The Psalmist was at this point in Psalm 42:1, " panteth after water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."
God would no doubt love for us as His children to seek after Him and pray and thirst on our own without any coercion, however, as human beings we seldom do. We often have to have some cataclysmic event, such as a 9/11, or a late-night Emergency Room trip to wake us up and cause us to thirst after Him. We often only pray during times of desperation, yet it is times of desperation that God has orchestrated to get us to pray.
Dr. David Jeremiah once said, "I learned to pray out of desperation. For most of us, this is how the adventure usually begins. When we finally get serious about prayer, the trigger is usually desperation, not duty…. We don’t pray because we ought, we pray because we are without any other recourse."
I have found in my own life, the Holy Spirit has done His deepest and most powerful work in and through me when I was desperate for Him to do so!
There have been a number of situations in my life that have driven me to a point of desperation to where a change became inevitable, if I was to go on and not be completely overrun with depression and despair. Usually, it is a number of things that happen at once that lead me to this point. In 2013, I was at a point of desperation.
The Comedian Jerry Clower used to tell a story about a man who got stuck in a tree with a skunk, when a hunter walked by. The man said to the hunter, "Shoot up in here amongst us. ONE OF US HAS TO HAVE SOME RELIEF!"
We've all been there at one point or another, and for me 2013 was that time. In 2010-2011, our family had an unusually trying time regarding the declining health of my youngest son Aaron. He was in the ER 7 times in 8 months, and during the middle of that time I somehow got in a trip to the Holy Land that the Church had paid for. But He was sick and having a partial proximal shunt malfunction that led to a desperation trip to Memphis where he underwent a life-saving procedure on August 1st of 2010. Over the next year he ended up having 3 more surgeries to revise His shunt. This left us wore out as a family and myself wore out as a husband, father and pastor. [BTW, Aaron is doing well and living a normal life as a 2nd grader, praise God!] Toward the end of 2011, God spoke to me about making a change regarding one of the ministries of our church, and while it was discussed ad nauseum among our deacons and the idea presented to our church months before, when the change was actually made there were upset feelings, and the smooth transition we had hoped for and been assured of was anything but that. After the change was made the first part of 2012, there was a backlash and many people left the church upset, and the ones who remained were devastated.
To make a long story short, I became bitter and upset. I was no fun to live with at home. I was angry and not sure where to turn. I wanted to run and hide. I BECAME DESPERATE, and by the first part of 2013, I knew if God did not move in my life I wouldn't survive in ministry. Out of that desperation and devastation, I began to hunger and thirst after God and long for a fresh and powerful move of the Holy Spirit in my life. I started reading the Bible and to the best of my ability tried to not read my own traditions or ideas into it. I just read it for what it said. When I got to Isaiah, God's Spirit broke in in a powerful way.
He led me to Isaiah 44:3, where God promises, "For I will upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:"
And then to Isaiah 55:1, where He states, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price."
Needless to say, He was preparing me. At the end of 2013, God took me to a conference where His Spirit broke through. God showed me His power and filled me to overflowing with the Living Water of His Holy Spirit. God shocked me and surprised me as he tore down walls and barriers that I had built up for years. Over the next year and a half, God did some amazing things in our church. We started new ministries, and saw over 120 people saved and follow through with baptism. We started Journey to Freedom and saw many people whose lives were in desperation set free. We had a service in 2013, where there were 8 confirmed miracles of healing in that one service. By the end of 2014, the Church was flying high and sailing with the tailwind of the Holy Spirit.
But then 2015 came. I have heard from many church leaders at other places as well as in our own church that have underwent major changes in their families, health, and just life in general this year. Many have been under attack from spirits of heaviness and infirmities. Many have been disappointed to see their loved ones who were serving the Lord, quit on God altogether. Many have become tired and grown weary in well doing, and some have just sat down. It has left me to ask God, "What are you doing? Where is this leading? What should be done to see you move again in power?" AND THE WORD THAT KEEPS COMING BACK: "DESPERATION! HOW DESPERATE ARE YOU FOR ME TO MOVE?" And that is a question for all of us to ponder! How desperate are you to see God's Spirit move in your life, in your family, in your Church and in your Community? How long has it been since you prayed for God's Spirit to fill you and move in your life and Church? It could be that God is bringing us again to a point of desperation to force our hand whether we will diligently seek Him and believe Him to pour out His Spirit again! GOD WILL MOVE WHEN WE GET DESPERATE ENOUGH FOR HIM TO MOVE! So my question is this, "ARE YOU DESPERATE!?!"