The Purpose of the Desert
Freedom for the Israelites was an invitation to walk through and live in the desert. God used the desert to transform their identity from slaves to his nation.
In the same way, God leads us into the desert in order to free us from the enslavement of the false self. For some, there may be multiple seasons of lack as God strips away the many false layers that we have created for our Self. For others, the desert season may be a long one as our Self looks back longingly at what was – like the Israelites who longed to go back to Egypt where they had meat in their pots.
Entering into the desert may not take you to the destination that you expect. Or like the Israelites, the path may seem much longer than it needs to be.
God’s intent in transformation not a destination.
For the Israelites, they needed to fully embrace their identity as God’s people. The promised land was simply a fruit of that restored identity. The Israelites needed to long for God more than they longed for the comfort of what was previously known.
We have many destinations that we expect in Christ. A thriving marriage. Children who believe. A church that is growing and changing lives. Parents who put the needs of their children above their own. Success in a vocation. These are good desires, but they are not God’s primary destination.
Many of the things we long for are simply distractions. Security, comfort, or significance that the false self desires.
God wants us to be in Him. He is the dwelling. Christ is our clothing.
For us to truly be in this position, we must understand and embrace our dependence. While we expect perfection, God expects awareness and surrender.
That is the point of the desert.
What is the primary destination that you hope for in Christ? How does that need to change according to what God hopes for you?