To move forward with God, we must welcome change. The Lord declares, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18–19 NKJV).
When God brings promotion into our life, it is often preceded by a process of preparation. This process is necessary to help us let go of what God has done so that we can embrace what He wants to do next.
Change that God initiates is not easy, but it’s always beneficial for our growth and maturity. Often, we resist change because it affects our comfort level. That’s why the question many wrestle with is: Why does it take difficult or dry times to bring about change?
We certainly are creatures of habit who can become set in our ways. Once these patterns are established, it is uncomfortable to adjust them. But if we are to step into the fullness of what God has planned for us, we must be willing to leave our comfort zone and pursue the way that God’s Spirit leads. This path will often take us through what the Bible refers to as a wilderness. This is where God causes new life to spring forth.
In the late 1980s, I held a position of youth pastor for a large church in Orlando, Florida. This was my first real teaching ministry. After several years as a youth pastor, the Spirit of God told me that change was coming: “You will be removed from being youth pastor,” He said, “and I will send you to churches and conferences in cities from the east coast to the west coast of America; from the Canadian border to the Mexican border; to Alaska and Hawaii . . .”
I told Lisa what the Spirit had said, and the two of us pondered all this in our hearts, not sharing it with anyone else except a pastor friend in a different state. God said He would do it, and I knew that if it was truly Him speaking, I wouldn’t have to help God make it happen.
But nothing happened for over a year. During this waiting period, I was spending more time in prayer than ever before—even though my times of prayer felt dry and difficult. Not only that, the original vision I had for the youth ministry seemed to be fading away. On top of it all, we went through internal and external trials like we had never experienced before. I began to confess every sin I could recall that I might have committed, believing that perhaps I had hidden sin in my life—but there was still no release from the dryness I was experiencing.
One day while seeking God for answers, the Lord said to me, “You are not in this desert because you have sinned! I’m preparing you for the change that is coming.” God was developing within me the character I needed to handle the responsibility of the coming phase of ministry. He was also preparing me to let go of my present season by causing me to become unsettled. And without the necessary shaking, most of us could miss the new thing God wants to do. Eventually, God brought the change He promised. Looking back, I can see that the Lord was preparing to birth our ministry to America and eventually the nations.My friend, if you find yourself in a wilderness season, be encouraged. God has not abandoned you and He is not punishing you. God is preparing you! If you want to discover how to find strength and purpose in your wilderness season, then click here to check out The Wilderness course! Start this course for free with a seven-day trial and begin your journey to freedom.