Before I write what’s been on my heart, I want to tell you this: I am neck deep in the middle of my dry place. To be honest, I have struggled with my purpose, my future, and honestly my entire relationship with God. I’ve fought through many attacks of the enemy on this subject.. it is unreal! So, this devotional in itself was spoken for me where I am, but it’s so good I had to share it. I pray that He uses this to speak to you as well.
It’s really funny how God speaks to us. Lately, I have not been incredibly dedicated to devotion time, and I have definitely seen the negative effects in myself. But even in that, He spoke to me. I was reading the verse of the day on the Bible app which read:
“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
This verse was actually irritating to me. In this dry season, I felt like the Lord was ignoring my questions. (I don’t do well with not knowing what’s ahead.) So, in frustration I kept reading…
“For I am the LORD…
I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me…
Do not be afraid, for I am with you…
It was I who created you…
There is no other God—there never has been, and there never will be…
From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can undo what I have done…
I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea…
For I am about to do something new…
I will make a pathway through the wilderness…”
It’s all good stuff. Love it. But this verse caught my eye:
“I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (19)
This led me to Exodus 14. This is also funny because God did the exact opposite in this situation. The entire chapter is about Moses leading the Israelites out of captivity. In the beginning of the story, God spoke to Moses and told him to go the long way through the desert because He knew the Israelites would give up and go back to captivity in order to avoid conflict. After this, God told Moses 3 things:
- To lead the Israelites to camp right beside the Red Sea
- He would then harden Pharaoh’s heart so that he may take his best army and pursue the Israelites.
- After that, He (God) will gain glory through them and through Pharaoh’s army.
That’s all he told Moses. He didn’t tell him that he would part the Red Sea. He didn’t explain that He would drown their army which would lead to Him receiving the glory. He just told them to basically sit and wait for the Egyptians to come attack them. Such a comforting message.
When Pharaoh’s army drew near, the Israelites cried out, “What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt! Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians?’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (11-12) And here is where the famous verse comes into play “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (14).
In this moment, the Israelites were so ticked at Moses. They had no vision nor did they have any faith. This is what absolutely blows my mind… They were brought all this way by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.. and they’re just going to sit there and believe that God is going to abandon them at this moment. What kind of stupid logic is that?
Fast-forward… God tells Moses to stretch his hand over the Sea, the Sea split and provided dry ground for them to walk on. All night they traveled through the Sea, then in the morning, God told Mo to stretch his hand over it again and close it while Pharaoh’s army was in the Sea. Bam. His entire army was drowned in that moment.
This is what the Lord revealed to me:
Sometimes, the dry places aren’t meant to hurt us but to lead us into our victory.
There are many times where we believe that our “dry seasons” are distancing us from God, when in reality, He is making a way into our destiny.
The dry places are purposeful.
The dry places are full of purpose.
What seems like an attack from the enemy is exactly what the Lord is using to propel you into your future.
See, the Israelites so desperately wanted to be freed from slavery but not in the way the Lord planned. Where the Lord took them was the place where only the Lord could deliver them. The Israelites couldn’t have been delivered if they didn’t cross through the dry place. If God wouldn’t have allowed the Sea to split, the Israelites would either be dead or still in slavery.
Here’s the problem with our Burger King mentality: Many times, we want the abundance to last forever. We’re so accustomed to “have it your way” that we forget that abundance isn’t always progress. We want to live where the Sea is full 24/7. But this very place would cause us to be complacent in our spiritual journey. God didn’t provide boats for the Israelites because that doesn’t take faith or trust on their part. (And also the fact that boats are man-made, paddles are man-made, and the progress would be through our own strength.) The only way they could’ve seen His miraculous work is through the supernatural entering the natural.
You can cross a river by yourself, but you can’t split a sea without supernatural faith in your God.
This is why God calls us into our dry places. Not to harm us or lead us into spiritual captivity, but to bring us to a place where only He can keep us moving forward. A place where the only way we can make it is if He provides a way.
What will this “way” look like?
“I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
In your dry place, in the midst of divorce, in the midst of cancer, in the midst of job loss, in the midst of broken friendships, whatever your wasteland looks like– He will create rivers in the wasteland.
He will create a way.
He will make a way where there is no way. That’s the amazing part. We are not going to be able to see a way to take. All doors shut. All the eggs are in His basket. All odds against you. It’s His move. When we allow God to create a way and not force shut doors open, He will lead us in our victory.
I can’t tell you what your rivers will be, but I can guarantee that what God promises to you, He will follow through with.
So now that we know more about these dry places, how do we fight in them?
The biggest and most important one is this:
- Know that there is purpose in this season.
- Take the time to draw near to God even when you don’t feel Him. He’s still there. He still wants you. He still speaks.
- God is preparing something huge for you, but this season is your growth season. There will be growing pains. Don’t let the enemy discourage you. He will try to tell you that it’s God’s prerogative to knock you down. That is not true. Plead the blood over yourself, your family, your friends…
- Walk through your dry place knowing that it doesn’t last forever.
- God is making a way as you walk, so be still. Keep walking with confidence. Walk by faith.
- Look back on His past victories in your life.
- Don’t forget how faithful He was to you in the past even when your present looks unpleasant. Remember what He did in the past and walk boldly in faith knowing He will do it again.
- Stay consistent.
- Do devotions. If you don’t consistently seek God when it sucks, you will become 100% more discouraged and depressed by your situation. (Folks, I’ve tested and tried it. It’s the truth. Don’t do it…)
- Take this time to dig into the Word. Find more promises. Hang them up all over your house/car/notebook/phone.
- This is top priority. You must know that He is creating a way.
- The enemy will interrogate you and fight you harder and harder as you get stronger. Stand firm in your faith. Know that you know that you know God is working of your good. Don’t question this. The enemy will harp all over it.
The enemy is equipped to fight you tooth and nail. Don’t let this take you by surprise. Remember that you have armor, too. And a God ready to battle for His child. Give it to Him.
But most of all, know who you are. You are his Prize.