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Wilderness Seasons

Throughout Biblical history, God has used the wilderness to test His servants in order to perfect His purposes within them. His goal is to speak to the independent heart that leans on its own understanding and call His Sons and Daughters into proper alignment with His Divine order (Hos 2:14).

The wilderness speaks of a barren and desolate area. It is a place where inner needs become intensified and there is no available resources to meet those needs. God seems to want to move us there at times to speak to us about the condition of our hearts.

Who is this that comes up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved?” (Song of Solomon 8:5)

There is a heart quality about this “one” who is coming up from the wilderness that attracts the writers special attention. She is “leaning” upon her Beloved. This position of leaning demonstrates the fact that she has become completely dependent upon Him. Something has changed during her time of being in the wilderness which has resulted in her becoming submissively dependent upon the Lord.

This is the quality of Sonship that God is after in us and we must become aware that its the wilderness that produces this in our heart. How often have we murmured or complained about the wilderness experience only to find that there was increased glory as we emerged from this season.

We entered the wilderness season leaning on our own understanding and emerged leaning on our Beloved.

Shake off the fear of abandonment and draw near to the Father who speaks lovingly to His children. He wants to become the Promised Resource for our abundant life.

For Unto Us…

His Word to You

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” (Lk 1:28)

Here we have the amazing story of how Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who told her she would become the mother of the Messiah. Naturally Mary was shocked and asked how such a thing could be, since she was a virgin. The angel did not go into a longwinded explanation, but simply told her “the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Lk 1:35). That was good enough for Mary and she responded with a powerful declaration of faith: “Let it be to me according to Your Word”.

Discovering Favor:

That simple reply is at the heart of the mystery of answered prayer. Mary came to believe that as a virgin she would become pregnant and give birth to Israel’s long awaited Messiah. There were probably a lot of young Jewish women that might have hoped for that privilege, but Mary didn’t just hope it – she lived it. She knew a secret, because God had revealed His Word to her. Yet, she would come to live it out, only as she discovered her favored estate with God. For Mary to have felt favored by God would seem normal and expected in Jewish households, but a divine revelation from the angel Gabriel would have certainly emphasized its reality.

Favor Establishes Faith:

Now there would be nothing absurd about Mary’s belief in God, because she was finding His favor in His Word to her. It was rooted firmly in the Word of God’s supernatural encounter. God’s Word to her made faith… reality and had made the ridiculous… reasonable. As the angel told her, “With God nothing will be impossible!” I can almost hear a shout of “Amen!” as she embraced the words. “I am Your maidservant! Let it be to me according to Your Word.”

Receive His Favor:

Most of us are not likely to experience a visitation from Gabriel, but we have encounters with the Holy Spirit waiting for our embrace right now. The Bible is filled with words for us from God and there are angels that accompany our activities everyday. As Kingdom Agents, we are designed to walk in the favor of God and establish an atmosphere around our lives that allow His voice to become recognizable.

Like a fragrance, Mary found that favor longs to be discovered. You can be told that it is there, but it must be received and experienced, to be sought out and appreciated. God’s Word to you is like Mary’s secret, dependant upon your willingness to recognize His favor.

The Spirit of Prophecy

“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:10)

If you really want to make an impact… then allow God to transform your problems into testimonies! Telling people about the miracles happening in your life makes God more real and believable to the person who is struggling. It causes faith to engage in those who hear what God is doing in you.

Making Him Visible:

People begin to see miracles in their own lives, because of what God does for you. As we watch this process develop in others we begin to discover how the spirit of prophecy actively effects those around us. We rarely consider the fact that we have the authority to release God’s mercy to everyone around us… but it is a Kingdom promise for the child of God.

When we read in the Bible that God is able to do the miraculous, it means He has the power to do it! But when we hear somebody’s testimony, it means God is still doing it! He has the will to do these miracles in the here and now. Its an invitation to believe He will do it for you! The big difference in our perception actually draws us into expectation. We feel invited into the same experiences that we hear about.

Paul said it this way, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom 10:17).

Remind yourself that God’s Word is His will for you! Its His testimony. God is able! There is no deficiency in His power. The deficiency may not be in your faith, but in your testimony. Believing that He “can do” what needs to be done in our life is not enough, we must be enforcers of a victory that has already been won. He may work in totally unexpected ways, but He will work with supernatural power and give you something to talk about.

The World is watching your Christianity: Give them something to talk about!

The Timeless Gift

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink’, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (Jn. 4:10)

There is something wonderful and compelling in this invitation by Jesus. His encounter with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well carries with it one profound timeless truth – the gift of God is “living water”. Still today, “Living Water” is the most timeless gift of God!

Thirsty People:

I have found myself imagining this story, as so many searching and thirsty people; drink from one broken cistern to another, only to find the wells have all gone dry and ignorance is not bliss. It never occurred to her that lifestyle choices were leaving her dry… this woman’s ignorance of truth left her in bondage and prevented her from finding her way. She was more aware of her religious tradition than her moral conduct… in other words – she was lost!

Her story is being repeated a billion times over in our world today. Tragic and unnecessary… thirsty people remain at broken cisterns. Yet the ultimate challenge for the Church, is to offer a Kingdom Culture that is deep and lasting… like a well of living water. We are called to be a life giving stream from the well of living water.

Called to be… “A life giving stream from the well of living water.”

Let’s understand that meeting at Jacob’s Well is no guarantee that you and I can deliver the same message that Jesus gave her. We can talk a good talk and even shout and dance with the best of intentions, but to deliver and impart to others requires an anointing from the Holy Spirit. We need a touch from God… our own timeless gift. We cannot give what we are not experiencing!

Let the Rivers Flow:

There is Good News, however – if we are drinking of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:12-13) and overflowing with the life that Jesus promised, then out of our bellies will flow rivers of living water (Jn. 7:37-39). We must drink deeply from the well to produce the kind of joy the world needs to see!

So jump in and go deep… let the river flow!

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