Monday, January 07, 2013

January 7, 2013 … Our Time In the Desert

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 7

Passage of the Day: Hosea 2: 14 [NLT] … 14 “But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her out into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.”

Contextual Reference Passage: … To study today’s highlight passage in context, go to Hosea, Chapter 2 … by using this link … 

Reference Passage: 2nd Samuel 22: 20 : [NLT] … {Upon being rescued from all those years running from Saul out in the desert wilderness, David wrote a song which can be found in 2nd Sam. 22, … one of the lines reads thusly … }  
He led me to a place of safety; … He rescued me because he delights in me.

My Journal for Today: Have you ever noticed in scripture how many times God leads His children into and out of a desert experience to get their attention and to season them for some work He has for them to do? … There was Moses in the desert for over 40 years before he was led into Egypt to free God’s people; … and previously God had led Joseph into a desert of Egypt for 13 years, before God used Him for His glory there. For King David there were all those years running from cave to cave in the Negev, trying to stay alive as Saul tried to chase him down and kill him. And in the New Testament after God got the attention of Saul of Tarsus, the Lord led His Apostle Paul into the deserts of Arabia for three years of seasoning before God used him mightily as His evangelist to the Gentiles. And in today’s verse we read of God wooing His children out of the desert to be able to “speak tenderly to her” as a husband might speak to his bride. …

So, … what’s with the desert experience which prepares one for God’s will?

Maybe you’ve had a time of wandering “in the desert” of your life before you were seasoned and ready to be used by God for His purposes. I sure had my time, … wandering the wilderness of habitual sexual selfishness, disobedience, and degradation; … for 22 years of thirsty wandering, … which God used to show me just how much I needed His water of life and His redeeming grace. Twenty-two years of my life where God seasoned me to surrender in humility to Him so that He could use me for HIS glory now as His vessel of ministry.

Unfortunately some of God’s children need more seasoning in the deserts of life than others. Oz Hillman, in His “God Is First” devotional for today, quotes an anonymous author, who apparently wrote, "God uses enlarged trials to produce enlarged saints so He can put them in enlarged places!" And I think that captures the essence of what we need to glean from this quiet-time with God as you might be reading this. Maybe you’re in the midst of your “desert experience” right now, where God is allowing you to ruminate in your own selfishness and the outcomes of your sin choices. Or maybe, and I would pray this for you, … that you’re now experiencing that lovely oasis with God after your trek through the valley of the shadow of death where you once wandered, thirsting after God’s living waters, but now being refreshed by Him as you drink from His love.

Drink, my friend, from that well of righteousness, … like the one Jesus offered to the woman at the well in the desert of her sin in John 4. Be strengthened by God’s righteous right hand after you’ve been so weak from your own desert experience (see Isaiah 41: 10). God is waiting to dined with us and restore us after we’ve been so famished by the desert of our own disobedience (see Revelation 3: 20). But we’ve got to CHOOSE to open that door and dine WITH Him, coming out of the desert of our selfishness and into the oasis of our Savior’s love, where He can feed us with His truth, revive us with His living waters, and restore us with the strength we need to serve Him in glory.

But God’s question from His Spirit today is … Are we willing to come out of the desert and receive all we need to do our Lord’s will? And for this, always famished warrior, my prayer today is addressed …

My Prayer for Today … Every day, Lord … every day … I come here to avoid going back into the desert of my own desires and to lavish in the fruit of Your Spirit and to drink from Your living waters. … Amen

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