Have you ever wondered why it took forty years for the Israelites to cross over the Jordan river into the Promised Land, when they were ONLY ELEVEN DAYS away! One would think,"that's crazy, how could that ever happen?" But, it did. The Israelites wandered in the desert because of their fear and unbelief.
Have you ever experienced a kind of desert place in the Lord and wondered how you got there? Your devotions are dry, your fellowship with the Lord is distant, and reading the word is dull? Somehow' you feel cut off and cry out to the Lord, "Where are You?" and the response is silence.
If you are wandering in a desert place, I understand exactly how you feel and it is a hard to understand how you got there. At times, I have wandered for days and even weeks! The cry of my heart is, " Why is this happening? I miss you Lord. I don't understand? If this is a test of my faith, then I have failed miserably."
Over the years, I have come to learn two things about a desert place. I am sure that you could share many more with me. The first time I experienced the desert, the Lord spoke to me about His people Israel in Numbers 13 and 14. When Moses sent out the ten spies into the promised land, only Caleb and Joshua BELIEVED what the Lord told them even BEFORE they went out. The other eight spies were filled with fear and unbelief and cost the whole Nation the opportunity of living in the promised land for forty years. They doubted God's word and their unbelief grieved God's heart. He wanted to give them a new home land with all kinds of possibilities.
As I pondered this story, I am very grateful that I was are not living back then. My unbelief isn't any different than theirs. I have God's written word speaking to me every day. But when the trials and temptations come, where is my faith? I have doubted God's Word! My doubt has lead to unbelief and unbelief led to discrediting God's character, who created me. The only way out of this horrible dry place, is to confess my sin of unbelief and not try to excuse myself pretending I believe God for everything, because I didn't. The Lord had to reproved me, and that was a good thing. My confession was the road to freedom. I was now more acquainted with the spirit of doubt and unbelief and able to recognize its voice and rebuke it.
The same voice of the devil that spoke to Eve in the Garden is in the world today questioning God in everything, "Did God say". I am continuing to learn, when I hear that voice, to stop and question,"IS IT GOD'S WORD OR THE DEVIL'S LIES!"
Faith in God is a gift, we receive when we are born again. It is like a muscle that has to grow through trials and tribulations. James 1:2 says, " for you know that the testing of your faith, produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
My second thought about being in a desert place doesn't have to do with doubt and unbelief. Once the Lord spoke to my heart, "The desert place doesn't have to be a hard place. It is a time of testing and a time when you grow the most in your faith. Have you ever seen a desert flower? They are some of My most beautiful flowers. They have learned to grow in a dry place because they know that I care for them. You are My desert flower".
Brother and sister, if you are in a dry place, and you are trusting God with His plans for your life, you are becoming one of His most beautiful desert flowers. A delight to His eyes, as you increase in your faith. God will be able to do the impossible through you. He is perfecting your faith and you will lack nothing. You will be able to believe Him for anything, because in the days ahead, it will be a good thing that your faith has been exercised.