“Lord, what do You want me to read today?” Rarely do I get a chapter and a specific verse when I ask God that question each morning. Usually I am impressed with just a certain chapter to read. I wonder what’s so important about that verse, I thought as I flipped through my Bible.
Luke 3:2 (NIV) “…the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” The Weymouth New Testament reads, “…a message from God came to John….”
"Lord, why are you directing me to this verse?" I meditated on the words until clarity came.
The original Greek for ‘word’ in the above verse is rhema, meaning a spoken word. John was living in the wilderness or desert when God spoke to him.
Do you feel like you are in a wilderness right now? Are you wondering what God wants you to do? Are you struggling with a decision or a relationship issue? Does reading the Bible seem dry, like a desert? Does God seem silent?
As I am writing this we are having 50 mph wind gusts. Sometimes it feels like everything in my life is wind-blown and out of order. But God is assuring me through that verse that He will speak to me (and to you) in those desert places. It’s in the desert places that we can hear him more easily if we expect Him to speak to us and if we wait on Him.
It’s easy to get discouraged and think God isn’t interested in our dilemma, or that He’s too busy with more important matters. The truth is, we matter to Him every day and what we are going through matters to Him. The desert time seems bleak - no joy, no zest for living, no direction – but it is in the desert time that God can truly get our attention and help us prioritize our lives.
Is God first above all things in our desert time? Sometimes I focus more on what is not happening or what I wish would happen but isn’t. Are we willing to wait for His still small voice and His perfect timing, or do we become impatient and forge ahead using our limited human reasoning and logic to make decisions just so that we don’t have to wait?
We have access to the unlimited wisdom of the Creator of the universe. He has a personalized answer to our dilemma. He will speak to us in our desert, if we trust Him, wait for Him and expect Him to answer.
When the winds of doubt, confusion and anxiety are blowing through your thoughts, take time to quiet yourself and focus on the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to quiet your mind and emotions and to take away the distractions. Pray some breath prayers such as: “I trust You, Lord. I want Your best in this situation. I am willing to wait on You. Give me ears to hear You and eyes to see You.”
We are never alone. His Holy Spirit dwells within us. Listen for His voice and wait expectantly for Him.
"Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for You (Psalm 33:22 AMP)."