The purpose of the desert.
Posted by appolus on July 28, 2013
Hi Saints, in a previous post http://acalltotheremnant.com/2013/07/19/the-city-in-the-desert/ we talked about the Church in the desert. We talked about how it was counter-intuitive to go into a desert to find life, but that this indeed was what God was calling us to. And of course it is entirely Biblical. We can see this pattern time and again of being called into the desert, to be stripped of the flesh, sanctified, and learning complete dependence upon God. We see that if we can learn to live a thankful obedient life in the desert, then the joy that we find when we enter into that place of rest, when we cross over the Jordan, is a joy that is full because God, in His full-ness, has been found by the heart that is wholly given to Him.
Now, how much life we garner in the desert has a direct correlation to our life eternally. Jesus taught, in relation to His coming and life eternal, that to “everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will abound. But from him who has not, even that which he has shall be taken away from him.” (Mat 25:29)
What do we have? Have we not love and forgiveness and mercy, do we not have joy and peace? When Jesus spoke of the talents, so many people construe that to be connected to money or actual talents when of course, this was the analogy , the parable, to prove the point. We have made the analogy the actuality, we are mistaken.
These talents, these gifts God has given us, like mercy and love and forgiveness and so on, God wants an increase. If you have been forgiven much, then you are rich in forgiveness and God desires that you share that wealth so that forgiveness can increase on the earth. Only a wicked servant would take his masters resources that was freely given to him and hoard it and hide it rather than freely give as he has freely received. And in the end, that which is hoarded will be taken from that wicked servant and given to another who has freely given and that other will abound in the rich’s of God.
Now, it’s in the desert that this is truly tried. It is in the heat and the refining fires of a desolate place that we will be called upon , be tested, to see if we will share what we have been given under intense trial. For we know brothers and sisters that it is easy to love when we are loved, it is easier to forgive when we are forgiven, it is easier to have mercy upon those who are willing and responding recipients. Yet none of this occurs in the desert, in the trail, in the tribulation. In this place we are called to love those who hate us without cause. We are called to forgive those who care nothing for our forgiveness and would spit it back in our faces. We are called to show mercy to those who will, given half a chance, me merciless to us.
Now, to do all of the above in the heat of the desert requires a sacrifice. We must surrender to God and die to the flesh in order to be obedient to what the Lord has taught and commanded us. We must yield to the Word of God and the small still voice of the Lord. When we do this, life itself, as unlikely as it seems, begins to burst forth in the desert. Each time we yield, each time we surrender, each time we love and show mercy in the crucible of the trial, what we are actually doing is enlarging our foundation. Let me explain. As a former builder I know that the foundations was oftentimes the hardest part of constructing the building.
And of course, the greater the structure, the deeper the foundation. Now, when you are digging deep foundations you oftentimes come across rock. This makes life very difficult and increases the cost greatly, but it still must be excavated. So what am I trying to say? Well I want to encourage the saints in the desert this morning. Your trials and your tribulations have more to do with just your own sanctification. I believe that there is a direct correlation with your trials and tribulations and your eternal life. You see, the Lord has went ahead to prepare a place for us, if it were not so, Jesus said, He would not have told us so. Your eternal dwelling place and your trials and tribulations here on this earth cannot be separated. Those who are faithful servants, those who find and create life in the desert, those who are thankful in the midst of their trials, will be rewarded. And so, despite the trials of struggling to dig this foundation, I want you to see that without a foundation there can be no structure, that structure being your prepared place in heaven.
The exact nature of that reward I cannot say for I have no idea, but I know what Jesus told us. He said this “Mat 25:29 For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will abound.” Now I want you to read the context of this text. Go back to the beginning of the chapter, in fact, if you have the time, read the previous chapter, but for now, let us see what the very first words of this chapter is so we know what the context is….. “Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened…..” You see brothers and sisters, Jesus is talking about the Kingdom to come after He returns.
And so I want you to be encouraged and remain faithful in the midst of this desert, your many trials and afflictions. God has seen your afflictions. He sees your tears and your broken heart, yet He also sees your future. He knows what He has in store for you. Right now it seems so painful , like a woman in child-birth, yet there is a coming time, soon, when all of this pain shall be forgotten because of the joy of the Kingdom that will be birthed at the coming of our savior Jesus. Stay faithful to the end saints. The promises are to those who overcome. Your faithfulness will find reward in heaven. Scripture tells us, and this should truly excite us that “it is written, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,” nor has it entered into the heart of man, “the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor 2:9) Imagine that brothers and sisters, it has not even entered into our hearts, it is so beyond what we could even grasp, what the Lord has prepared for His faithful, loving , forgiving merciful servants who learn to overcome in the very midst of the desert. Glorious!!!!!!!!