Desert Or Deserted?

By P Chong

Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was,

but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus”. ~ Galatians 1:17

When Paul was struck down on the way to Damascus and received his commission from Christ, he did not make immediate contact with the rest of the Apostles. He went instead into Arabia and spent a good three years there. Why?

This is God’s way of preparing him for the great task ahead. There was a need for:

  • a time of separation between the old life and the new
  • a time of consideration of what had taken place in his life
  • a time to develop an intimate knowledge & relationship with the newfound Saviour
  • to prepare himself for a life that would change dramatically

All in all to prepare for what was coming – which could be painful and difficult to endure as Paul’s case.

Biblically, there were others called upon by God to perform His purposes and undergone similar circumstances;

  • Joseph was sold into slavery and separated from his family
  • Jacob was sent to live with his uncle
  • Moses had to spend forty years in desert seclusion

In the case of Moses, who was an Egyptian Prince used to all conceivable comforts and security, with his pride and arrogance, this was by no means smallish sacrifice.

Have you ever found yourself in like situation? Secluded in a Desert or Deserted? Or trying to make sense of the situation you are in? God’s ways are not our ways. Infinitively, His thoughts are not our thoughts. There is no compare.

Let Us Pray

As we participate

And each other educate

We seek Thy wisdom

To behold Thy Kingdom

A wisdom to understand Thy Word

That we can strengthen our worth

To view life not with all its futility

But to prepare for yonder eternity

As we lift our hearts and spirit to Thee

Let us have Thy Divine objectivity.

The “Burning Bush” In Your Life

The “Burning Bush” In Your Life

the-burning-bushA “Bush” that burns but consumes not.

“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.” ~ Acts 9:3

That was Paul’s calling from God.

Biblically, great figures had spectacular signs of calling from God. Moses undoubtedly had the utmost privilege of God’s presence in the burning bush. In the case of Paul, as mentioned in Acts 9:3, when he got up he was stricken blind.

What will be significant for you as a calling sign from God? For Peter, it was walking on water. In the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, it was walking through the burning furnace untouched. Or be like Daniel to be delivered from the lion’s den.

God uses different circumstances and situations to call his chosen ones to serve His purposes. The Lord still intervenes in the lives of His people and their lives could be changed forever. Paul, from a prosecutor and oppressor, became a renowned preacher, suffered, imprisoned and persecuted for the cause he was called upon to bear.

When God calls us to a relationship with Him, one thing for sure is that we have to forsake our comfort zone and be prepared to bear the cross. A man’s life is after all predetermined by God. Moses was brought up as an Egyptian Prince, but had to flee into the desert after rashly committed a murder. There he remained for forty years before encountering God in the burning bush.

God may be preparing you through many significant life experiences. Just be prepared, be available when called upon. It’s not your ability that God seeks, but more so your availability. When Moses mentioned that he was not fluent in his speech, God provided Aaron as his spokesman. Be prepared , for your life would never be the same again.

Each of us is called upon in a variety of ways. There can never be another “burning bush” or that another chosen one to be struck down from a horse and be blinded. Are you waiting for signs of wonder from God before making yourself available for His service? Surely not waiting for the “burning bush” to be convinced as such. Be discerning – for God speaks to you through various means and media: in church, through the Bible, through the leaders or fellow workers.

It’s not your ability but more so your availability that God seeks.

Paul Chong