You know this place where it is the calm before a storm, a moment before an action an interruption of routine before the response–I want to call this the “In Between“. This can be a difficult place to navigate through and it can be much longer than a moment it can be a season before the next season. How we think and respond will be a game-changer.
Many people of influence in the bible went through their “In between” season and it was characterized as a desert or wilderness experience. A few words to describe these times could be obscurity, darkness or when god is silent. Some got lost and wasted years and hardened their hearts others were broken and humbled and remade for the master use.
As Christians, we are always on a journey where Jesus is increasing and we are decreasing. Sometimes we may take a detour but God is our faithful guide. Our way is messy at times. There is no faultless track; we are learning Christ every day. Through our imperfections, we are learning unconditional love.
The progressive way of the Call includes times in the wilderness and eventually what we learn in the valley is used in our ministry to others. What is happening “NOW” in your life is preparing you for the “NEXT” season you will walk in. You are being equipped for victory and effectiveness.
Three aspects of the call:
- High (Transcends us) – Phil 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
- Holy – (Pure and with perfect oneness) – 2 Timothy 1:9 “Who hath saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”
- Heavenly – (Beyond our understanding) Hebrews 3:1 “therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus”
Each believer has an eternal purpose. We are “Called out ones” unto Jesus first and then His mission is to know him and make him known. Often we can be so focused on figuring out what God wants us to do that we get lost in a wilderness experience.
The “In-between” place of the Calling and the commissioning is the wilderness. Moses spent 40 years in the backside of the desert and then he saw the burning bush. The confrontation of God’s glory was the next step of his training was beginning. Abraham spent 13 years of silence and the Lord spoke to him in Genesis 17:1-3 “walk before me blamelessly!” Elisha received his anointing as the mantle was given from Elijah; his great loss brought great promotion. God may remove things that are precious to add something we never imagined, He is bringing you deeper and closer to himself.
The wilderness can be confusing and often a place where god can be elusive. Our feelings can try to guide us and be our filter to what is God doing. Our feelings are messengers of something deeper that is going on in our hearts.
God wants our heart – this is the place of activity where we learn to feel and experience god. Job asked in 23:16 not to have his heart hardened because he didn’t want to miss the visitation of the Spirit – He wanted to remain soft and pliable and be stretched to receive more of God’s fullness.
Jesus submitted himself in the reality of truth. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness in Matthew 4 but Jesus walked in truth rather than his feelings.
Here are a few things Jesus operated in:
- Received grace and truth
- Quieted Himself
- Humble Himself before his father
- Focused on Fathers plan
- Spoke the same things
It is easy to talk and complain about the environment in the wilderness, but be aware your season in the wilderness will be extended until we learn the lessons that will equip us for the next season. Jesus was prepared for the garden of Gethsemane because he had gone through the wilderness and learned his father’s heart in Hebrews 5:8.
Through the wilderness the apostle Paul learned this confession and mindset in Philippians 3:8:
“yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”
Moses asked the Lord to “show him His glory” in Exodus 33:18-22. He was put in the cleft of the rock and given a personal revelation of His glory. This was the catalyst for his ministry for the rest of his life.
God will bring us close to Him then lead us out in his power. To the measure we grow deeper in intimacy – is to the measure we are sent out. Let God do the deep work in you and equip you so that when the time comes to use you all that is seen by others–is Him. The Psalmist didn’t want any glory for himself he said:
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness in Psalms 115:1.”
Are you in the “In-between” season? This wilderness, desert or valley experiences can produce so much fruit in our spiritual lives. God is always working and his plan is always unfolding Jesus will lead you through to his desired haven in Psalms 107:30.
Find His cloud by day and God’s fire by night – His presence will lead you through!
Jason is a graduate from Maryland Bible College and Seminary, and presently he leads the Pastoral Care Team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. Since age 16, Jason has been involved with mission work among the former Soviet-Bloc countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and in the United States. While living in Ukraine, he helped the church plant three new churches that continue to thrive today under trained nationals. He has also written five books and has his own podcast (www.InnerRevolution.us)
Amen. I have been there (more than once, complaining…). God has put his call on me to be patient even in this silence. I passed through a great fire to be ready for that desert, and indeed, God has been silent for a long time. He has called each of us to pray, praise, pray to be in His presence, to pray the He would guide no matter what our ‘feelings’ are. Only by the grace of God can I withstand both the fire and the desert.
Yes claire it is uncomfortable but fruitful in the long run. Jesus loves is all the way through!