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…into the Wilderness

February 4, 2007

I have come out of a time of healing and deliverance. Last Fall proved to be a season of intense cleansing from my past. He had given me the verse:

Isaiah 61:1-4 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourne and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places that have been devastated for generations.”

Through several counseling times and deliverance sessions, the Lord spoke to my innermost being, bringing light into the dark places. I visually see tar being scraped off of my heart…not just from the surface but from the inside-out. He has cleansed me, and given me a more solid foundation. Now, the anointing over me has increased and His Holy Spirit is working through me even greater. He is laying new foundations that are void of habitual sin. The Spirit is retraining me—teaching me the way of the righteous.

A push and pull…my spirit feels the warfare and the evil pushes me closer to God and God Himself pulls me nearer to His side. Other times the temptation pulls at me rather than push and I find myself at a place of choice: Rebel against God and choose sin or choose God by denying such temptation. It is an ugly battle but there is victory for those in Christ. I desire to be the good seed that is in good soil. May I not be taken by the birds, choked out by the weeds, or distracted by the world. Right now is a time of shaking in the church. Those for Christ are being separated from those against Him. I don’t want to just be a church-goer who does not allow Christ to be my King. May He be my King in all areas of my life!

Everything is in transition right now and I feel as though the Lord is taking me through the wilderness—refiner’s fire so to speak. I am not alone, necessarily, but I feel as though the Lord is isolating me as to manifest more intimacy with Him. The people around me are all still very present in my life and even right there with me on so many levels, but in a very real way, the Lord is isolating me in order to draw me into intimacy with Him. He told me as such at the beginning of the semester, “I am taking you into the desert and will speak tenderly to you.” (Hosea) I sense that season of discovering greater intimacy and know that such a statement is coming to pass. Things have piled high, suffocating me to the point of utter desperation for Him.

Reading through the Old Testament, my understanding and even relation with the Father has become much deeper and rich. My God who reigns, who is powerful, almighty, deserving of all glory, sitting on a throne, holy and righteous…this is the God I am finally coming to know more fully and revere and respect and even fear. If not for Jesus, I would have no place standing before my God. Jesus is my covering, my water that cleanses me, my food that satisfies my hunger…He is the one who tore the veil, opening up communication to the Father. I am beginning to understand what it means to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. It has nothing to do with working your way to heaven. But it does have everything to do with walking upright and living a holy life filled with reverence for our King of kings.

A strange thing transition is….indeed, I find myself in a bittersweet place as I do love new things—I am full of curiosity and adventure—but on the other hand I am loyal and feel unsettled as the change comes about. This season of transition and wilderness is approaching—in fact it has arrived, and still I have yet to walk through the thick of it all. With student teaching coming up I find myself at the fork in the road, that precipice of the end of one road only to find the beginning of another. Though I may end up in Houston for a semester, as it seems may be the case, I know that I shall return for an indefinite period of time. He has told me to wait before being sent out. This is my home, my sending ground. A prophecy spoken over me last Fall: “Your mission field is closer than you think. Though the Lord knows you have a heart to go overseas, He has a lot of work for you to do here.” A prophecy that confirmed everything I had been hearing from Him for the past 6-8 months. Just recently He gave me a verse: Acts 1:4 “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.’” This verse confirmed my feelings of staying around for a few years. God is doing amazing things here and I know that He’s bringing revival. I want to wait for it…to wait for the inflow of the Holy Spirit, so that I am filled to the brim and overflowing before I am sent forward. Where I’ll go next…IHOP, overseas, up North, church plant….who knows…in time the Lord shall reveal that to me.

My ministry has begun to transition as well…I am moving from student to teacher—a scary but necessary and timely thing. Ministering to college students will move aside as my priority will be my profession—my primary ministry will become teaching. I will walk in faith while teaching children and pouring into their lives. I am not sure what all my ministry will look like…the Lord works in seasons and I cannot settle for comfort…I cannot settle for the American way…I cannot settle for a mediocre life…I cannot settle for the traditional way… My heart for the lost, for the poor, the homeless, helping people walk in the freedom of Christ, healing and deliverance, the world, my family, discipling women, street evangelism, inner city schools, music, writing, art, cultures…only patience and guidance from the Lord will reveal such things in time. What is amazing is that by trusting Him, I know that I do not have to worry about what I will be doing and when because He will orchestrate everything beautifully. He knows my heart more than I do and I can trust Him completely with that.

While grappling with singleness, I was realizing that this is another area the Lord has isolated me in to a degree. Most of my dearest and closest friends are in serious relationships—many just coming to pass this last Fall. One night while I was wrestling through contentment in singleness, I refused to read in the Word. He kept telling me, “Just read, Dyanne. Read my Word.” I journaled instead and then avoided everything by making some phone calls. When I was still unsettled, I heard Him speak again, “Read.” “But God, I don’t want to read in Numbers.” He gently said, “Then don’t.” “Okay.” So I opened up my Bible and skipped over Numbers, where I am currently studying, and instead the Lord directed me to:

Deuteronomy 31:1-4 “Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.”

He prepared my heart to listen to His words. Then he led me to:

Isaiah 54:5 “For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name.”

He spoke directly to my area of longing and even insecurity…my desire for a husband. Then He continued:

Lamentations 3:22-33 “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust—there may yet be hope. Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him, and let him be filled with disgrace. For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.’”

He spoke so clearly to me with compassion and understanding…yet commanding me to continue waiting in patience and to bare this yoke of singleness while I am young. Instead of keeping it as a burden, I can receive it as a gift for this season. My heart soaked up His love…He poured into me deeply.

Another verse that He has given me is:

Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” Last semester someone spoke over a few of us saying, “You are going to have milk and honey on your lips.”

Honey can be influential and truth to people’s hearts…sweet words and revelation…milk and honey is also fertile land/soil. God will be on our lips: the proclamation of truth will be on our lips. I have seen this come to pass in my relationships already. Milk is very soothing and nourishing— you must crave pure spiritual milk. Milk is like the holy spirit’s nurture and honey is like God’s nurture. Nourishment and desert if you will. The Lord has been giving me so many revelations and especially as I’ve been reading in Numbers.

Numbers 14 struck me the other day as I was reading: The Lord does not like grumbling and complaining…He calls us to be thankful and to go to Him with our concerns and complaints. Moses went to God with his complaints and the Lord blessed him. However, the Israelites grumbled to themselves and others instead of calling on God and did not trust God for their deliverance or provision. Instead, “All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, ‘If only we had died in the Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword?…” (vs. 14:2) Later in that chapter the Lord proclaims, “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say: In this desert your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home…” (vs. 14:27-29)

The Lord revealed to me that He takes grumbling and complaining very seriously. He desires us to go to Him with our problems and to not go behind his back and become bitter, grumbling. I have noticed this but it all came together with this verse. It made more sense to me as to why some people continue to have awful things happen to them. Words are powerful and when we speak things over ourselves and others, the Lord hears them all. In the spiritual realm words are powerful—they can either bring life and blessing or death and curse.

I was thinking on people in life who complain constantly and it is as if a dark cloud hovers over them…I can see it in my own life before I was a believer. I was so negative and complained all the time and spoke negative things over my life all the time. My life did continue to have negative things happen as if I had “bad luck.” But it’s not about bad luck or good luck…it’s about having the Lord’s blessing and having His favor and protection in your life or not. When I received Christ and started praying with a thankful heart, my life changed tremendously. A principle of the Kingdom is thankfulness. God spoke and there was life. Words are powerful. Don’t disregard your speech and thoughts. Are you speaking blessings or curses over your life and others’ lives? This is the question that I have been pondering and wrestling with.

When I pray in faith knowing that He will provide for me He does. By His grace He even blesses me and provides for me when I don’t pray in faith. But I also know that sometimes the Lord pours and pours and pours (like with the Israelites) and finally he says, “Not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times—not one of them will ever see the land…” (vs. 14:22-23) He is a caring parent, so He disciplines. He draws a line and does correct, rebuke, punish, and refine. When we continue to reject Him and talk against Him then He allows the things we speak out to come to pass. But through these things He uses them to our benefit, like in Hosea 1:6-8 where He says, “Therefore I will block her path with thorn bushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.’…” He allows things to push us toward Him, drawing us back to Him. So even in His allowance of these things to happen, it is for purpose.

Another passage that has spoken to me greatly is in Ezekiel 16:6-42…read that out loud and you’ll hear the grief and wrath of the Lord…you’ll understand His hurt even more as we constantly reject Him and choose sin and other things over Him.

God’s divine orchestration…Kara has come into my life…as we are kindred spirits, the Lord has been crossing our paths since last Spring. We’d talk on campus and then we both traveled to Monterrey, Mexico. This last Fall we talked on campus and at church…I felt led to go to a conference and then she asked God to show her who to invited and he gave her a dream about me. We’ve been opening up more and more to the Holy Spirit and then some how we both got accepted to the L.T. Jordan Program in the Dominican Republiic! Then…this Spring she needed somewhere to live and was going to stay with us for a month until she signed a lease with Michelle. Well, roadblocks kept coming up so she is now living with us for the entire semester! God is preparing us to be a team to go down to the Dominican Republic. …dude it is craziness. She is in my life for this season and it is beautiful. In many ways she has been a missing puzzle piece as her friendship has mended my friendship with two of my other friends. The Lord is bringing those relationships full circle.

Another crazy thing….this Spring Break I am journeying to Turkey with Alyn. We will be staying in Istanbul where we’ll visit her friend, Sarah, and then we’ll be staying with Gorkem, a Muslim friend of mine who I met at the YMCA of the Rockies! A week before she came to the States someone had given her a Bible and then all summer we ministered to her and now I’m getting to go there with Alyn to visit her! Only God could have orchestrated that! Seriously! So much went into my decision to actually buy a ticket: This all came about so fast and unexpected. To be honest, it still hasn’t sunk in that I am really going over spring break. At the beginning of January I mentioned to Alyn that we should meet up in Qatar or Europe for Spring Break. To my surprise she excitedly agreed with more hopes than I had expected. Due to costs I was only dreaming in a sens…Well, she then mentioned Turkey since she has a missionary friend (Sarah) there. Then I told her about Gorkem, my Muslim friend I met at the YMCA this past summer. We talked about it and I decided to email Gorkem just to see if she’d like to host us. Sure enough, she emailed me back with a very endearing email saying that she had just been thinking about me a few days prior to my email and that she’d love to have us over. She said, “Please, please, please do decide to come.”

I started looking for ticket prices and the cheapest I could find was $768 base price roundtrip. I wrestled for several days…when I went to the Lord about it there was peace but when I thought about what other people would say I would feel condemnation and guilt and shame. Then I’d go to the Lord and say, “I won’t go. Really, I won’t. Just tell me no.” He said nothing and just gave me peace. Then gently said, “Go.” I fought it for about four days—going back and forth, not really trusting Him.

Finally I called Alyn and told her that I’d have to charge the ticket. I expected her to tell me to just not worry about it, but instead she said, “O girl, just charge it. It’ll be okay. I have to charge mine too.” I was not expecting that. So I went back to the Lord and He said, “Go.” I kept trying to talk myself out of it as I didn’t want others to think me unwise with my money.

With much wrestling, I finally decided to trust God. Before I knew if my loan would go through, I chose to step out in faith. I purchased the ticket and as I did, I prayed, “Lord, may this be a trip of faith. A trip like Montana and even more! May this be a testimony of your provision and glory.” Then it was done and I had a ticket to Turkey.

Later I questioned my decision and God gave me peace. I told Sarah that she was probably going to have to rebuke me but instead she encouraged me. She told me that, for one, I got a super deal on my ticket, and two, she said how this was going to be a real blessing for both me and Alyn—and a ministry opportunity with Gorkem. She said how Alyn will lay down everything for close friends and family and that Alyn is worth the cost of that ticket.

Then the following day I talked to Kara…she addressed the issues I had with people judging me: “Dyanne, no one has a right to judge you. Your decision is between you and God. This is sort of like your own make-shift mission trip. If you would have gone to Mexico over Spring Break, it would have cost the same amount. You aren’t going to just go to have a good time and drink margaritas. That’s not your heart. You see everything as a missions opportunity. That’s even your heart for the Dominican Republic. No one has a right to judge that. And this trip is not just for Gorkem but also for you and Alyn. It will be a reprieve and a time to lift each other up. Alyin is like your spiritual mother and just like you would fly to go see your family you are going to see her. You are not unwise with your money. You are stepping out in faith and people don’t have a right to judge that.”

Then I talked to Nicole and she said, “It’s like a gift from your Father. This is a gift to you. He wants to give you this trip. I think it’s cool to see how even while you wrestled and debated, not fully trusting Him to buy the ticket, He didn’t waiver. He didn’t revoke the gift, and He even kept the price from going up during the days you wrestled with it.” I went and checked the ticket prices on Wednesday after I bought it on Tuesday night and sure enough, the base price of the ticket had gone from $768 to $903!!! That was the Lord holding the price for me!

God even showed me that He had not wanted me to go to Taiwan because He wanted to send me out over Spring Break. Had I gone to Taiwan, a lot of the ministry with my family would not have come to pass! Wow, the Lord is amazing!

Recently He has been showing me that this trip to Turkey will either be a burden or a gift, depending on how I receive it. Due to the financial burden of it, I must trust Him with great faith and rely on Him for provision. If I choose to trust Him with all the details of the trip, the logistics, and the financial aspect–giving Him all my burdens, then it will most certainly be a gift. However, if I keep harboring these burdens of all the details of the trip and do not trust Him and go in faith, then this trip will not be like a gift but rather a burden. Through this gift, He desires to grow my faith and trust in Him. By His grace it is a gift and I will receive it as such. Selah! Luke 11:11-13 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” The Father gives good gifts!

God even showed me that He had not wanted me to go to Taiwan because He wanted to send me out over Spring Break. Had I gone to Taiwan, a lot of the ministry with my family would not have come to pass! Wow, the Lord is amazing!

The semester has begun, and thus, a new season in life…a time of wilderness with the Lord…to die quietly to self and grow in intimacy with Him. Through this wilderness He will show me my inheritance for the next season.

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