Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Statewide Call to Pray! Day Thirteen!

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.  “And it shall be, in that day,” says the LORD,  “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Master,’  for I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground.  Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely. “ I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD." (Hosea 2:14-20)

He will allure us into the wilderness.  Why?  The Lord drew (or drove) His people into the wilderness to establish covenant with them, to draw them near to Himself, to speak to them, to test them, to protect them, to equip them and to "fine tune" them for His kingdom.

They all have been there: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Israel, David, Elijah, Paul, John and obviously Jesus. All those He calls at some point will be in the wilderness.  As a matter of fact, I personally believe that in one sense we never leave the wilderness.  We oftentimes go from one to another.  For instance, the people of Israel were in a wilderness of captivity in Egypt where God was forming them as a people.  They left Egypt to go into a wilderness to be drawn into God's presence and to receive His revelation.  They left that wilderness to enter one of discipline because of their issues of disobedience and rebellion.  They left that wilderness to go into a time of warfare and victory as they entered the promised land.

We often picture the wilderness in the worst light.  It's a desert.  There is no life and no sustenance for life.  It is either extremely cold or extremely hot.  It is full of danger from the elements and beasts.  In our concept of wilderness - God has abandoned us.  But as Elijah discovered, as well as all the rest, the wilderness was the very abiding place of God.  In that place He could draw His people unto Himself.  He allured them as a groom does his bride.

Don't fear or despise these days of wilderness that lie ahead.  Everything around us may seem lifeless and empty, but the Lord will reveal His fullness to us.  And He will remove evil from us.  He will destroy the chaff and tares that seek our destruction.  He will prepare us anew for the destiny that lies ahead us.  Remember - He is our God who tabernacles (dwells) with us in the wilderness.
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