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Tag Archives: hunger

Meeting God in the Wilderness

BeamI don’t mind saying that with all the snow and cold that we’ve been getting in my part of the country, I’m ready for spring!  Then I can start one of my favorite pastimes again.  I’m talking about spending time in the woods hiking, praying, and meditating on the Word.

It’s always a lift to my spiritual life.  I believe that every Christian who’s physically able should try it.

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Matthew 4:1-2

Since I’ve started hiking I have a new respect for the Lord’s physical condition.  Being able to survive in the wilderness for forty days, living on only water is quite a physical challenge.

At one point I tried a two-day fast while hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail.  I remember barely making it. The hunger was intense.  I felt weak.  It got to the point where it hurt just to put one leg in front of the other.

I promised myself I would never do that again.  I can only imagine what Jesus felt like after 40 days.

There is a hunger, however, that I want to hike with.  That’s a hunger of the spirit.  If we can go into the wilderness with a hunger for the presence of the Lord, then we’ll come back from our journeys a changed person.

If we can see the outdoors as a meeting-place between God and us, we’ll take our wilderness activities to a whole new level.

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:3-4

Once you decide to use the wilderness to achieve spiritual goals, it will transform your whole experience.  The outdoors will become a place where you must sometimes face your own personal demons.  In Jesus’ case it was from the outside.  In our case it’s usually from within.

The wilderness gives God a chance to confront us on His terms.  There’s nothing to fall back on; no distractions to hide our thoughts.  God can throw a light on all the issues we’ve been sweeping under the rug for so long.

What I’ve found is that there’s no place to hide.  I can’t “remember” that phone call I need to place.  There is no TV program that I have to watch right now.  God can have my undivided attention.

It’s an awesome thing to go into the wilderness to hear from God.

Be prepared.  It’s not always what we expect.  He’ll set the agenda, and there’s no way out.  Change will happen in our lives, if we give the Lord an opportunity.

Think about spending some time in a wilderness setting with the Lord.  I guarantee that it will be life-changing.

Questions: Have you ever spend time praying in the woods?  What did you take away from that time?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Prayer, Times in the Wilderness

 

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Are You Addicted to the Ministry? 5 Symptoms

PillsI normally don’t use the KJV in my posts, but this verse gives me a lot to think about.

I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
1 Corinthians 16:15

What was it about Stephanas and his family that caused Paul to describe them as addicted?

I looked up some facts, not from Christian sources, but from the American medical community.  How do they describe addiction?  You may think you’re “all in” for the Lord.  How does what these doctors say stack up to your experience?

You need an increased level to maintain the feeling.  Are you feeling tired and burned out by what you do for God?  Or are you hungering to go deeper with Him?  Addiction means that the amount you’re doing now doesn’t satisfy you the way it used to.  You want more, greater, and higher dosages in order to stay fulfilled.  I believe that’s the excitement of the ministry.

You are obsessed with the ministry.  What’s your thought life like?  When you’re not actively involved in your calling, are you still thinking about it?  Addiction means that it’s constantly in the back of your mind.  You continually think about ways to improve and increase what you’re doing for the Lord.

Even in recreation times, a thought, word, or something you see will trigger an image of what you could be doing to further the Kingdom.  Thinking about it is uncontrollable.

You are continually sneaking “quickies” throughout the day.  Addiction to the ministry is a lifestyle.  Do you find yourself sharing about Jesus at the mall, school or workplace?  Are you prone to spontaneously be a blessing to people around you, simply for the enjoyment of it?  Maybe you find yourself praying for people as soon as you hear about their need.  This is a sign of an addiction to Christ and His ministry.

You undergo a change in your appearance.  Does the knowledge that you represent Christ change how you present yourself to others?  Does the fact that you’re God’s ambassador to the world make a difference in how you live?  The more we become addicted, the more radical the change.  How much has your ministry affected you?

You are in “denial” – you continue deeper even though others may argue against it.  Some people may say that you’re doing too much for God.  After all, look at the lifestyle of most believers.  “God will let you get away with a lot less commitment.”  Arguments like these don’t even faze you.  You want to touch as many people as you can for the Gospel.

You may like to think that you’re addicted – after all, it sounds good.  But the truth is, unless you’ve come to the place I’ve just described, it’s only wishful thinking.  Hey, don’t get mad at me – this is what the American medical community says about it.

If you find that you’re not addicted and you want to be – my next post will be about the 5 steps to becoming addicted!

Question: How has addiction to the ministry affected your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2013 in Encouragement, Ministry

 

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