness—as did the earth in the beginning, before the Creator called life into being and the ground produced. At first, the plants did not seed themselves and grow on their own. God’s mighty power caused them to flourish. Spiritual understanding does not blossom by human effort. It comes by the supernatural work of God. When he decides the time is right to prepare an uncultivated spirit for growth, he oversees the tilling of the spiritual soil and the planting of the seeds of faith. He ensures that life-giving rain washes over the spiritual plants when the time has come for them to grow. Uninvited, God enters the void and begins to execute his perfect plan to develop that barren land.
Surely Not the Most Direct Path
Historically, God located his chosen people—those with whom he desired to have a spiritual relationship—in the desert. When he brought them out of Egypt, he did not guide his treasured ones to take the nearest route to Canaan, through the land of the Philistines. Instead, the God of wisdom led them about the way of the Red Sea wilderness and when they came to the borders of Canaan, he ordered his chosen possession back into the wilderness again. Neither did God allow his people to travel the shorter path through the land of Edom. To their discouragement, he forced them to journey around that more efficient way. The One who desired to bring his beloved into his kingdom did not deem them yet ready to enter the Promised Land.
A Challenge and A Blessing
God finds his people in their lost condition, stuck in their spiritual desert and there, he initiates their entrance to spiritual life. He could regenerate the spiritually uncultivated at once and bring them to heaven immediately if he so desired, but this is not his way. The Lord calls his chosen out of the wilderness of the world, yet allows them to remain in it. He keeps watch as they struggle to bring glory to his name or suffer for his honor. At times, that path can seem a rough and roundabout journey. Through it all, the God of mercy creates passageways through the hard places, leading his beloved out of the land of lack and into the way of his Kingdom—a new life of overflowing abundance.
In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground… –Genesis 2:5
Why do you think God has chosen this time to lead you or your loved one out of the wilderness? Do you have confidence in God’s spiritual growth plans?
This post originates from The Uncultivated Spirit / A Season for Solitude in Chapter One of my forthcoming book, Seasons of the Spirit / 16 Disciplines for Abundant Growth in Each Step of Your Walk with God.