Monday, October 22

When Noting Goes Right - Our Tips For The Desert Season

Hey guys and gals,

This is the follow on from yesterday's resource post.

Again warning, FAITH-BASED CONTENT INCOMING!! 


Tips For The Desert Season, Lambi wants it to be over now!! 


This morning when I set out to write this post, I got stopped in my tracks by that small little voice on the inside instructing me to take a look at this subject from another angle. I was going to take it from the angle of the importance of maintaining an intimate relationship with God when you are in the desert seasons of your life, I was going to point out some of the ways the devil likes to deceive us with hallucinated dreams, but like I said I got stopped in my tracks and so I know this post is gonna land a lot more than what I would have written, because it ain't from me. 

I can claim no credit for what I am about to share with you, so please direct your praise to God if you find this helpful. 

Anyways, 

I apparently get to start with a little story, you see yesterday I celebrated 26 years in Christian faith. I got saved when I was 3, which means I am now 29 (and almost 1 month) at the time of writing this. 

In my 26 years of faith, I have never done things the conventional way, most folks get saved, and find it very easy to get rooted in a church so they can start growing pretty much straight away. I was fortunate enough to be born into a Christian family, although coming to faith was my choice. Even then, my parents were friends of churches but they moved in seasons. I was taught from a young age to be rooted in Christ above all else. Things can happen and sometimes churches split or close or whatever, and when this happens, if you are not rooted in Christ it can be really scary when somewhere that felt like home starts crumbling, especially when we are talking spiritual homes here, there is something incredibly intimate about finding a spiritual insinuation to call home, a church family that really feels like family.  

Of course, I can't blame my parents for the lack of church institution stability for more than a few years of my life, as of the age of 13, my parents gave me the choice to go to church or not. They strongly believe faith has to be chosen, and not forced and the way in which they handled me in regards to sharing their faith with me, was truly beautiful and I will be forever grateful for the freedom they gave me, but anyway the point is I've had over a decade of life in which I've had the choice to be rooted in a church or not....and more often than not, I have not. 

Now before I continue, let me point out my parents are and have been stable in a church insinuation for many years now. My lack of stability in a church institution is completely my choice. 

I have had seasons of being rooted in one church for years at a time, but honestly, I've spent more years in the desert place than in an institutionalized church. 

The desert place for me is the place where like the children of Israel, you have left  " Egypt and now you are on the way to your "promised land" whatever that looks like for you. 

Maybe that means that you the reader are caught between the church you left and the one you don't know you are going to wind up at, or if you have come to terms with the fact that you don't believe the same as others around you, maybe you are searching for something more, but you just as Bono sang, still haven't found what you're looking for. Or maybe still, you are caught between having been brave enough to make a decision for yourself, and the consequences are in full swing and you are just waiting for the dust to settle.

Whatever it is for you, I hope that this post is of use to you.

So then going back to my story, 

The longest stint of being in one church institution for me since my parents gave me that freedom, has been 5 years.

I did get roots down deep enough to be involved in my church's creative arts department, I was on the welcome comity, attended youth and house groups and I was a Sunday school teacher for 3 years. I have many great friends from that church to this day and I was happy there, (despite not always agreeing with everything they taught) but towards the end of the season, everything changed. 

The pastor of the church felt a call to evangelism and so he handed the church over to another pastoral couple. They are lovely people and if nothing else, it is fair to say, that church is still doing really well....but I wasn't destined to go to that season with them. My life was beginning to become more and more about trips to London, and eventually, I moved here.  When I got here, I did go to a church for a little while, but due to circumstances, it became increasingly harder to stay there and so right now I am in a desert season. This season has lasted 3 years and counting...and yet I am really strong in my faith. 

If you believe the popular hype, that shouldn't be the case. Apparently not having a church institution to be apart of is supposed to draw you away from Jesus, not to Him. 

I sincerely and with the utmost respect, I can muster, reject this teaching. 

Sometimes it is not just all the rough stuff that is drawing you to the desert it is actually Jesus himself, quietly whispering on the inside, come away with me my child. 

Now here would have been a great place to put in all that stuff about that intimate relationship with Jesus but instead....we are gonna change directions a little, and then I am gonna tie it into what I just said, so you can see how it all fits together. 

Okay, so changing directions. 

Kingdom dynamics.

What does that mean to you? 

Possibly nothing, so let me just for the sake of time brief you on this, (I will make another resource list for you a little later this week so you can research the topic further) 

When Jesus taught us to pray, in the Lord's prayer found in Matthew 6, He taught us what kingdom Dynamics are all about. 

Matthew 6:9-13 New King James Version (NKJV)

In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 
Your kingdom come.

Your will be done
On earth, as it is in heaven.

11 
Give us this day our daily bread.

12 
And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.
13 
And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.
[a]For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.


ON earth as it is in heaven...

Kingdom dynamics are all about bringing God's will here on earth. 


When you are in that desert place it is super easy to make it all about you. YOU are going through a hard time, YOU are not sure which way to turn. YOU can't understand why this happening.

Instead, make it all about JOY and make it your love-style.



Joy is JESUS
          Others
          You

You put Jesus first, this enables you to take care of others and then as a result, your life is enriched.

This is the protocol of doing things in this life God's way, and love is at the heart of it.

I'm not talking tolerance, I am talking real, genuine love. The kind of love that gave up everything for you. If you tolerate something, you don't necessarily like it, you are just putting up with it. Choose love instead. Tolerance is nothing more than misguided grace. True grace and true love looks at the world around us and says okay what can I do to help make it better here.



Why?

Because we were not instructed to sit around waiting in holy huggles for the rapture to happen, we were instructed to bring HIS kingdom HERE on earth! 

Yes, Jesus is coming back one day, it could be soon, but so what?

If you're not doing what HE asked, 
you are not ready to meet Him face to face! 

Roll up your sleeves and start working on bringing His kingdom here on earth.

If you are in the desert, you have plenty of time for doing just this. All that time you used to spend going to church, and all the other activities associated, now you can contribute that time into working towards heavenly goals. Bring His kingdom here on earth.

This is how my faith has been kept so strong, even-though my tent in the desert is starting to look like a house, I know one day God will release me to join a new church family, but as of now, I am right where I am supposed to be. 

This is a season, I am not stuck. 

Although I don't really like it, I am content to stay in this season until God lets me move on. Right now He is teaching me some things that will be useful for the next house and season He sends me to, the class is in session, I can't just get up and go to lunch!

I put Jesus first by doing daily devotionals, which enables me to think of others in all of the little ways I do that are between me and God, but also this blog, and then as a result, I know I am in the centre of His will and therefore cared for.



The Joy of the Lord is truly my strength and it can be yours too.



The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.



Joy is my love-style!























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