Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, August 22, 2016
Desert Deja Vu
One doesn’t usually associate great spiritual opportunities with a desert. However, God often did great work in the desert – think Moses’ 40 years, John the Baptist’s ministry, King David’s exploits, and Jesus’ temptation by Satan. I shouldn’t have been surprised when God grabbed my attention two times as I traversed the desert on a business trip a few years ago. Last week I described my first crossing of the desert wilderness; today’s devotional tells of my return trip. It was so powerful that I’m obligated take the opportunity to share how He has the power to change His Earth as well as His people here on Earth.
It rained all night in Carlsbad, New Mexico (a rarity), and the rain continued as I set out that morning after breakfast for El Paso, Texas. Only a few miles outside of Carlsbad, a surprising desert fog set in. When I arrived at the Texas border, I slowed down uncharacteristically instead of accelerating to the higher driving speed that Texas law allows. The intense fog, an unusual phenomenon in the Chihuahuan desert, continued to thicken.
As the fog dissipated a few miles later, I could see a transformation had occurred. The sagebrush and other desert plants, usually a dull and faded greenish-gray, had put on suddenly a shimmering cloak of intense green. Overnight, the rejuvenating moisture had changed the entire demeanor of the plants and the landscape around it. Perhaps this transformation is too subtle for some to notice, but it seemed quite apparent to me, having traversed this territory just days before.
The desert is a dry and thirsty land (Psalm 63:1), constantly on the wait for water. I couldn’t help making a spiritual comparison of the desert to our own land, the United States. In so many ways, this country has become a spiritual desert. Many have turned away from God and live in a spiritual desert, devoid of His presence. Just as bad, many people today have never been introduced to God by family, friends, or others. A huge proportion of the past two generations has not even gone to church. It’s no wonder the morals of our society are degrading every day.
Our LORD Jesus Christ offers us the spiritual, living water that is so vital to our existence. He offers living water every moment of the day and night. All we need to do is turn to Him. Unlike the desert, which must wait for God’s grace to receive rain, Jesus will come to us at any hour on any day. In fact, He’d love us to be with Him every hour of every day, not just once in a while.
The storms of life can bring spiritual rain to our world. For example, the events of September 11, 2011 brought a temporary spiritual awakening to this country. Many people returned to Church and some even came to know Jesus Christ as their LORD and Savior. But as with a desert rainstorm, this spiritual blossoming passed quickly. Today our country has not only reverted to the previous state of spiritual emptiness, it has sunk deeper into the depths of moral decay.
A few miles outside of El Paso, God unleashed a final sign of His eternal presence. In an impromptu thunderstorm, a beautiful rainbow appeared briefly, arching triumphantly over the barren, white, salt flats of the high desert plateau, with the Guadalupe Mountains serving as a backdrop. The black storm clouds behind the rainbow accentuated the intensity of the seven rainbow colors, reminding me how even out of darkness and storms God can bring beauty, light, and hope.
The rainbow is the same sign God gave to Noah, millennia ago, an icon of His everlasting covenant not to flood the Earth again. God’s promises are just as sure today as they were in the days of Noah, for God is an everlasting and unchanging God and a God who must keep His promise, lest He not be Holy. Thousands of years after Noah, I, too, witnessed that same eternal promise of God, set beautifully in the clouds as an everlasting covenant (Genesis 9:12-16).
I didn’t expect my journeys from El Paso to Carlsbad to be so normal. Shame on me! I think we would all do better to try to maintain our spiritual connections throughout our day instead of hanging them up on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning after the spiritual glow of our Sunday worship has faded.
God showed me on this trip how He can rejuvenate the spirit as well as the land. He can revitalize the spirit of each of us as well as the spirit of our country. Nothing is beyond His great power. My prayer for you today is that He will rejuvenate your spirit and bring peace and joy to your life.
A servant of Jesus Christ
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