The Desert

When we get to the place where we no longer believe or trust God we find ourselves wandering in the desert without direction or purpose. The desert experience can take forty years or forty minutes it’s up to us. Our choices determine our direction and we either wander aimlessly or we walk through these times.

We can recognize the exit scene of the garden and the entrance to desert when we let our spirit run dry and our ego rise up. Ego what exactly is it? It’s defined as:

1. The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.
2.In psychoanalysis, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality.
3. An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.
4. Appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem.

I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer explain ego as an acronym of Edging God Out. We get to take a walk in the desert when we edge God out of our lives. We can tell when we are heading to a desert experience when we hear these words coming from our lips but the thought process has already been marinating,

“Where’s God?”
“The message did nothing for me”
“I just don’t feel it anymore.”

We all have been in the desert. The desert is dry, barren and without meaning or purpose and void of the Holy Spirit. Each day looks just like the other. We get up, we go to work, we come home, we eat, we watch TV and we go to bed and we do it all over again tomorrow. Our lives become mundane. The desert tends to get really cold at night and that is how it is with us. We get cold to the things of God. We get cold to the service of others. We begin to wallow in our own problems and the life we are living and we continually murmur and complain about everything. We lose our sense of gratitude and although we may have seen many miracles in our time, we have forgotten or dismissed them as a thing of the past. We have forgotten God but we turn it around and declare that He has forgotten us. Dr. Myles Munroe says this, “The person who cannot see the ultimate becomes a slave to the immediate”.

Deuteronomy 8: 11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest–when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end—

We’ve all met people who decided to set up camp in the desert and they get stuck there. They are no longer free to fulfill their purpose in life. They have become slaves to themselves. If and when they determine to deal with the truth of where they are in their condition, and then have a change of heart and mind they can pack up and come back to living in freedom. Until then they are doomed to wander in the desert. The desert was meant to be a journey but God can only help you when you are ready to move. It’s all about choices.