“Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “This is what the LORD says: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown. Jeremiah 2:2 NIV
Marriage is a theme that God often uses to describe the intimate relationship that He desires with the nation of Israel and then Jesus with the church. All cultures understand the longing in the heart of the faith, love, and trust that a couple share between themselves. Staying together during the hard times creates a bond that we call faithfulness to one another.
Jeremiah recounts that Israel followed God through the wilderness, a place in which they could not even provide for themselves by planting crops and settling down. They were incapable of existing without Him. They had a promise of a land flowing with milk and honey, but everywhere they looked it was desert. No majestic trees, no flower gardens, no fruit bearing trees and no rivers with abundant water supply. Yet, they grew in number and and developed a deep trust in God.
Are you walking in a wilderness time? Do you wonder “what on earth could God be thinking to make this season last so long”? It is so hard to remain faithful when so little fruit can be seen, but HOLD on.
Some wilderness encouragement.
- Repeat and appreciate the basic provisions. God provided daily manna and water for them throughout their time of walking in the desert. When they grumbled and complained He even provided birds for meat. Savour the flavor of daily manna- God’s word. Keep reading it asking the Lord to fill your soul and speak to you. Even when it doesn’t seem to be working, Keep coming back to the Bible every day. You will find God presence within His word to be with you and to guide you.
- Follow God’s lead. The nation of Israel had a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night that remained with them to show God’s presence among them. When the cloud or fire moved, they followed. When the fire and cloud stayed still, they remained in that place. Learn to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life and follow in obedience. Joy comes and abides in obedience. Stay faithful in your pursuit of His presence.
- Declare your trust often to God in a land or season of unfruitfulness. Spiritual muscles are formed in this place of trust. King David developed his love for God’s care and protection while running and hiding continually from Saul who wanted to kill him. He could have had his revenge by taking Saul’s life while in a cave, but even deeper character was being built in David. At that moment he declared, “I will not raise my hand against God’s anointed.” That was spoken in a cave, running for his life, long before he became king. Declare your trust in alignment with God’s righteous purposes.
- Wilderness experiences seem unfair. Not everyone has the same path to walk. It really is tough. Complaining never makes it better and it doesn’t reveal short cuts. Complaining doesn’t win God over to change His direction sooner, rather it prolongs the season. When you feel like complaining, find at least one thing in which you can legitimately thank God. Thankfulness does not negate or deny the hard walk that you are enduring. It allows you to see and remember, God is with you at that exact moment- in your wilderness.
May you receive the encouragement today to let faithfulness blossom in your wilderness. There may be no fruit on the outside, but you are being transformed into the image of Christ on the inside. You are looking really good.
Blessing Love y’all