Desert Teaching

God has always used desert experiences to teach his people. Scriptures tell us that Moses was in the desert for years before he was called to lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt. Joshua spent time in the desert with those same people before he was used to lead them across the Jordan to Jericho. David fled into the desert to escape Saul before he became king. Paul retreated into the desert for three years after his meeting with Jesus.

On the whole, these times were not pleasant or easy. They were not a time of vacation or amusement. In each case they came on the heels of an emotional experience. Moses killed a man, Joseph was given the task of forming an army from a group of ex-slaves, David was fleeing for his life and Paul had just learned that his understanding of the Hebrew scriptures and his life goal were completely wrong.

Jehovah dictated the agenda for these periods. He confronted these men with His presence. Each one had to accept His plan for their lives. Each left the desert yielded to the will of the Father.

My deserts probably will not be physical. Am I willing to go into God’s emotional and spiritual deserts and spend time alone with Him so that I may more clearly understand and accept the path He has for me? Can I let Him show me my weaknesses and errors so that He can correct them?

He may need to remove me from the daily rush and pressure of my schedule. It may be necessary to slow me down. I may need to go through a time of de-cluttering and simplification. The emotional and spiritual deserts of this world tend to do that.

As Creator of the universe He will show me who He is, what He wants me to become and His plan for my life. My ticket out of the desert may be a state of willing and grateful dependence on Him. Until then I will not be fully ready to serve Him.