Are you in a situation where you desperately need God to show up? Does it look and feel like things are beyond challenging in the natural, like if God does not move powerfully – in your finances or marriage or a health situation, or on behalf of a prodigal child – that all will be lost? I understand (believe me, I do), but what I want to help you see today is that none of that means the "devil is winning." It actually means you are perfectly positioned for revival!
I don't say that lightly or flippantly. I know what difficult, challenging times are like. We are in the midst of some in my family right now, and we for sure are going through challenging times in my nation, the United States of America.
We tend to look upon these difficult times as "desert" or "wilderness" seasons, and we think of them with dread – as dry, barren stretches of simply trying to survive or "get through." No one ever reports excitedly that they are in a desert or wilderness season. The report usually comes with a fairly heavy "UGH!" attached to it.
In the natural, deserts are difficult places. There is little or no water and very few other resources. The heat is oppressive. Deserts are challenging environments. Our ministry is based in the Phoenix Valley of Arizona, right in the Sonoran Desert. If I wandered out there by myself with no preparation, I would be in serious trouble in a matter of hours. Why? Because in the natural deserts are places of lack, deprivation and oppression; but that is only in the natural! If we are walking with God, led by His Holy Spirit, that all changes. Significantly!
God Changes Deserts of Difficulty Into "Revival Atmospheres"
Think of Israel in the desert of Exodus. If they were on their own, they would have been done for, time and time again. They desperately needed God to show up in every area, every day. They needed Him to guide them. They needed Him to provide for them. They needed Him to protect them. They needed Him to watch over their bodies and their families. If God did not show up each and every moment of each and every day, they would die of thirst or of hunger or of exposure or from enemy attacks.
God did show up...over and over again.
Because Israel walked with God, the desert they spent 40 years in was not a place of lack or deprivation or oppression. It was actually the greatest "revival atmosphere" that has ever been seen in the earth.
• All day every day the visible, tangible, encounter-able presence of God manifested as a massive cloud by day and fire by night (see Exodus 13:21-22).
• Every morning the entire nation was fed supernaturally when God manifested His manna (see Exodus 16:21).
• In the evenings, the Lord supplied meat for all (see Exodus 16:13).
• Water poured forth from a rock (see Exodus 17:6).
• Their clothes and sandals never wore out (see Deuteronomy 29:5).
• They walked in supernatural health (see Psalm 105:37).
The desert of Exodus was not a place of lack, deprivation or oppression. It was a nation-wide atmosphere of miracles, signs and wonders that an entire people group witnessed – each and every day. Why? Because Israel was not on their own in their desert season. They were walking with God! (Photo via Unsplash)
When Everything That Can Be Shaken Is Shaken, the Kingdom Is Revealed – Powerfully!
When we are in a desert season, we are perfectly positioned for revival. That is actually the purpose of our desert and wilderness times. In the natural, there is nothing to look to or rely on in a desert. It is the same with a "desert season." Desert seasons help us see that there is nothing we can look to or rely on – other than God. They help us see our total need for and dependency upon the Lord, which is a blessing because when we understand this purpose, we stop looking to ourselves or others and we look to God. We stop looking to politicians or pastors and we look to God. We stop looking to the systems of man and we look to God. And when we do, we end up seeing that He is utterly faithful, completely trustworthy and that He never ever fails!
Personal, National and Global Revival
In my family, right now, my wife is overcoming cancer. In the natural, there is a lack (desert) of health and strength in her body, which means we are perfectly positioned for a revival of life, vigor and vitality in abundance! We are looking to God for healing, strength, wisdom and provision as we walk this "desert" season out with Him – and He is showing up!
In my nation, the United States of America, there is a lack (desert) of reverence for God, His Word and His truth; which means we are perfectly positioned for a revival of love for God, trust in the Lord, passion for righteousness and a holy reverence for Him, His values and His ways. I am looking to Him and excited to see how He will lead us into a national awakening and reformation!
What desert are you in the midst of right now? Are you lacking health in your body, peace in a relationship, abundance in your finances or open doors of opportunity to move in your calling? You are not alone in that desert; the Lord is with you, and as you look to Him you will realize He is all you need and more than enough!
As you shift your perspective from your challenges to the One who is the solution for all you are facing, your barren desert will become a revival atmosphere!
Here are 6 keys that will help you walk with the Lord in your desert season so you can see it shift into a revival atmosphere:
1. Repent...for the Kingdom of Heaven Is Near!
Jesus began His earthly ministry by inviting people to repent so that they could see that He and His Kingdom were at hand (see Mark 1:14-15). Repenting is not about hanging your head in shame, it's about changing the way you look at and think about things, because you realize there is a better way – Him who is The Way – right there with you.
Take some time to repent for any area where you have counted on the systems of man, your own understanding or your old carnal nature to satisfy, supply or see you through your desert season. Repent of fear or doubt and ask the Lord for a greater grace to trust that while there is little to look to or count on in the natural right now, there is also no need to look to the natural because you trust that He and His Kingdom are at hand!
2. Know That God Is There and That He Cares
Moses made a custom out of meeting with God (see Exodus 33:8-11). He faithfully made a time and a place for it because he trusted that no matter what was going on (or wasn't going on), God was still with him in all things at all times.
It is important to remember that God is there and that He cares, especially in the midst of the wrestles, confusion, delays, bad news, negative reports and all the other things the enemy uses to get us to doubt or turn away from God or stop trusting Him. We may not always have the tangible "felt and seen" presence of the cloud by day and fire by night that Moses had, but we have something even more powerful to look to so that we can be reminded God is here, He cares and that He has and will make a way; we have the Cross of Calvary!
3. Follow Where He Leads
Following where He leads means choosing not to follow where our fears and doubts lead, especially when things get difficult or feel delayed. When Abram and Sarai chose to follow their own leading instead of the Lord's (see Genesis 16:1-2) they ended up birthing a problem we are still dealing with in the earth today. On the other hand, we see that when Jesus (as a man), chose to trust in and follow His Father's ways, even when the flesh He was overcoming, on our behalf, cried out for something shorter, quicker or easier (see Matthew 26:39), the fullness of His Father's plans and purposes were brought forth for all people, in all places, for all time! (Photo via Unsplash)
4. Look to Past Wins to Initiate Future Victories
God had just brought Israel out of 400 years of bondage in Egypt. He kept every promise, won every battle and did it all through miracles, signs and wonders that put the reality of His supernatural power on display in great and mighty ways. But instead of looking to those very recent wins to trust Him for a victory against Pharaoh's army at the Red Sea, Israel murmured and complained (see Exodus 14:10-12). They looked to the natural situation instead of the Lord Strong and Mighty, the Lord Invincible in Battle (see Psalm 24:8).
Moses was facing all the same pressures, enemies, impossible odds and challenges as the rest of Israel, but instead of looking at the current challenge, he looked to God. I believe he was remembering all the Lord had already done, which then made it easier for Him to partner with God and follow Him step by step into a victory that saw every one of the enemy destroyed (see Exodus 14:28).
Ask God to help you be like David so that you have the grace to remember that the same God who was with you when you slayed the lion and the bear is with you as you are facing the giant (see 1 Samuel 17:36).
5. Be "Other-Focused" More Than Self-Focused
Often the reason we get into fear, frustration, doubt, confusion and all of those other negative, limiting emotions is because we are totally focused on ourselves. We are not getting what we think we need when we think we need it. When we shift our focus to "other" we activate the Kingdom realm in us and through us. Jesus models this to us perfectly. He was "other-focused" in all He did (see Matthew 20:28) and He walked in a revival atmosphere everywhere He went.
Before you say, "Yeah, but that was Jesus," remember that He promises in John 14:12 that you can walk in all He walked in! To be effective in this, the first "other" you must be focused on is God – His character and nature, His faithfulness and trustworthiness, His presence and His power. And then focus on those around you. The more you think about others and how you can be a blessing to them, the less you will worry about yourself.
6. Worship the Lord
This one key actually activates all the others! When you worship the Lord you remember that He is there, that He cares, that He has a better way for you and that He is trustworthy and faithful. As you worship Him you remember all that He is and all He has done.
Worshiping the Lord gets your mind off of yourself and your eyes off of the enemy. There's a reason why, when God brought the Israelites out of bondage, He told Moses the first thing He wanted them to do was to come up and worship Him (Exodus 3:12). He was teaching them the key that activates all the other keys, knowing that this would help them see the desert they were about to enter into in the natural become a great and mighty revival atmosphere, which He could use to lead them into every one of His promises!
Expecting Great Things!
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Men on the Frontlines | Robert Hotchkin Ministries
Robert Hotchkin¬†is the founder of Men on the Frontlines and Robert Hotchkin Ministries. He also serves as one of the core leaders of Patricia King Ministries. Robert hosts the weekly Heroes Arise broadcast, co-hosts the show Propel with Patricia King, and is a regular guest and co-host of Supernatural Life on GodTV. Robert fervently believes every Christian is a miracle-working explosion of the Kingdom waiting to happen. His preaching, teaching, and ministry inspire Believers to grab hold of their restored relationship with the Father through the finished work of the Cross, and walk in the fullness of their authority as dominion agents of impact in the earth.
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