Wednesday Word: August 03, 2016
Crying in the Wilderness
Long before I committed my heart to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, I always felt this connection to the stories of Moses, Elijah, and John the Baptist. Even when I was ridiculing Christians for their beliefs, I still felt a connection to these three Biblical figures. After I committed my heart, mind, and spirit to the Lord, I still feel the connection to these three Biblical figures (along with Jesus Himself of course).
In the year when I was beginning to pay attention to Holy Spirit wooing me into the Lord’s heart, I started to listen to “Christian” radio. It wasn’t something I set out to do; it was all God. I have always had and remembered my night dreams but during this particular year (around 2005-2006) my dreams became even more vivid. For awhile during this particular time, every time I would turn on “Christian” radio (different stations at that) the story of Elijah would be taught and preached in some way. My spiritual ears began to “perk up”. Couple this with some of the dreams I was having, well, let’s just say I could no longer ignore the tug on my heart. Holy Spirit used other avenues and vessels which tugged to the point that I gave my heart to the Lord, was water baptized, and began immersing myself in God’s Word.
Fast forward a year from that, I walked away from the church. For this message to accomplish what Holy Spirit wants it to accomplish, I must be completely honest and vulnerable. I walked away because I became hurt and frustrated; I became offended. The reason I became offended is because my focus was on the people and not on the Lord and I still knew nothing about having a relationship with the Lord.
Fast forward to yet the next year or two after I walked away. Though I still isolated myself from other believers, I went back to immersing myself in God’s Word. One night, I had a dream in which Holy Spirit whispered two things to me, “3 then 4” and “Enoch”. Even though I had walked away, I knew enough to know not to ignore this message. I knew it was Holy Spirit and it was important. I woke up and began looking through my Bible to see what the Lord was trying to tell me. What I was led to shocked my system to its core:
Luke 3:3-4 – And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.
What I was led to regarding Enoch also shocked my system to its core:
Hebrews 11:5-6 – By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
This is a very short summary of how I came from ridiculing the “Christian” faith to being tranformed and becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. After this I began slowly gathering myself with other believers and the journey to being in relationship with the God-Head began and continues to this day.
“The Wilderness” is not just the deserts around the Jordan, it is all around us. The Body of Jesus Christ is to be the voice crying out. We are to do it individually in our personal wilderness (loneliness, addiction, criticisms, etc.) but once we come to a certain place we are to become a collective unity crying “into” the wilderness as vessels of God Himself. That “wilderness” could even be where you go to church but remember, everything has to be led by Holy Spirit. The winds are changing and the rains are falling; it is time for the harvest. There is a lot of offenses being taking up by us all because our focus is skewed. Regardless of what denomination someone claims, if they believe in God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Spirit (Holy Spirit); if they believe in the life, burial, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ; they are our brothers and sisters. What is Holy Spirit whispering to you today?
Alicia R. Shipe
[For other devotionals like this go to gatheringathisfeet.org. If you came to this site for the first time today or if you have walked away from the church or from God, it is not by accident you are here but by Divine appointment. Please contact us. You don’t have to walk through the wilderness alone nor are any of us supposed to. One Body, One Lord, One Spirit. Selah.]