The Israelites wandered in the desert.
Jesus immediately went into the desert of his temptation after his baptism.
The desert. This is a place that does not appeal to me as a desirable vacation spot.
1. In the desert there is a lack of water.
The spiritual desert is a lot like this. No matter how much you pine and long for the Living Water, it seems unattainable. You reach a point where you are certain that no attempts you make could grant you access to God. But, that isn’t true. Christianity isn’t this business driven solidly by feelings. We are called to trust in things unseen. We are warned with the knowledge that the heart is deceitful above all things. Just because the water seems unattainable, it doesn’t mean that it is.
2. In the desert there are hot, unbearable days & dark, frigid nights.
The world will grant you days where you feel like the three tossed in the fiery furnace. Everything about you is tested. Your physical limitations are pushed, then your mental, then your emotional. Everything seems to be taken by the flames. Then, the nights feel so long dark and cold. You begin to lose hope that the sun will ever rise.
3. The desert is homes to creatures you don’t want to trust to leave you be.
In the desert you will meet unsavory characters. They extend beyond your disdain for coworkers that rub you the wrong way. There will be people who don’t look so dangerous, until they are unleashing poison into your life. The desert place brings a stark absence of people that rise up to face the predators with you, and a sharp increase or predators to face alone.
4. There’s no comfortable place to rest your head.
No place feels safe. You become uncomfortable in the places that you sought for comfort. Even your church becomes a place full of sand. You may even regard it as a mirage. It looks like a place of comfort, but you see water and just can’t take a drink.
5. It all begins to look the same, with no hopes of getting free.
The worst part about spiritual deserts is that it looks the same. Without knowing the way out, or that rescue is coming, you begin to lose hope.
You’d think that in the midst of my Compassion Campaign I would be drenched in the Living Water and basking in a fountain experience. Instead I have found myself wandering in the desert because of the quick realization that there are many ugly parts to me.
Not physical things that disgust me. But there are sin nature giants that are stomping at all of my efforts to be a better me.
6. We don’t have to end our journey in the desert.
For me, I know it is just a momentary glimpse at a Jesus-less life. These sand filled shoes are a reminder that doing all of the right things doesn’t guarantee a heart change. But that just because there is a desert doesn’t mean that a heart change won’t happen.
I’m not bound here for 40 years.
This is my desert of temptation.