A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord; Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. – Isaiah 40:3-4
As many of you know, my family and a few others have decided to do church a little bit differently. Three times in my lifetime, I have seen the Lord move mightily in what would be perceived as a typical American church. I’m talking about God Himself filling a place so that His presence can be truly felt. Three out of those three times, I’ve been told that basically a handful of the more prominent people within those church walls were not comfortable with it. Therefore, the church was divided, and that thick presence of God was squashed.
It is crazy to me that God gives people this much power. It seems like He would squash them instead. I guess it is a good thing that I’m not God. At the same time, I’ve seen 100% of the time that good comes out of these divisions. I know that I would have stayed at each of those three churches for the rest of my life had God remained there so powerfully. The only reason I moved is because I felt like I had to. Apparently, it is not in God’s plan for me to stay in one place for too long. Had everything stayed like I wanted; I would never know what it was like for God to provide in The Wilderness.
I remember the first day at The Wilderness. I made no advertisements that we were even meeting. The only mention I made was in a WMD called “An Invitation to the Wilderness.” When Tonya and I were driving up Highway 11, it was one of those nasty, misty, rainy days. We arrived just a few minutes early and nobody was there. I was disheartened, but I refused to be discouraged. I told Tonya, “You know, maybe this is just a test. Maybe all God wants is for us to go under that tent and just pray together. Maybe He just wants to see if we will be faithful even though nobody comes. We can definitely pass this test!”
I probably don’t even have to tell you that we had no more than started praying when two vehicles pulled in. One with some very familiar faces that just made my heart leap. The other with a couple that I didn’t even know was in the country and would have never thought to invite. We had an unbelievable time in the Lord. I left in absolute awe at God’s provision. I know I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but I pray that I’m always astounded at the things He does and just how He works. He is nothing short of amazing.
Lord You are the great provider. I’ve learned things in the Wilderness that I’m not sure I would have or could have learned anywhere else. You are making my mountains low. I can see in my own life where I’ve been so prideful, and now you are bringing me down to my rightful place in a way that I can handle it. You are raising up my valleys. There are so many areas where sin keeps me from experiencing You in all of Your fullness. Thank You for making my path straighter. Continue to work in me so that rough places become level, and rugged places a plain. O Lord, I just want to give my life to You all over again. Not just the parts that are easy, but the parts that are hard. Live in me so that I may learn how to truly love the Lord my God with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my mind, and all of my strength. Live in me so that I might learn to love my neighbor as myself. Help us to truly lift You up in The Wilderness so that You may truly draw all men to Yourself. Amen.