Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My trip through the desert

For 40 years the people of Israel wondered in the desert. Moses lead the chosen people of God from Egypt to the land of milk and honey. Through this period the people at first were happy they got freedom and they were getting to this fruitful land promised by their almighty God.
Soon on their way they faced hardships and rebelled against God, they never signed up for a forty year trip in the desert. The ten commandments were given by our merciful God, still the people sinned and worshiped other gods. God delivered mercy and restored the covenant with them by asking for the right sacrifice to bring back holiness to his people. And finally after those forty years they entered the promised land.

Today I am returning home from such a spiritual trip sort of speak.
At one point in our life we meet with God and we realize that he wishes to bring us into the land of milk and honey. Some of us do accept that invitation and we begin that journey with Christ. We are fueled by the new beauty we have found in his promises, we are blown away by the indescribable joy we discover in our heart. Then the hardship comes...and we began to count the things we lack instead of counting our blessings. We become selfish and needy, we demand from God that we are served as we think we deserve. We become arrogant and we long for the riches and abundance we left behind in Egypt. We forget all about the slavery we were once bind to.
Like the people in the desert, we too worship other Gods. It just happens unnoticed. Maybe for you it is your work, perhaps your car or your children, your freedom. We miss out and we don't see the blessings in our life. We don't give value to what God serves to our plates, we don't accept the manna or the water from the rock, we want a banquet and the best wine to be served to us ASAP.

It happened to me, reason why I am telling you my story. So when I discovered I was no different from the people in the desert, I wondered: how am I going to get home? How will God ever forgive me for my rebellious behavior? I feared God's anger against my sinful ways in my life.

I remember when I decided to follow God, I painted this little aquarell: a girl in the desert. That girl is me, leaving my house to follow God on a Journey that is guaranteed to be a great one, knowing that when things get though I will have the privilege of carrying everything to God in prayers. I was determined to follow Him and willing to allow him to guide me and to mold me through the Journey. I knew he would sustain me.

That Journey has last 12 years now since that day. Recently I just made one more step in faith forward into that Journey.
For weeks I sat down and cried and cried, not knowing where to go and who to call. I felt I didn't want to go back to God cause he knew what I was going through and I was not hearing his voice. I thought of all those cold nights and hungry days in the desert and couldn't see the end of it. My problem had strings to everything around me. Nothing could bring me joy, I felt like God had abandoned me and forgot all together about us, me and Him, our relationship we had. I could not hear his voice, I could not see his hand, I could not feel his presence, so everything else lost its value.
I felt as if my heart became a cold stone and my spirit was crushed and without fuel. Deep in my mind I remembered all his promises and became determined to pulled to his ropes just to remind him of this servant and cry out to him as loud as I could. I fell face down to him and asked him to take my heart and to renew my spirit and ask to receive the gift of repentance of the soul and cleansing of the heart. I knew there is nothing I can do to change all these things.
Just as Abraham, I did bring my Isaac for sacrifice and trusted in God. Don't get me wrong I had no strength to do it and no will to complete the request, but God showed up right on time to rescue our hearts from desperation and total brokenness. I felt God's presence and I trembled, immediately I understood the meaning of "I am who I am" exodus 3:14. God was telling Moses what name to use to tell the Israelites who sent him to them.
Exodus 3:15 God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

To me it mean: "know that I am God, the all mighty Sovereign Lord, all these things are possible through me. I am who I am. I am here for you both"
I trusted the Lord our God and I am free of the pain, free of a heavy heart and again happy to hear my Sweet Shepherd's voice. I still have to go through a healing process but God will take care of that too, I just need to keep on praying.

I have come to pray for forgiveness and I have made the trip to the past, not to see the bad things that happen but to count the blessings God brought to my life. The manna he provided when I was most hungry, his merciful hand that came to my rescue over and over again.
I was reminded of the fire I once carried in my heart, such a strong fire that I found boldness and left my house to begin a journey with Christ, Jesus being my only compass, my only friend. He is the same 12 years ago and forever years ago and always will be a loving, merciful, sweet Lord. Still forgiving his hard hearing children, he is still in the business of trading those heart of stone to a heart of flesh and blood, still forgiving me for my short comings and sins. Still giving me the pleasure of hearing his Sweet peace giving voice, still giving that warm embrace of a caring Father comforting his scared crying misbehaved repented daughter.

How did I get from rebellious to a sweet daughter? Well I am not a sweet daughter, I was born a sinner, but in the eyes of my Lord I am his daughter and he loves me not for my deeds but because He is Love and he is grace and mercy. He has saved me and he wants this not only for me, but for you and everyone you know. I am hoping I can bring you a message of hope and showing the path back home to our Creator as I have found my way back to Him through prayer. I don't want to keep quiet, because today you might be in the desert trying to find your way out. Don't quit, be bold, bring your burdens to the cross.

How I made it back to His presence, was through prayer, there were days where I didn't see why I should pray if I had no answer, still I prayed cause I knew God listens always. I didn't feel like praying because I didn't feel I believed for what I prayed and also I didn't wanted to pray because I felt so far away from God that I thought perhaps there is a chance He might not hear me. But then a voice in me knew that I could be the only one doing wrong, the Lord is holy. The root of my worries and anxiety was evil, if I like that or not, that is my problem, but it is what it is.
On the Journey of prayer I recognized that I was being arrogant, selfish and ungrateful to the beautiful things and people God placed in my life, this has been the root and reason why I could not enjoy the banquet Jesus prepared for me. I didn't do it intentionally but the evil one fools us and blinds us and sin comes by unnoticed.
It is so important when friends and loved ones pray for you, I tell you their prayer and the prayers I brought to the Lord help me out of this dry desert. I came with a naked sincere heart to God and little by little, day by day(it seemed an eternity) I came to that point where I found my faith back. Got nudge my heart and I took the requested action and made that step forward, confident that God was next to me holding my hand and guiding my words. It was not easy and it took me a while to get to that point, but I followed God. I felt scared but not afraid, I am holding dearly to His word and promises.
When we ask in prayers to whatever we need and it is according to God's will, be sure that he will provide to your needs.

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:9-11)

From the book of Exodus and the people of Israel there is much to learn, but today I am reminded and learned once more, that God never changes. But we do, when we continue to pray even when we have no answer, even when we don't feel like it, when we believe that God will never forgive us, when we keep the prayer even in those hopeless moments, our life changes because of prayer, it really does!
In prayers we build a stronger relationship with God, we interact with him and come naked before him. We give him the authority to restore our lives and mold us as he thinks is best for us and He provides the strength and courage to face the days left on earth to continue his work with a diligence servant's heart.
He has called me, us, to walk in holiness because He is holy until we come before him again to spend eternity praising His holy precious name, "Adonai Elohai"

Some years ago, I began a quest to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, I found Jesus and I answer a calling to walk in holiness. I remember when He called my name and I said : Here I am!
Today I will continue to press on forward and face the deserts to come in my life, for Jesus paid the price for my soul with his life. That means a lot to me, it is for that reason that today I can be called child of God. The Lord will give me strength and wisdom to continue in faith every step of the way.
1John 4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome
them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Exodus3:2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up." When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am."
"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." 6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

If you are going through hardship in your life and my testimony has spoken to your heart, would you pray with me:
Father, forgive me. So often I don't bring my troubles in prayer and I forget the true importance of prayer. Teach me your ways and guide my heart to discover day by day the power of prayer that I might be a witness of your love and power to influence others and bring them to know you Jesus, use me as an instrument to make a difference in your Kingdom.- And if you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior in your life, let me tell you that he is extending an invitation to you right now. An invitation to have a personal friendship with Him, he is the friend you can trust, the friend who suffered for you long ago and paid with his life for our sins. The friend who loves you and wants just the best for you. A sweet man called Jesus Christ, the best of all friends. I pray you accept His calling today.
It is in His precious name, I pray. Amen.

"Then the L
ORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened." (Exodus 32:14)
Julieta Reyes

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