The one that the Israelites wandered in...
The ones that I have wandered in...
The ones that you are wandering in...
There is a precious one in my life struggling with depression. Not the circumstantial kind. Not the just-pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind. The deep dark there-is-nothing-I-can-do-on-my-own kind. The is-it-time-to-consider-antidepressants kind.
And as we journey through this together, I am reminded of different oases that the Lord placed in my wilderness of depression. And I am overwhelmed at how the Lord took care of me... and loved on me... during a time when I could not take care of myself... and wondered how anyone could love this lump of depression named, Sheri.
In my current Bible Study, One In A Million: Journey to Your Promised Land, Priscilla Shirer reflects on Hosea 2:14 NASB
Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.
Here is a transcription I was given:
THE NATURE OF GOD
By Graham Cooke
How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord. When you know, when you really know the sovereignty of God and His Lordship over all things – seen and unseen; when you are able to confess Him as the Supreme Ruler over all things, and to confess that He is your Lord and you are His possession, then at that point, you are the happiest of people. You could not get any happier. Nothing could happen that could be so wonderful, that it could possibly be better than the happiness you have in the Lordship and Supremacy of Jesus Christ. When you know that you are situated, that you are located in the heart of the happiest, most powerful Person ever to live, then you cannot be more happy than at that point. When you able to step back into His rest and live in the High Tower of His name, so that when the enemy come raging against you, he cannot find you – that’s joy! That’s happiness!
How blessed is he whose help is in the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord His God, the One who made Heaven and Earth; who made the sea and all that is in them; the One who keeps faith forever. When all your confidence is in the One who made Heaven and Earth, when everything you need in life is utterly dependent on the goodness, the mercy, the kindness, the love, the grace, the power, of the One Person who is Supreme God above all gods. When your present, and your future, and your health, and your destiny, and your life, depends totally on the God who works for weak, twisted and deceitful people, then you simply have to be the happiest people on the face of the Earth, because your happiness is built totally on the knowledge of the God who gives favor to weak, selfish people. He has given you an unshakable conviction and confidence in is His ability to bring change and power to bear on your life. Therefore, the most wonderful thing you will ever do with your life is to trust it to the nature of God - to put it into the hands of a God who totally loves you, and is deeply committed to you, and delights in helping you. It is the most happiest feeling to totally trust the best, the most honorable, the most powerful, the most integrous, committed, and faithful covenant-maker who is also the most decent Person who ever lived – Jesus. Being completely reliant on His character and integrity is the source of your great happiness!
We rest in Your nature – to me, Father, You are the kindest Person I have ever known. You are the happiest Person I know. You are the most consistent Person we have ever dealt with. You never change. Everything comes down to us from this Father of Lights, in whom there is no variation of shadow of turning. You say with absolute confidence, “I AM THE LORD. I change not. I AM the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
And Beloved, we are learning to live in the paradox of God – to know that He is consistent, but He is also unpredictable. He is consistent in His nature – you always know where you are with God, but you seldom know what He is going to do next. But you always know where you are with God because He never changes. When Moses said, “God, please show me Your glory,” maybe he was expecting some great display of power and light, but God just looked at him and smiled at him and said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass before you” because the glory of God is the nature of God – that God is good! He is good! He is unfailingly good! He is good! He is good! God is good! Good! He is good! And He is never changes – He will always be good! Yesterday He is good, today He is good, tomorrow He will be good. And it is your destiny to have the goodness of God pass before you. He’ll never change. You will always know where you are with Him. He never changes. He is consistent – the most consistent Person ever. He will never change His heart toward you no matter what you do. He cannot be anything other than what He is. He is a covenant-maker, a covenant-keeper, and He is good!
Our God is consistent, but He is also unpredictable. You never know what God is going to do next. You always know what He is going to be like, but you never know what He is going to do next. God has called you to see the invisible, the impossible. God has not called you to do the things that you can do. He has called you to do the things you can never be able to do in a million years. You are not able to do what God has called you to do. Only He can do it. But He has called you to live in His faithfulness. He has called you to live in His consistency. He will come and do all that needs to be done. So, Beloved, you cannot find security in what God is doing, because God commits you to the impossible. He asks you to see the invisible. He calls you to do the outrageous. There is no security in that place. There is no security in what God is doing. There is only security in who God is. This great God that we serve will throw us into situations beyond us with no other thought than that His great heart will sustain us. And the answer of God to everything, every excuse you want to make why you can’t do something – the answer is always the same. When you look into His face and see the twinkle in His eye and the grin on His face, and He looks at you and He says, “Nevertheless, I will be with you.” That is His only answer to human weakness. “It’s okay. I will be there.” He is a great God who sends us out as lambs among wolves. Why? Because the Lion is padding by our side.
What God has called us to is outrageous, impossible, and totally unpredictable. And the only way that we will do it is because we are secure in the nature of God. He is consistent, but He is unpredictable. But the church, you know, is the opposite – we are inconsistent in relationships but oh so boringly predictable in everything we do. That is the nature of the change that is coming, Beloved. And the only way that we will come into that high place of anointing and power, to seize the moment, to advance the kingdom, to swim against the tide, to go against the odds, to sail against the wind that is in the world, is if you and I are resting in the consistent nature of God. That you and I have a testimony of what God is really like living in our hearts in such a powerful way that it drives everything. It is that testimony that is the very essence of prophecy, the testimony of what Jesus is really, really like. “I AM the Lord. I never, ever change. I will always be exactly like this.” And we are discovering what the “exactly like this” is all about. Beloved, do not be distracted from your journey into the nature of God. Don’t be distracted, because that is the source. It is the wellspring of all your joy, your peace, your rest, your revelation, your anointing, your power. It is the nature of God. And when you learn to rest in the nature of God, when He comes walking within the impossible, you will be the one that gets out of the boat to join Him. You won’t be one of those who stand in there wondering, or thinking about joining Him. There will be this instinctive, intuitive NEED to put your leg over the side of the boat and start walking on a substance you have no business being on except that He is drawing you there.
It is your destiny, Beloved, to walk in the nature of God and do greater things than He did. It is your destiny. But you’ll never get out there unless you learn how to live in here. You’re perfect. Beloved, you are perfect for God. You’re perfect. And He is going to make you perfect in His nature, stamping the image of Jesus on you. It is going to be great. And that is what the desert is about. It is about discovering the majesty of God. Hosea 2:14, 15 says, “I will captivate her heart and draw her into the wilderness to speak kindly to her.” And out of that place of coming into a revelation of the nature of God for me - out of that place, God will give your vineyard of fruitfulness. Guaranteed! See, He knows the plan He has for you, the things He wants you to accomplish. But first, first I want you to see Me as I really am for you, as I am for you, for you. I want you to know Me as I am for you.
Everyone of us needs a revelation of an aspect of the nature of God. For me, it has always been the kindness of God. God has been relentlessly kind to me over many, many, many years. Kinder than I deserve. Relentlessly kind. He has pursued me with kindness, to the point where every living day I expect to have an experience of the kindness of God. I have an expectation when I wake up in the morning. Even in my dreams, I expect the kindness of the Lord to come. I can’t remember a day when I was disappointed in the last, I don’t know, 10 years at least. The thing is, I look for the kindness of God every day, because that is my joy – to see the hand of kindness coming toward me, the kind word, the blessing. Even difficult days, there is always an act of kindness for me, because that is my revelation. He is the kindest Person I have ever met in my entire life. Beloved, He will not rest Himself until you have a revelation of what He is really, really like. Then He has to back that revelation up with experience. These are the things He so loves to do.
He is faithful. From this day on, for you there is no such thing as a good day or a bad day. There is only a day of grace. And some days the grace of God allows you to enjoy what is happening. And some days the grace of God allows you to endure what is happening. But don’t think about good and bad anymore – just enjoy the grace that is present. And out of that grace will come an expectancy. I know You are going to do something today. I just want to be alive to You so that I can see it; wait for it; speak it out; live in it; experience it; worship You in it; glorify Your name in it. There are no good days anymore; there are no bad days; just days of grace. Just days of grace. And the grace of God is going to come and bring with it the nature of God, that you might know Him. That you might know Him. That you might know Him and rest in Him, move in Him, worship Him, represent Him. Yeah, God.