Moving in and out of the wilderness is a consuming and exhausting affair. As long as our God maps (www.GodMaps.com) are faulty, we see with very dark glasses in a dimly lit room. We travel down roads covered with stumbling blocks, and demonic obstacles are encountered at every turn. When you are unaware that you are functioning from a spiritual desert, you first begin to realize that you are in the matrix, which has been constructed by a diabolical architect. The mirages that are seen there look so real.
The enemy of our Lord and Savior is very cunning and designs the stuff of the world, in such a way, that we see, hear, and feel its appeal satisfying the lust of the flesh and the boastful pride of life. It takes failure, loss, exposure, and a sense of déjà vu that you have been tricked, and it is happening again. It is always and only God’s grace that spiritually enlightens and illuminates these dark spaces. Mirages exist in the desert but when illuminated, they are simply magic tricks that God exposes to the heart of the mind.
When you know you are in the desert, and you can see that they are only mirages, you know they are not real, but for a time they still attract and catch our eye. We do not know how to enter that rest, and we live in conscious competence, uncomfortable with a new way to live; a life of rest and dependence. So from the corner of the heart, the mirage is observed by the “mind of the flesh,” which is thirsty and hungry for satisfaction. Peter tells us it is amnesia that takes control (2 Peter 1:9). You forget who you are: a son of God and a citizen of heaven. The flesh reminds you and you remember how good it feels to feed the ego of your needs. So you start running after the meaningless things again.
We justify and reason that this one is not a mirage Look at it; it contains truth. Look and see how beautiful it is. Think of the good it will do! It will also provide a permanent place of comfort and security. You will have enough to protect yourself and your family through the tough times. You can even serve God more from here. You will be able to give more. Next year or okay, maybe in three more years, you can stop.” This is what Jesus said about this kind of fleshly reasoning:
15Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.” 16And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man was very productive. 17And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ 18Then he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”’ 20But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared (the meaningless things)?’ 21So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” ~ Luke 12:15-21
The end of this race of rushing towards the meaningless leaves one exhausted and disappointed because there is no substance of life there. It takes time running after fool’s gold, spent effort, and life filled with things that rust and decay. Like Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 1:2, “Meaningless! Meaningless!” Some never get off this circular, fleshly path. They talk about it but never do. I have seen this place and I know it is meaningless pursuing mirages and chasing after the wind.
I have also come to understand that for many of us this is a road of stops and starts providing spiritual respites and spiritual growth. For most of us, it is essential to travel through the spiritual wilderness to discover that a permanent rest awaits. The Sabbath rest is the reward and is waiting for those who diligently seek it.
“Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” ~ Hebrews 4:11
The power of the Holy Spirit is in this place. The fruit of the Spirit is consumed in this third resting place. Our next discussion is on diligence and the entry into the three rests for the children of God.
In His grip,