Dan Stolebarger // January 3, 2018

God can and often does use the desert to interrupt our lives. He beckons us to come to a solitary place in order to silence the deafening noise of this world and to slow down our often maddening pace.God can create situations that break us in order to reform us, that would redirect us and that would humble us as He moves us forward in His plan.

   He gives “appointed times” beginning with the gift of our weekly Shabbat. (Remember according to Jesus the Shabbat was made for man, not vice versa.)  Because most of us may not be familiar with the term Shabbat this is the Hebrew for Sabbath … or the Seventh Day when God rested.

        Shabbat has multiple purposes, here are a few of the pillars:

  1.  We need to take the time to acknowledge God as the Creator, reminding ourselves that He alone spoke this world into existence!  The heavens and His creation declare His glory, we need to soak that in.
  2.  Another pillar is to understand that He created us for fellowship, which means we need to be intentional and carve out time to just be with Him.
  3.  Finally, we need to proclaim God as KING!  Acknowledging the fact that He has a plan for each one of us and that HE had this in mind when HE formed us in our mother’s womb.

   God has included three “mandatory” yearly appointments: Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkah. Also given was Rosh Hashanah, the Days of Awe ending with Yom Kippur, as a time for a yearly reflection and evaluation. Needless to say, as a Believer, it is incumbent upon us to understand how Jesus is the end (the fulfillment) of all these appointed times!

But even with all of this, there are times when He draws us out to the desert, off the beaten path! Consider the examples of Moses, Israel, David, Elijah, John the Baptist, Saul of Tarsus, as well as our Lord Himself.

As we ponder this, realize that you too have the opportunity to get off the beaten path of life and to come away with the Beloved. What lessons does He have for us? What word will He speak?  Will there be correction?  Pruning? Adjustments?
It is time to Come Away and remember it is HIS kindness that leads us to repentance.

Remember!  When the aforementioned gang was in the desert, God was preparing them for something greater – the next chapter.  If you’re in the desert right now, know that you are not alone and that God is at work in your life. Be patient, don’t despair. Trust!

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