Waiting in the Wilderness {You Can’t Hurry the Holy}

“Our life’s purpose is to give God glory. We do that by reflecting His image to the world through our worship and our service to His kingdom. By His death He justified us, and through the refining fires He sanctifies us for the work of His purposes.” ~ Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

I didn’t grow up practicing Lent. Sure, I had given up things over the years, but only to be a part of what my friends were doing. Last year, however, was the first time I went in to Lent with intention as I offered to become less so He could fill more of me. (You may read some of those posts, HERE.)

Kris, in her book Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement, explains the history of Lent as well as the intention behind it and helped me figure out what it was all about.

You see, even if you don’t practice Lent, chances are you have been through a Lenten experience while submitting to Christ. You have given parts of yourself up. For it is more about the journey of dying to oneself.

“We are called to live as Christ lived–willing to suffer as He suffered and to be stripped of the excesses and pride that prevent us from living a life that more fully glorifies Him.” ~ Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

We’ve all heard Lent compared to Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness. The period He spent preparing for His ministry. My mind whirls with the examples in the Bible of others who have spent time in this fashion…Moses. Isaiah. David…

Friends, I wonder if we find ourselves in this wilderness more than we realize. Maybe we’ve had seasons of waiting…of seeking…that were intended for periods of preparation like this. like Lent.

I think about the desert and what Jesus went through. How He was pressed but not crushed. Tempted but not destroyed. How He relied on God for every little thing…things I take for granted today.

“Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” ~Matthew 4:4

Jesus claimed this after His own refining period. After He faced death head on. After He discovered how good the enemy is at his job. And when you contemplate it in that type of context…friends…does it grip you like it does me?

It’s in the times of wilderness we realize how little we can live without. It’s in these periods of waiting…seeking…we realize He is all we need.

So that brings me to wonder:

What if we treated our 40 days here in desert fashion? What if we shed what we didn’t need? Lightened our load? What if we stripped ourselves bare so we could bear the heat of the refining fire a bit longer?

“…we fail to give up the one thing that stands between us and Christ. Ourselves. Only when we have given up our own ambitions and desires, from that death to self, can we be used to produce much for His kingdom.” ~ Kris Camealy, Holey, Wholly, Holy

Friends, what if we became the desert ourselves, allowing our ambitions to wilt, our desires to burn, our landscape of “stuff” to be blown away? What if we did really die to self this Lenten Season and allowed Him to do His thing. Quench us with the Living Well of His Word. Fertilize our hearts with overwhelming grace and abounding hope. What if we allowed Him to draft our landscape of life, our viewpoint. Could we do that?

To most of my friends reading this — we live in a rich culture. We were raised to believe we deserve some basics in life: shelter. food we can tolerate. clothing we like to slip into. children who follow.

It scares me to think how rich we really are. That we may be who Jesus was talking about in Matthew 19:24.

Who am I to think I deserve anything? Who am I to think I deserve to be rescued from this wilderness? Who am I to think this thing I chose to fast from makes me any more deserving of His glory?

Who am I?

Maybe after these 40 days with you, I can answer this question with certainty. That’s what I’m going after.

How about you, friend? Are you prepared to step into the wilderness? How are you planning to bare all to Him this Lenten Season? I’d love to hear.

Please know, I’ll be back next Wednesday with more thoughts on my journey. If you would like to feel prepared, please read through the “Ache” portion of Holey, Wholly, Holy as we will be talking more about “Letting Him Look {A Self-Exam}”.

If you do not have the book I am referring to and would like a FREE pdf copy, please visit here soon as Kris is giving them away as a gift to you this Lenten season.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

* Click Photos for Photo credits
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29 thoughts on “Waiting in the Wilderness {You Can’t Hurry the Holy}

  1. Dear Nicky
    Oh yes, who are we to think we deserve a single thing. But still, He showers us with love and all good things in our Lord Jesus. I would rather experience His love and goodness than have a healthy body! We have no rights, but we are loved and on our way to our incorruptible inheritance, and for that, I am soooo grateful! Come Lord Jesus, come!
    Much love
    Mia

  2. This is so good Nikki. I’ve been thinking that Lent has become about what we give up instead of fasting which is a different spirit as we walk through this season. One is about me and the other about Him. Looking forward to your thoughts on Wednesdays.

  3. Nikki? I answered your call to discover Lent with intent this season with such bravado… and then I read this from Kris’ book “We are called to live as Christ lived–willing to suffer as He suffered and to be stripped of the excesses and pride that prevent us from living a life that more fully glorifies Him.” — and then my heart skittered to a halt… Can I do this? Can I really live as Christ? Am I ready to be stripped? Laid bare? So I am a little afraid of this Lenten season, a little afraid of taking that first step forward? Friend? Can I beg prayers here? Because God is showing me that living a life that glorifies Him is living life more fully… And because this full life beats desire inside of me… I move ahead fully, completely all IN… Thank you for for inviting us on this journey with you.

    • OH you and I, friend…we are there together. wondering if we can do this. Experience last year has taught me we can, but girl..it’s going to hurt. maybe that old saying is true…how does it go? pain before beauty?
      I’m all in, too. Let’s do this thing…{HUGS}

  4. I am joining you on this journey, Nikki. I have had Kris’ book waiting on my Kindle and I am excited to start it today. I want to be able to say with Paul- “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” I want to explore in a deeper way what it means to be crucified with Christ.

    • Oh what a perfect verse to strive for, Becky! I love it. thank you for sharing it with me. So honored to be on this journey with you, friend. thank you. Can’t wait to hear more about what you think of the book… Love and hugs to you!

  5. Oh this,

    “Friends, what if we became the desert ourselves, allowing our ambitions to wilt, our desires to burn, our landscape of “stuff” to be blown away? What if we did really die to self this Lenten Season and allowed Him to do His thing. ”

    Yes, Lord make me a desert, a barren place for your mercy and glory to burn away the chaff and bring forth a heart that better reflects your purpose and glory in this dim world.

    Thank you, Nikki, for sharing this journey. I look forward to walking the rest of the way with you.

  6. Oh, Nikki! I was so filled while reading this post. It’s the cry of my heart to become less so that He may become more.

    Thank you for being such an advocate for Kris’ book. I’ll be sure to get it so that I can pour over it during this Lenten season. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and encouraging us all to become less.

  7. Nikki, I’m so looking forward to going through this with you! It is exactly where Jesus wants me to be. I have never done Lent before because it was some weird Catholic thing :). But with this description from Kris’ book about giving up ourselves….that, that is what I want.

    • It’s what I want, too, Vicki! And I had always looked at Lent wrong, too…now that I’ve done some research and read Kris’ book, it all makes perfect sense to me. Have you gotten the copy of Kris’ book yet? I trust you have because I KNOW you would be blessed! Thank you for walking this journey with me, friend {HUGS}

  8. “Who am I to think I deserve anything? Who am I to think I deserve to be rescued from this wilderness? Who am I to think this thing I chose to fast from makes me any more deserving of His glory?”

    A very provocative question we should all ask ourselves everyday. In our own power and worthlessness we are nothing but dust. But when we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, we can claim proudly: I am the daughter of the King of Kings!! It is only in Him and through Him that we have a worthwhile identity.

    So grateful for you and Kris, and this opportunity to share this deep spiritual experience with you. I pray that our friendship grows stronger, as we worship together.

    • YES! “It is only in Him and through Him we have a worthwhile identity” ~ amen…
      So grateful to walk this road with you this year, Lauren. I’m looking forward to seeing where God leads us all {HUGS}.

      and p.s. LOVED your post today! hoping my readers will click through and read it, too!

  9. Asking the question, Who Am I and feeling the heat of the fire of refinement coming much to close for comfort. Ready to run the other direction but than hearing God whisper, “You are my Beloved, my precious child, do not be afraid for I will be with you wherever you go (even in the fire) forever.

  10. Thank you for sharing from Kris’ book during this season, Nikki. I’m covered up with projects and won’t be able to read it for myself, but I’m glad to follow along with you. I suspect we’ll get to the end and realize the truth we’ve known all along, “He is all we need.”
    Truth.
    Have a great weekend, Nikki!
    Love, Susan

    • Yes. There’s no avoiding or masking the truth, is there, Susan. He is all we need. Now, if I could learn to leave everything else at the cross… Thanks for following me on the journey, Susan! Enjoy your weekend, too!

  11. How much closer this would bring us to our Lord, Jesus Christ! So much more than giving up a food or the equivalent. Your post is both beautifully written and inspirational. The meaning is so especially dear to me as I strive to be intentional. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    In His Love,
    Grace
    -Gilded Grace

  12. Pingback: Saturday Morning Post Edition No. 1 » Gilded Grace

  13. Dear Nikki,
    It was after the Father told everyone, including Jesus, that He was His beloved Son, and well-pleased with Him that the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. I appreciate your heart that doesn’t feel entitled, and I keep having to repent of that…die to that…daily…Oh, for His grace, to die daily to my self and to allow His life to be born in me…

    Love and hugs to you 🙂

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