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Don’t Desert the Desert By: Sam Ludington

Holy Cross - Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don’t Desert the Desert…
Author: Sam Ludington

As summer comes to an end and the school year starts again, we find ourselves moving back into a state of businesses that makes us envious of the free time we enjoyed during the summer. In the hustle and bustle of school, we get so caught up in homework, practices, plays, meetings etc. that we rarely have time to spend relaxing with our friends and family. The same can be said about our daily lives and spending intimate time with God. We become so consumed with work, meetings, outings, and even church work that we lose sight of the fact that we were designed primarily for intimacy with God.

If you’re anything like me, you probably enjoy being busy, you over commit yourself so that virtually every hour of the day is accounted for with some meeting or event, your to-do list is as long as your grocery list, and idle time leads to restlessness. For those of us who feel the need to be constantly busy, God has designed a special place called the desert where He closes off every door so that you can only focus your attention on Him. My time in the desert was the year following college, I spent a year looking for a job and applying to schools to no avail. For the first half of the year I was miserable, unable to comprehend why God would close all of the doors in my life after I had devoted so much time and effort into doing His work. It wasn’t until my aunt talked to me about not wasting the time in the desert that I began to understand that this time was actually set apart by God to grow in intimacy with Him. Hosea 2:14 says, “Therefore I am now going to allure her, I will lead her into the desert so that I can speak tenderly to her.” What God desires most from our lives is intimacy with us. Therefore, He will create opportunities for us to spend time with Him by closing unnecessary doors and putting certain things on hold. The beautiful thing is that as we spend intimate time with God, praying, fasting, reading the Word, we begin to develop characteristics and traits that are reflective of Him. He begins to reveal plans for our lives, heal wounds, and give us direction, all of which are essential Him to be able to use us. All of the heroes of the Faith spent a time in the desert prior to being used by God, Moses spent several years being molded by God while working at his father-in-laws before he was called by God, David was chased into the wilderness by Saul before he became King, and Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days before starting his ministry. It is in the desert time that we can spend intimate time with God, and as a result he can transform and prepare us for the calling that He has placed on our lives.

If you find yourself in a desert season, embrace it by spending time in His word and in prayer; draw into close intimacy with Him. If you are unemployed, spend time in His word and discover that He is your provider and will create a way when the time is right. If you are single and eagerly waiting marriage, view your singleness as a time to prepare for the person you will marry but also that the ultimate source of intimacy should be with God. If you are awaiting an opportunity or door to be opened in your life, develop your relationship with him and He will reveal directions for your life. If on the other hand, you struggle to find extra time, be intentional about setting aside desert time in your daily walk were you can spend strengthening your relationship with Him. It is tempting to view the desert that must be endured, rather it should be embraced because it is God’s gift to you, so don’t desert the desert.         

Shawn commented on 24-Aug-2011 03:03 AM
I think this is an awesome point Sammy. It's so easy to want to manipulate God's plan into our own. However, in the end, sometimes things not going our way turn into a blessing. If God gives us time in the desert, we should see it as the blessing that
it really is. When that desert time is taken away with other activities and responsibilities, it's important we remember that it should be a priority as we look to grow in our relationship with God. Sometimes, that alone time in the desert is the only way
it's going to happen.
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