If there is one thing that is certain, it's that most of us, at one point or time in our life, have wrestled with this question; how will God use my life? It's natural to become excited about all the possibilities that may lie ahead in your new life with Christ. Unfortunately, so many people want something new in their life, yet few are willing to embrace what that entails of them. Because of the flesh we all bring with us into this new relationship with God, it can be very easy to approach God with a pious attitude of “look what I can do”. This has never been about what we can do, but about what God can do, and what He has already done through the work of the Cross.
One thing that must be remembered: God thrives within the impossible. It's His very nature to bring glory to Himself by accomplishing what no one else can accomplish. God’s desire is to demonstrate this principle in each and every one of our lives. But, it takes our cooperation. See, when you accepted the truth about being dead to God because of sin and called upon the name of Jesus, your deadened spirit was crucified and a new spirit was brought to life within you. Therefore, your spirit was made alive in Christ - perfect and brand new. However, the soul (mind, will, and emotions) was still broken as a result of your trying to live a life meeting your needs apart from God.
The point in this message is that if you want to bring glory to God by making your life useful, then you have to embrace your brokenness. God doesn't work miracles in situations that don't require one. In Isaiah 43:19, God speaks through the prophet Isaiah by saying, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” The context of this scripture is that God is reminding His chosen people of the mighty power demonstrated when He rescued Israel out of Egypt, as well as foretelling about Judah returning from exile in Babylon. The one thing in common between these two events is that the people are taken from bondage and sent out into the wilderness - an essential part to our personal transformation.
Wilderness is defined as an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region. This describes what our life can appear like after we are reborn. So many of us want to be rescued from our bondage and immediately teleported to the promised land, but there is so much purpose behind the wilderness. The wilderness is where we learn how to follow instead of calling the shots; especially since calling the shots landed us into captivity in the first place. God also uses this season to get rid of any remnants of our bondage from our minds by demonstrating His power and love for us as He leads us through our desolate situation. Don't get it twisted, it's very uncomfortable in the wilderness and the answers to your many questions never seem to show up. But, take heart because this is where God does His best work. Just like He can spring forth a river of fresh water from a barren wasteland, so can He spring forth a river of spiritual maturity from your brokenness.
The Apostle Paul says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation” (Romans 5:3-4). The Apostle Peter says, “The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9). Therefore, if we submit ourselves completely to God during the wilderness, the results will be the development of Christ-like character which transforms the way we think and perceive everything about life. Our focus becomes centered around building His kingdom, instead of building our own kingdom in His name. Having a ministry is awesome, but if your ministry wasn't birthed out of your personal transformation, chances are it might not be ordained by God.
Remember, the deal wasn’t that God was impressed with our abilities and just wanted us to switch teams, so that Team God could beat Team Satan. Never that! Our best abilities apart from God’s reforming hand look like filthy rags to Him. It has always been about us leaving behind everything we knew for the sake of being transformed into the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, because that's what pleases Him. From this transformation you will begin to find meaning and purpose to all of your life- past, present, and future. You will get to experience God doing something brand new in your life. What you find is that you were found in the wilderness!
How about you? Are you overwhelmed with life’s hurts and wonder where God is in all of it? At Crossway, we love helping folks see how God is at work in their life during wilderness seasons. Give us a call at 864-224-5557 or click on the link below to find out more about our counseling services. We look forward to hearing from you!