The Growth in the Wilderness
What is the wilderness? Is the wilderness a punishment for doing something wrong? For years the idea of someone going through a wilderness season has meant that the person is in sin, or their life is falling apart and they need time to heal and be cleansed before ministering to others again. The preaching over the past few years has portrayed the wilderness as a trial period that someone goes through when their life is hard. However, Luke 4:1 states, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (NIV). Jesus who knew no sin was being lead into the wilderness, so why are we so scared of a wilderness season in our own lives?
Apostle Matt Pettry states, “The wilderness is a call to a life of devotional integrity”. The daily trials we go through can wear on a person physically, mentally, and emotionally to the point where many times we give in and either: choose sin or fail in devotion and choose compromise-neither are good routes. When we get alone with the Holy Spirit daily through a devotional lifestyle, our lives begin to go through a cutting process that, at times, may be painful and messy. Through the process, Jesus begins to pinpoint areas in our lives that we have not surrendered to him, and like the gentleman that he is, he politely asks that we hand it over to him. He will give you so much more if you allow him to consume every part of your life. Through this laid down lifestyle, Jesus will begin to change feelings, actions, and thought patterns to help you move FORWARD to all God has called you to be.
The word the Lord has given me for this coming year is FORWARD.
Free (from those holding you back)
Open (to new opportunities)
Ready (to follow God's plan)
Willing (to try new things)
Available (for God to use)
Redemptive (to people who have failed)
Determined (to give your all to Christ)
Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (NIV) To move forward then the call to the wilderness is a necessity. Get away with Jesus and allow him to strip you of everything that is not of him and fill you up so you can then minister in your calling. The wilderness is a season of restoration and preparation so what is deposited in you can then be poured out upon the local body. Remember, if you have nothing to pour, then how can you show a thirsty person how to get water? Allow yourself to be dismantled through the wilderness season and find your true identity in Christ. This will then lead to being re-mantled with new armor. Apostle Damon Thompson states, “Through proximal devotion in the wilderness, one begins to receive the heart of the Father, and through that transfer, we begin to love what he loves and disgust what he disgusts. This makes resisting sin easy." I challenge you today to accept the call to the wilderness and receive everything the Lord has for you in this re-mantling season.
I apologize that I haven’t written more devotionals as of late, but we have been busier than ever and have had some changes to our board in 2016. We hope to publish one a month in 2017. There are many new ways to connect with Ronnie Phillips Ministries International; Download the Abba’s House APP at the App Store on your smart phone. We now have our own YouTube channel (RPJ TV), you can follow me on Twitter @PastorRonnieJr, Facebook: Ronnie Phillips Jr, and we will be adding a ministry page this year. You can also sign-up for monthly updates on this website (ronniephillips.org).
Please make plans to attend our RPMI Wilderness Conference April 27 – April 30, 2017 at Faith Worship Center (189 Hyden Tyler Rd Chatsworth, GA 30705). Services will be at 6:30 each night and at 10:30am on Sunday morning. I am very excited about our speakers this year; Dr.Ron Phillips on Thursday night (4/27), Damon Thompson (4/28) on Friday night, Pastor Eric Clark (4/29) on Saturday night, and I will be preaching Sunday morning (4/30) at 10:30 am and Sunday night at 6:30. I believe North Georgia is in for a move of God like they have never seen before. Please mark these dates and rearrange your schedule to be with us! We will post a more detailed schedule very soon!