Wilderness Survival Kit

Have you ever been in a place where you didn’t know how you would survive? The facts weren’t appealing. The odds were not looking good for you. The job you had, that wasn’t paying, was gone. That friend you could always count on had left. That faith you had worked for years to build seemed to be slowly fading away.

Does that sound like you? If not, you’re blessed, but be prepared. Wilderness always comes. For the Israelites, they had been slaves for years. They held on to hope that they could get out, but once freedom was there, they forgot how desperate they had been. I don’t know about you, but I’ve also been there a time or two. Being free of that thing that held you captive is always liberating, but it can sometimes cause us to release the desperate need for God we had when we were in the middle of captivity.

The Israelites were originally taken through the wilderness, not as a shortcut to the prosperity, but as a way less likely to come in contact with prominent adversaries. I find that funny though, God has a way of getting us to see ourselves, and tries to make us our best self before we reap the full harvest of the blessings that going through the last season has to offer. The wilderness was a path to travel to the destination without the distraction of the potential of war against physical adversaries. The Israelites wandered however, due to the mental adversary they allowed to overtake them.

So here we are, you’ve been in a situation for days, months, years, and you’re praying, believing, fasting, worshipping, waiting patiently on God to bring the deliverance you desperately want to experience, knowing it will give you a praise like none other. You’ve even practiced and thought about how your shout will look when that day comes, when the news is delivered. The deliverance part is the easiest, because that’s all God. It’s what’s between the deliverance and the destiny that can trip you up.

The wilderness.

What’s in the wilderness? Nothing. Which is the point. There is nothing appealing in the wilderness, nothing to look at and admire. Nothing but you, your mind, and SOMETIMES God. I say sometimes not because God isn’t with you, but because in the wilderness your view can become distorted and you can’t see God, feel God, or even hear God. The wilderness consists of nothing but you, and your thoughts, and those little cracks that gives the enemy just enough wiggle room to sneak in. The wilderness is where you see those last minute flaws that need to be taken care of before you get to this next level of destiny. It’s always uncomfortable. More uncomfortable that the very season you were just delivered from.

How do you maintain sanity and sanctity in the wilderness?:

Prayer: Be in constant conversation with God. Whether you hear Him or not. Whether you feel Him or not. Don’t close the door to the avenue that God uses to get information to you. Be open, honest, and 100% real with the Lord Almighty. Because He’s just that. Almighty. He can handle your frustrations, your doubts, your cries, better than anybody else. Be strategic in it though. Don’t just babble and complain, pray in a way that let’s God, and Satan know, that you’re sticking it out. You may not feel like a winner, but you’re not giving up. You may not feel like you have anything to lose or gain, but you’re going to keep going. Ensure that during the time that you are the weakest, you don’t allow the enemy the opportunity to take what you’ve put in the work to receive. Stephen and Alex Kendrick have a book entitled “The Battle Plan for Prayer”. It’s a great book to help you become more strategic in your prayer life to fight off the enemy, and call Heaven forth on your behalf.

 

Understand the Battlefield: Now that you have a strategic plan in your prayer life, you have the understand where this plan will be most effective. The battlefield in which you are fighting this battle is not going to be in your home, on your job, at the school, or church. It will be in your mind. The doubt, confusion, anger, jealousy, all will take place in the secret dwellings of your own mind. Know what the Word says about you, and lean and depend on the written Word of God, and the whispers you’ve heard from God all along about the plan He has for you and the place He is taking you to. Joyce Meyer’s book “Battlefield of the Mind” provides insight on the mind and it’s importance in this battle.

Believe in Your Own Power: You’ve made it this far! You know and trust God, you believe you are His child, and you know God has given you authority to call things as though they were, and speak to your own mountains. Trust that the same power you used in faith and prayer before the deliverance has not left you before you reached the destination of destiny. You have more power than the enemy, you just have to be self-controlled and disciplined long enough to acknowledge the tricks of the enemy and defeat them before they have the opportunity to manifest against you. John Osteen’s book “Power Over the Enemy” goes over Jesus’s wilderness experience and how He dealt with it, the ability to acknowledge the tricks of the enemy, as well as living Victoriously! This is another great tool to help you during those wilderness moments!

 

You can make it through the wilderness! Don’t allow the enemy, or yourself to keep you there for years. You have a Destination of Destiny to get to.

Understanding Your Spiritual Ear

Hello! There are a number of things you should understand in your life, I believe one of the most important is your relationship with God. That being said, today we will be looking at the Spiritual Ear, specifically Understanding and hearing the Voice of God!

Being a born-again Christian comes with many perks. One of those perks is that you now have the opportunity to build a relationship with God the Father. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior opened the door of opportunity for you to be cleansed of sin and be able to go to the Father for yourself. With any relationship though, you want your communication to be two ways. Imagine being married and you never received any type of communication from your spouse. You never heard their voice, you never saw them sign, it was just always a one way line of communication where you did all the talking and they did or said….nothing!

Now, most of us may feel that way towards our spouse (especially us women), just because the other may not communicate in the way we want them to communicate with us. But in fact, we have many ways of communicating with them, from the text messages we send throughout the day to the kiss we may receive at the end of the night. There is always some form of communication.

All that being said, would you really want to give you life to someone or something that could not communicate with you? I sure wouldn’t! At this point, some may say that God has given us the Bible and that’s communication enough. You are correct, the Bible is God’s spoken Word and can give us all the answers we need, and then some! But the AWESOME part about God is, He still wants communication with us, right now, concerning all of the things we bring before Him on a daily basis. The question for most new, and some old Christians is, how does God communicate? And how do I know it’s Him?

Throughout this post, we will go over the different types of ways God communicates to us, as well as how we know it is Him.

Knowing It’s God. How do you know God is the one speaking to you? This is the easiest, and most difficult part of all. Knowing the voice of God, requires knowing God. Seems simple enough right? Think about it, when you were growing up and you were about to do something (whether right, or most often wrong), you could think ahead to what your mother would say right. You could already here the lecture she was going to give and prepare for the punishment you’d receive if you got caught doing this thing she either told you not to do, or you just knew you shouldn’t be doing. Why? You knew your mom! You had been around her…well your whole life! You knew her views on things, and you had seen how she reacted to things before. It’s the same with God. You have to get to know Him, His character, His reactions, His views. But how do you learn that? You spend time with Him. Reading the Bible is a great start, because it introduces everything there is to know about God, through human perspective! You get to see how He dealt with other human beings in situations that may be similar to yours, or their desires may be similar to yours. Reading is always a great way to learn, and stimulate the mind. Read the Bible and learn about the Character of God! This makes everything else I am going to say much easier to do.

Listen, God Speaks. This is the most understandable for us as humans, but it still confused me when I was younger. When people told me God would speak to me, I spent all my time trying to focus on hearing an out loud, audible voice. While I don’t put it past Him, this isn’t necessarily what it’s like when God speaks. What do you mean you ask? Well let’s go back to that thing you were going to do that you shouldn’t have been doing. I’m sure you didn’t physically HEAR your mom yelling or lecturing you, but something within you could ALMOST hear her outloud. That’s how the voice of God is. He speaks INSIDE of you, not physically so that your talking to a floating voice in your room, but within your head. His voice, to me anyway, is pretty audible in my head almost like a thought was speaking, and it wasn’t mine. This, the hearing the voice of God part, took a while for me to master if you will. It did not come until after I had spent time in God’s Word, and knew His character, His background, His essence. Knowing this first and foremost at least allows me to know that when I “hear” something, or I “think” something, whether it is from God or not. Because I know His character, and I know what sounds like Him and what doesn’t. This is the most likely form God will show up to you in, don’t always expect the extravagant to hear from God. (Read about Elijah’s encounter with hearing God in 1 Kings 19:9-13)

Pay Attention to Your Dreams. This is the communication style I always want from God (not that I always get it or anything). In the book of Genesis starting around the 37 chapter, you meet a man named Joseph. Joseph was a dreamer, and Joseph interpreted dreams. God will show you things throughout the night when you are sleeping that could make a major impact on things in your life while you are awake. We have all had dreams, some ridiculous, some that have given us ideas, some that have even reminded us of things that need to get done. God can and will use this to get information to you. Dreams, however, are not always clear cut. The concept is simple, but sometimes the dream requires prayer and listening for God to bring clarity to the purpose of the dream. Pay attention to the dreams you have, write them down, pray about them. They could be from God.

Watch out for Signs. Here I won’t continue on with miracles and wonders as some may expect. I have found that for the majority, when you talk about miracles, signs, and wonders, they are looking for big extravagant things to take place. Don’t always look for the unthinkable, unimaginable, it couldn’t have happened in a million years thing to take place. Pay attention to the small things that happen, sometimes unexpectedly. Like what? Like the extra $20 that was on your check that you weren’t expecting. Or a shift in scheduled that you needed because you didn’t have the gas at the time to get to one place over another. The hug or kind word a stranger gave you that uplifted your spirits just a little. See this part isn’t more so about God trying to get information to you, but trying to get you to remember and acknowledge that He is there and He is working in your life.

Take Note of the Sermon. This last area is what you may expect, but something that many of us begin to take for granted after we have been regularly attending church for years, at multiple services. God sends people to us, like our Pastors, to give us the Word He gave them for us, because we haven’t gotten to a place to hear from Him ourselves. That’s all a pastor or minister is, someone who hears from God and can interpret things that those who don’t hear from God can’t interpret on their own. Don’t just take the notes and have the understanding while you are in the service and never think about it again though. Go home, reread your notes, read more of the background context of what the sermon was about, familiarize yourself with that lesson. In doing this, you take the opportunity to hear what God gave someone else, and then learn more about God so He can give you something for yourself!

The most important part of hearing and obtaining that spiritual ear is becoming familiar with the one who you want to hear from.

Thank you for reading! Please subscribe to the Email Newsletter to get updates every time new content is posted. The tools I use for personal bible study are also linked below if you find yourself needed a starting place. I typically use a Study Bible, notebooks, highlighters, a concordance, and sometimes a commentary. All the texts I use are simple and easy to read and navigate. I hope they help if you need them!

The Bible I use most often: Life Application NIV Study Bible

The Commentary: The Moody Commentary

Language Dictionary (this includes the Hebrew and Greek definitions for words): Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words

CCC: Constant, Consistent Communication

Have you ever been in a relationship where the communication department was lacking? How did that affect your view of the relationship?

There are different ways in which communication can be difficult in relationships. The main issues being not knowing how to effectively communicate, how to communicate in a healthy manner, knowing when to communicate certain things, and so on. The two main things I want to talk about though are the presence or absence of constant and consistent communication.

Some may think that constant and consistent are one in the same, but in fact they do have some differences. Constant just essentially means ongoing. There’s always a line of communication open. Consistent, on the other hand is where the work comes in.

Let’s relate this to our relationship and communication with God. You may be in constant pray with God, OR you could just be constantly in church. When the doors are open, you are there. But are you consistent in the manner in which you speak to God? Are you consistent in your faith that God has the ability to answer your prayers and meet your needs right where and when they need to be met? Is your faith consistent despite the way the circumstances look or the facts in front of you?

The flip side is just was important. You could be consistent in your faith, every time you pray you have faith that moves mountains and can shake heaven, but do you have a constant prayer life, or a prayer life that is open only when you are in great need?

Having the healthiest relationship with God requires you to be constant and consistent. Being constant allows God the opportunity, whenever He sees fit, to introduce new thoughts and ideas into your life, because you’re already there. You’re already at a place to be receptive of whatever it is He says or asks you to do. You’ve built a constant relationship with Him that shows your loyal and willing to die to your flesh constantly in order to please Him. Being consistent allows YOU the opportunity to convince God to bring things to pass in your life that weren’t meant to happen, or that weren’t meant to happen right now. Yes, you can convince God of some things. You have the “power of persuasion” if you will, when it comes to your consistency in God. (Let me take a moment here to iterate that this will require praying within the will of God as He won’t do something that goes against Himself or His Word, no matter how often you beg, plead, or demand it.) There are multiple people in the Bible who are evidence of this fact. In the Old Testament, there was Elijah, who earnestly (consistently) prayed for rain (1 Kings 18-19). He prayed 7 times before the rain came, but it came. Elijah had to take that request to God time and time again, but He was consistent in his believe that God could, and would do it, and he had already had a constant relationship with God prior to this moment in his life. In the New Testament, Jesus tells of the parable of a widow woman who went back to a judge again and again asking for justice against her adversary (Luke 18:1-8). Eventually the judge granted her request because essentially, she was so consistent that she was getting on his nerves.

Jesus told this parable to illustrate how we should go to God in prayer and not give up with the requests we have, as they are in His will for our lives.

Begin to ensure your communication with God is better, because even the “elite” Christians can always develop better communication with God. Start with being constant in your prayer life, dedicate a few minutes at a specific time of day and stick to that. Also be consistent, don’t waiver in opinion for the things you desire from God or want to see done in your life. Read what the Word of God says about it and go over that with God.

Be constant. Be consistent. Communicate with God.