There were some remarkably talented musicians in the heyday of rock & roll, back in the 70’s and such.
Have you ever noticed that a whole lot of the “big name” 70’s bands are still on tour, still singing the same songs, still riding that wave. And in all honesty, they’re still making a good living that way, reliving their past successes.
Other artists with just as much of a heyday in the past, are not riding on the past successes. They’re still pushing forward, still staying fresh, still developing.
Don’t worry, this is going to make sense in a minute.
I was listening to one of those “golden oldies” (ironically, it was a song called “Comfortably Numb”) when Father caught my attention, and pointed out that there are at least two lessons to learn here:
1) The artists who made the turn and are still fresh and creative have generally spent a season or three in a hard place before they were able to move on in their craft.
2) This principle is true in the kingdom (and this one really kicked me in the gut). There are lessons for me (and maybe you) here:
2a) There are some remarkably gifted ministries of the past heydays of one revival or another who are still singing the same (basic) message, still riding that wave. And in all honesty, they’re still making a living that way, reliving their past successes. Some are big names; others still have regional or just informal spheres of influence. We notice the big names more.
2b) There are other ministries (the ones that come to my mind tend toward prophetic ministries, though that may just be my perception) that have had just as much of a heyday in the past, but are not riding on the past successes. They’re still pushing forward, still staying fresh, still pressing in for a fresh revelation for this fresh season.
2c) The difference very often is about who has been willing to be allured into the wilderness, away from busyness and “success,” to sit with the Almighty, to listen to his heartbeat, to understand more of his heart, particularly his intents for today.
I remember that after his baptism, Holy Spirit “drove” or “compelled” Jesus into the wilderness [Mark 1:12] for a remarkable and memorable challenge. But at the end of that adventure, “the angels ministered to Him.” And afterwords, he “returned in the power of the Spirit.”
Apparently seasons in the wilderness are valuable.
I observe a few things here:
• Wilderness seasons seem to be God’s timing [cf Mark 1:12 & Hosea 2:14], not ours.
• But our choices are incredibly powerful here:
○ Do we choose to go to the scary, uncomfortable place that he’s leading?
○ Once we’re in that place, do we stand up and resist the evil that (mistakenly) thinks we’re weak? Do we whine and beg for people to pray for us, or do we stand in the devil’s face and plant ourselves on the foundation of the Word (both scripture and prophetic words)? [Note: Community is precious in these times, but wildernesses are generally solitary events.]
○ Do we let angels minister to us? (Do we know how?)
○ When we come successfully through the wilderness, we walk in more of “the power of the Spirit.” What do we do with that power, that influence?
If this feels rough, that’s only because it is. I’m in the midst of these lessons myself. I don’t have all the answers anymore. I only share this in case others are going through such a time, or will shortly, and might benefit from some signposts along that trail into the wild places.