We can gather from the scriptures, especially the Israelites and their wilderness experience, that God works in such a way as to bring His children to a desperate place to begin with.
THE DESPERATE PLACE
This is the place we find ourselves when:
- life throws us unexpected turns
- we take our own detour in life
- we are forced into circumstances due to OTHER people’s sin/choices,etc.
- we are in need of something that is a necessity of life
- we can’t seem to hear from God or see what He is doing in our lives
- we have no friends/family to turn to
- we are in need of deliverance and there is NO possible way in sight
The desperate place is where we are seeking frantically for an answer to our issue, and we don’t know what to do. It seems like God is not answering our prayers for guidance, and like we can’t decide what the next step is. We start planning and scheming in our own reasoning what is needed, but we can’t seem to bring ourselves to do it because we are afraid that it might not be the right way to go, but we still haven’t heard from God on what to do.
Could it be that God is teaching us to WAIT in these times?
To wait for:
- His counsel
- His will
- His plans
- His confirmation
- His purposes to unveil
As we sit in the desperate place, waiting upon God, that is usually the time when we start to wonder things like:
- Does God even hear me?
- What have I done to deserve this?
- Why has God abandoned me?
- How could God allow this to happen and betray my trust?!
- Why do things have to be this way?
We begin to see that God has actually been SHOUTING to us through this time of pain and desperation, as we hear Him leading us to seek Him with our WHOLE heart! But even when we seek Him with all that we are and have, we still don’t seem to hear or find Him, and we start to sink further and further into desperate hopelessness.
And after all is said and done, and we find ourselves in the middle of no where, our “wilderness”, with all the pain and hurt and betrayal we feel……… we are then faced with the question, “Can God be trusted?”
CAN GOD BE TRUSTED?
We still aren’t sure what He is doing, and we can’t seem to find where He is trying to lead us. We cling desperately to any hope that He is still working all things for the good, and even though we can’t see it right now, He is working things out in His time, and all we can do is wait and move on and seek Him still.
But the feelings of doubt and abandonment start to sink in, and our circumstances are hard to ignore. We start to get angry, unsure of why a God that promises to never leave us nor forsake us is seemingly no where to be found.
We are forced at this point to search His Word and cling to the promises that He is God and He is Good, and His love never fails. We are forced to look at all the trials that our faith fathers went through, and we start to see that even Jesus Himself had to suffer in order to learn obedience.
We find in His Word that He promises that if we seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, then He will be sure to feed and clothe us. We find that He has promised to never leave us, and that He is working all things for the good. We even see that we should consider our trials as JOY, seeing that it produces in us godly character.
But even with all the promises, our circumstances are too large in our hearts, and it just doesn’t seem to be enough.
NOW IS THE TEST
Now is when the true filth of our hearts starts to erupt and explode as we imagine that God is against us, and that He doesn’t love us, and that He wants us to suffer to death. Now we see how badly we want to control things in life, and we find ourselves planning our own way to escape the circumstances. We hear our own ugly thoughts that tell us that God doesn’t care,obviously, or He would not allow this or allow it to go on. We allow our circumstances to CONSUME our entire mind and life, and we grow more and more irritated and we can’t seem to rest because we are so worried about what is going to happen.
And in the face of all these ugly things, there is that still, small voice inside of us that says, “God is in control”.
And we experience shame wash over us, as we realize how hard we have been and how utterly wrong and sinful we have been to judge the One True God and question His infinite wisdom and love for us. And we repent. IT HAS BEEN THE FLESH ALL ALONG. SELF HAS BEEN SITTING ON THE THRONE WHERE CHRIST JESUS BELONGS!
WE CRY OUT
Now we are ready to cry out, and surrender all to Him. We pour out our hearts and we realize that we can not figure God out, and we can’t know the future. All we can do is choose to either Trust God, or Not. We realize that we had our own plans, but God is determining our steps, and He seems to be taking us places we NEVER wanted to go!
And it seems like every step forward we take, we are pushed two steps back, and we can’t seem to get ahead and regain our strength.
But we begin to see that our God is not unloving; He is teaching us to TRUST HIM!
“To do and suffer God’s will is still the highest form of faith, the most sublime christian achievement. To have the bright aspirations of a younger life forever blasted; to bear a daily burden never congenial and to see no relief; to be pinched by poverty when you only desire a competency for the good and comfort of loved ones; to be fettered by some incurable physical disability; to be stripped bare of loved ones until you stand alone to meet the shocks of life—-to be able to say in such a school of discipline, ‘Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering my Father has given me?’–this is faith at its highest and spiritual success at the crowning point. Great faith is exhibited not so much in ability to do as to suffer” Dr. Charles Parkhurst
Our God is Higher, and His thoughts and ways are not like ours. What He seems to be doing in this time is drawing us nearer to Him. Getting us to the point of hopeless desperation. Leading us to absolute surrender, and preparing us to make the decision to trust Him!
He wouldn’t be God if we didn’t desperately need Him.
He is after a people who, against ALL ODDS, put their entire trust in Him to do and be all that He says he will do and be to us who believe and put our trust and faith in Him!
THE PEACE THAT SURPASSES UNDERSTANDING
And once we are drawn gently to the place of total surrender—–we lay down all of our own plans, desires, hopes, dreams, pain, thoughts, ways, will——-and we ask the Lord to fulfill His purposes and will. We acknowledge that we can do nothing. We confess that He is our only WAY, TRUTH, AND LIFE. We cast all of our cares onto Him, and we feel the weight of the burdens lifted off of our shoulders!!!!!!!!!
And in this surrender, we find the peace that surpasses all understanding, because we trust that God is in control, and that He can do all things, and that He is surely able to save.