Thursday, March 14th,
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message by Kris Jackson
straight in the desert a highway for our God" (Isaiah 40:3)
US 395 is one official highway in the desert.
We are preaching in Ridgecrest, CA this week in the Mojave Desert, a hop, skip
and jump away from Death Valley. This is the land o' lakes, China
Lake, Searles Lake, Cuddeback Lake and so forth. I don't know why they call
them lakes, all are dry as dust. But there is a highway here for our God. Some
of the greatest of miracles happened in the desert. Moses met God on the
backside of the desert. Isaiah promised that in "the wilderness waters shall
break out, and streams in the desert". John waited in the desert "until his
showing forth to Israel". The Israelites were given a supernatural supply of
manna each morning in the desert and it was there that Jesus replicated that
abundance by feeding five thousand with fish and bread, which beats manna any
day. One time it says Jesus "was without in desert places: and they came to him
from every quarter" (Mark 1:45). May similar crowds join us here this week!
Know that the desert does not mean we are deserted.
Jesus was tempted by the devil during that forty-day stint in the desert. He
seemed deserted but wasn't. The Father never forsook His Son. He hides His face
at times but doesn't remove His hand. We are sons and daughters, not orphans,
and you can bank on the fact that God will never be accused of child neglect.
Second, know that the desert is a "have to" part of the process. Moses and Israel
could have made it to the Promise Land in a matter of days had they hugged the
Mediterranean shoreline but that would have been like skipping from kindergarten
to senior high. There is a three-step process from Egypt,
through the desert and into Canaan, from, through and into. You
can't get to it until you've gone through it. The intermediate is
as important as the primary and secondary. It doesn't have to, but sometimes
"middle school" can last up to forty years. Third, know that the driest places
are the ripest places. Dry shucks can quickly ignite into a scorching revival-fire.
David cried, "My flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty place..." (Psalm 63:1)
Parched lips soak up spiritual water the quickest. Such thirsty lips don't
complain about sermons being boring or music being too loud. "To the hungry
soul every bitter thing is sweet". Deserts rejoice over every rain droplet they
Stature-ation is the result of maturation. And
maturity is the prerequisite to ministry. All the Moses-types through history
had seasons in the desert. Actually, I don't think we should fight the desert
or try to avoid it. Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be
tempted of the devil (Mark 1:12,13). The desert then was not the devil's plan
but rather the Spirit's. Of course, we can shorten our stay in the desert.
Jesus was only in the desert for forty days while Moses was there for forty years
then added another forty through disobedience. Being led of the Spirit into the
desert does not in the least mean that we are to remain there the rest of our
Christian lives. Learn the lessons of the desert. Allow God to instill the
needed patience and build whatever character He has targeted then press on to
Canaan, or where Jesus first went, Cana, where He worked His first miracle.
Right now everything is as silent as a desert. You may not be receiving any
calls or even any signs. The desert may be 120 degrees by day and 20 degrees by
night. It is the way-up then way-down place and little makes
sense there. You might see a rattlesnake or a Gila Monster or get nabbed by a
prickly pear but focus on the positive for the desert has a beauty all of its
own. If there is a highway in the desert for our God, then that means that our
God is going to show up in the desert. Believe that. I cannot accept that He
brought you and me to this place to let us die of thirst.