I two-way journaled a couple weeks ago, thanking the Lord for the amazing Church Council meeting we had on May 23 and asking Him to speak to me about the Wilderness series I am currently preaching on Sunday mornings.
Two-way journaling is very simple—you write down your greeting and questions to the Lord, and then you begin to write as you hear or see some sort of response from the Lord. The more you exercise in this, the clearer you will hear/see the Lord. For accountability and accuracy’ sake, you submit what you see and hear to mature believers, and you always compare what you see/hear with the Word of God, the Bible. God NEVER contradicts Himself!
The Wilderness series is based on the 5 to 10 years David spent in the wilderness, in caves and hideouts, running for his life—and growing up to be a Man after God’s own heart! As individuals, we go through wilderness seasons that God will use (if we submit ourselves to Him) to heal us, prepare us, and employ us.
Some congregations, too, go through wilderness seasons just like David did—not as punishment nor as a proof that something is wrong, but rather, as a preparation to grow into the character and nature of a king in service to the King Himself. Apostasy (the abandonment of genuine Christianity for the sake of expediency and human popularity) is on the rise; Apostolic (genuine Biblical) Christianity is under attack much as David was. We should be honored to be in the wilderness as a church and dare not miss the lessons the Lord is trying to teach us!
Here is my Journal entry from 5/24…
Lord, good morning! Thank you for the power of your grace—your love—thank you for hope! And thank you for a great Council meeting last night!! I believe you want me to preach on the wilderness and how it formed David’s identity, character, and his heart. What do you want me to see? To become? To share?
“My son, I want you to grow—as My son and father David did! I want the struggles to lead you to dependence on Me like you have never known before. I want you to embrace holiness of heart and life more deeply than ever! Look at how it formed his prayer life; Look and see how it changed him (David) as a worshiper; Look and see how I form a congregation; and look and see how David treated and led that congregation.
You can’t really be a king without the wilderness; You really can’t shape a nation, a congregation, without the wilderness. My ministry did not begin until after my time in the wilderness—and the greatest years of ministry for you and this congregation are just beginning!”
I am excited by what the Lord is teaching us, and honored to be part of a congregation that is being prepared to lead in Apostolic fashion in a world ever-more given to apostasy. While many walked away from David for comfort’ sake, those “outcasts and losers” who stayed or came to David became the leaders of Israel, the “Mighty Men of God” referred to in Scripture!
May we become EVERYTHING God is shaping us to be in this time of wilderness training!