Water In The Desert
Inspirational Message preached at House of Praise Home Church
Title: Water in the desert (part 1) and Who is your God? (part 2)
Scripture reading: 2 Kings 3:1-8
Part One - Water In The Desert (Wilderness)
Many of us are currently going through a desert. This sermon is to help you "see" the water in the desert. When you think of a desert, you think of dryness, barrenness. You think of everything as brown with no color whatsoever.
Everything in the desert adapts itself to survive. We need to learn from these creatures and the trees in the desert that we need to adapt our faith according to the conditions in the desert.
There's a dry patch in your life. No water in the desert... Work is maybe fine, but family is not fine. There's something in the marriage - there's dryness over there. Maybe your family is
fine, but your finances are dry.
We all, from time to time, go through a desert. Yes - where there is no water in the desert.
The animals travel and hunt by night, because it is cooler. Remember: they adapt themselves to the conditions. Now in the same way we need to find a place spiritually where we can get fed.
Where we can go to a cool place, a quiet place where God can refresh us. A place where He can give us instruction on what to do next. We need that little water in the desert.
Basically the desert, when you think about it, is also a place sometimes of confusion. Where you don't know what route to take. There are no sign posts indicating 'this way' or 'that way'... no straight road leading to the so much needed water in the desert. We find ourselves there very often in our relationships and work.
The desert is a place of dying. That's the place where God wants the part of us that keeps us away from giving everything to Him. That part of us needs to die and so we are allowed to go through the desert, until it dies.
When you go through the desert - I don't know if you've seen many movies - but you just see the barrenness, that tumble weed, the dry grass rolling in. And when the character in the movie tries to go through the desert alone, very often they don't survive...specially if there's no water in that desert.
So we can't survive on our own strength as well, especially when you go on your own and you're not prepared for the desert. Sometimes we fool ourselves by saying everything is in check. And suddenly - one aspect of your life is in the desert. You so desperately need that water in the desert.
The desert is a place WHERE GOD CAN FINALLY SPEAK TO YOU. A place where He'll offer His water in your desert.
Once I had the opportunity to visit some guys in the prison. These were guys that the police got hold of the night before. We went there on a Saturday morning early. So from the Friday
night this place was really full. It was my first visit to a prison and I did not really know what to expect. The guys weren't looking their best. Some of them had blood stains on their T-shirts. Their shoes without laces (prison rules). We asked to speak to some of these people.
As you can imagine - these guys are in a deserted place, but had I been standing outside a Shopping Mall, preaching the gospel to them, they would've walked right past me. The Lord allowed them to go through this experience to bring them to a place where He could speak to them. A place where they had to humble themselves.
God does that with us in the desert. It's just so that He can speak to us. Offering us that little water in the desert. Sometimes we get so busy. You know how busy we are... in the morning we leave for work early, it's traffic, etc... the day just shoots!
Back to what the Word of God says - Joram was unprepared for life without water in the desert, and needed the help of somebody...
I just want to give you a bit more background on this passage:
Israel went through a phase where their kings started to allow the worship of idols. David and Solomon. The Kingdom of Israel was divided in two - the North and the South. So you would
have Samaria on the top, and then you would have Juda, and then Edom and Moab.
Israel controlled the entire area. Jehoshaphat was king of Judah at the time. He was closest to Edom, and Edom was the desert. The barren country. So the king of Israel had to go across to Moab to claim back the land. (Remember the king of Moab had rebelled against him.)
He thought: How shall we access that land? We will have to go through the desert. Through the wilderness. Then he asked the best man to take him through there, who was Jehoshaphat.
Sometimes God will lead you into the desert abruptly. He might be trying to get you to come to Him, or He wants you to take your spiritual life more seriously. Perhaps
He had been trying to draw your attention to the call He has placed on your life... He's waiting with wells full of water in the desert, but:
You've been evasive all this time. All this time.
The desert weeds our people who really want to do things for God from those who are in a momentary relationship with Him.
Here you have the king of Israel, the king of Judah, the King of Edom wanting to cross the desert to go over to Moab. And Moab is about 'reclaiming' the land. That is the place where our victory lies, yet we have to pass through the desert. We need the water in the desert!
Your faith is perfected in the furnace of affliction and adversity. There's something about going through these hard times. You actually learn something about God that you haven't known before. Something about God gets revealed.
Had your cupboards been full, you never knew Him to be your provider.
The greatest battle we face while in the desert is the one between the old and the new man.
There He is trying to transform us from glory to glory, but the old man still wants to rise up.
Bring up all the old hurts,
the old pains,
the old problems...
So you can never progress from there.
The Bible reminds us that we are new creatures in Christ. The old man is
no more!... if we allow God.
Sermon: Water In The Desert
Part Two - Who Is Your God?
Like I've mentioned - Israel went through a phase where some of their kings allowed the worship of idols. It wasn't when Israel had only one God, it was "The Lord their God" - they had idols, although they believed in the Lord God. But for Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, for them there was only one God.
If you read in some of the passages before that, you'll find that Judah were actually totally against the worship of idols and they were actually the ones that would send priests to teach the Word - sort of sending missionaries. But they were still part of Israel.
Do we find ourselves like the king of Israel when we go through these trials and the wilderness? Do we say, "As the Lord God called us 3 kings together only to hand us over to the kind of Moab?"
Do we suddenly turn and say, "Lord, did you lead me here just to die?" "Now have I come this far just to let me go?" "My God, why have You forsaken me?" (Where is my water in the desert?)
Many a times that's the first reaction that we go through. But he had Jehoshaphat with him, and Jehoshaphat said, "Is there no prophet of the Lord here that we can enquire?" Jehoshaphat knew his God. Elisha knew his God.
We cling onto the portions of scripture where it says:
- He will never leave, nor forsake you
- He's the creator of heaven and earth
- He's the all sufficient one
- He's God Almighty
So when we proclaim these things, when we get in that tight situation, then: do you know who your God is?
God is still the same. He still is "all that."
In that situation our perception of Him changes.
Another illustration - if you look at Schadrag, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel's friends). When king Nebuchadnezzar tells them he's about to push them in the fire, these guys say: The God we serve is albe to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, oh King.
even if He does not, we want you to know, oh king, that we will not serve your god, or worship the image of god you have set up.
Who do you turn to when you're in a time of trouble, a time of need when going through your desert experience? Are you able to exercise the kind of faith that these guys are doing? They are literally going to be put in a fire that's seven times hotter and yet, they can still tell the king that their God is
- 1 - able to save them, and
- 2 - if He doesn't save them, they still won't bow down to anyone else.
Sometimes we're like the King of Israel and we want to say: Where is God? Where is my God? We put limitations to God as well, or we set timeframes and say: God, if you don't make a plan by the 7th of March..., it's 'overs' between me and you. You don't recognize the water in the desert.
Am I the only on that's done it?
Daniel 11:32 says: "The people who know their God, will be strong."
God has a plan (Water in the desert sermon)
Mabye you're going through this trying time without water in the desert and you want to give up - don't! If you know your God, you should also know that He's got a plan. He's got a plan for you. He's in control. He has a purpose. Your water in the desert is waiting on you.
Right: We tackled the desert, we know who our God is, we know that He has a plan. Let me continue on my next point:
The Power Of Praise and Worship (Water in the desert sermon)
verse 15 - "But now bring me a harpist..."
You can never underestimate the power of anointed music. You guys know the times when the situation's getting so heavy, when you're alone in the car, and you start singing, and you reach the point where you can't fight back the tears anymore. Then He comes to you, He speaks to you and He says, "I have a plan."
See how Elisha summons a harpist, and while the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came to Elisha.
You've got a song inside of you. A song that speaks of your situation. In that song, you're speaking the greatness of God. He will appear to you and speak to you in that situation.
Paul demonstrated that if you have a song, you can sing your way out of jail. Never underestimate the power of anointed music. I'ts so important that we actually discern what we listen to. If you can see just how important this is back then already. For them to call somebody to create music. God uses that as a medium to come and speak to you. God will move when you start to praise Him.
We you know that when you come here on a Sunday morning, the
moment you start praising God, and you magnify His name, you just feel that weight being taken off. When you say, "The problem isn't mine anymore, it's Yours, God - You are in control." I'm finding my water in the desert.
We must develop a relationship that's not dependant on our feelings alone, but consistent even in the midst of trial.
The same with marriage: If I don't feel like speaking to my wife today, what kind of marriage would that be? The one day I don't speak to her, the next day I shout at her...
While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha, and he said, "This is what the Lord says: Make the valley full of ditches. For this is what the Lord: You will neither wind, nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water. And you, your cattle and your other animals will drink.
People, this is the best part. This is the best part of the sermon, Amen?
We have many dry places inside of us that need water in our desert. We're now on the theme of "Expecting God to be God." When you expect water, you're first going to look at the window and you're going to look for wind. Then you're going to expect clouds. Only when you see the clouds, you're going to expect rain. But God says, "I will not send wind and I will not send clouds." There will just be water!
See how God gives us exactly what we need? In that situation He doesn't give us wind to cool us down... He doesn't send the clouds to cover us... At that point the soldiers need water, the cattle needed water. And that is exactly what God tells them He'll give.
God says that He’ll produce the water in your dry areas, whether it’s in the communication in your marriage or whatever situation. That is where your blessing is going to come from. You'll find your water in the desert!
We’re all going through tough times now, and we’re expecting our blessing to come from here, to come from there… but God is telling us this morning, House of Praise, that He will provide water in the ditches – in that dryness, in that patch where you’re experiencing a drought right now.
No wind, neither shall you see rain, yet the valley shall be filled with water. He’s going to send the blessing without warning… What a revelation! Are you receiving this right now?
When your answer comes, it will come in the spirit and not in the flesh. These guys were in the middle of the desert. No water in the desert, and they decided to inquire from the Lord. They went to Elisha to hear what the Lord has to say, and after the harpist played, the Lord by His Spirit revealed that He was going to give him the water.
Your victory is going to come to you by the spirit. God says, ”It’s not by power or might, but by my Spirit.”
Your victory is first going to be claimed in the spiritual realm before it will manifest in the natural.
Do you think God is able to bring forth water like this? Do you believe that?
Our God is able!
The instruction He gave to Jehoshaphat – He says, “Make this valley full of ditches.” What does that mean to us?
- Get your mind right
- Get your attitude right
- Get your heart right
- Realign yourself to what God wants you to do
Let’s read Genesis 2:4-6
If you read the section before that as well, you’ll notice that there was no rain. But also he says that there was no man to work the ground. That tells me that man first have to take his position and do introspection before God will release the rain. You need to start digging those ditches. You need to start aligning yourself before the Lord will release the water.
John 7:37 - “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me… streams of living water will flow.”
Streams of living water is available for us this morning.
As you go through your desert experience, remember to find a place spiritually where God can speak to you.
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