Have you ever gone through a “desert” season in your life and faith? You felt like things in life are being stripped away or challenged? You feel dried up and stranded in a wilderness wondering “how did I get here?”
We have all gone through those seasons, and we see many of those seasons throughout the Bible! In this post, I’m going to give you 3 purposes of the Desert season, and how you can position yourself to get the most out of it.
The first time I went to the snow as a kid, I didn’t know I was going to the snow. I woke up to the surprise of a winter wonderland outside my window. I immediately ran outside and swan dived into the powder. Snow angels, Snow man, I was living the dream.
When the adrenaline faded, I realized my naked hands had turned purple. That’s when I had an epiphany. SNOW IS COLD! Life painfully poked like needles back into my hands hours later.
What was supposed to be a beautiful moment, turned into a painful one. I was not aware of the season I was in, or how to respond properly to it. Being in a Desert Season of Your Faith is like this. It can be beautiful or painful. It all depends on how we respond during it.
Here are 3 Purposes of the Desert Season
Purpose 1. So You Don’t Run Away from Your Destiny
Many people blame a Desert Season in their faith on the Devil. But who led Israel into the Desert after Egypt?
“…God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, ‘If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt. So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.” Exodus 13:18 NLT
God knew that the shortest route was guarded by the enemy. God knew that if they saw the enemy that guarded the Promised land, they would run back to Eygpt. Fear makes us run to old mindsets God freed us from.
Instead, God took them into the wilderness, cutting off the ability to return to their old ways. It is the same for us. This challenging season doesn’t mean you messed up. It could mean God is getting you ready for the promised land.
The Desert Season is when God takes us away from our enemies to strengthen our character to later go back in and defeat them defeat them.
The Nation who came out of the wilderness looked drastically different than the one that went in.
Purpose 2. So You Can Hear His Voice
When Israel later fell away and God wanted to win them back what did he do?
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.” Hosea 2:14 NLT
He won her back by taking her into the Desert. Not to punish or rebuke her, but to speak tenderly. There is a tenderness with God in the Desert not found in other seasons.
That word Desert in the original language is- “Midbar” which means – “wilderness, or uninhabited land.” Midbar has a second meaning as well. “mouth, the organ of speech.”
Is it a coincidence that the Hebrew Word for Desert just happens to be the same Hebrew word for Mouth?
No way. The wilderness and the voice of God the voice of God were always meant to be tied together.
The wilderness is the place where all the noise of the world is stripped away. What if we are so busy in life that the only way we listen for God is when we are taken to the Desert? He doesn’t want to shout above the noise, he wants to speak tenderly as the lover of our Souls. We listen better in the desert.
When I’m hurting the temptation to fill the ache with Netflix, Amazon Purchases, or Social Media, becomes so real. I’m trying to numb the pain.
What I need is God’s presence.
Turn off the distractions. Embrace the Silence. Like sand that needs to settle in stirred up water, when I give my soul time to settle, clarity comes, and God speaks.
Before you try and get out of this season, stop, and listen to God in it.
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Purpose 3. So You Learn to Eat Manna
Manna was a flaky wafer-like substance God would place on the ground every morning for the people of Isreal to eat. Manna means “What is it?”
They never found out.
If you have to understand how God is going to work to receive his provision, you’re going to starve.
Deuteronomy 8:3 ESV And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
Sometimes we can have the audacity to think that our job, family, or nation will be our provider. The wilderness season is when all of that fails, and for a moment God lets us become hungry, so that we finally turn to him, and ask him to provide for us.
Deuteronomy 1:31 ESV and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’
It’s time to let go of all the things you have held on to, and let him carry you, as a father carries his tired son.
You are tired. Let him carry you.
What else can we do to get the most out of the Desert Season with the Lord?
Let Me know in the Comments Below!
These Resources Really Helped me through a desert season of my faith.
Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry by Ruth Barton. All my suggested books today are from Ruth Barton. She is my go-to for healing and how to find God through hard seasons. This book in particuler is how to keep your soul refreshed in the Lord as a leader.
Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s by Ruth Barton. This is the first book that ever gave me permission to be silent, and experience God in the silence. This is a must-learn discipline to hear God’s voice and let your soul rest.
Invitation to Retreat: The Gift and Necessity of Time Away with God by Ruth Barton. This one is all about taking time to retreat and go away to be with the Lord even in a busy lifestyle. She is a mom, wife, and ministry leader. SO i