Navigating the wilderness experiences in light of God’s sovereignty by Desiree Rooks

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Navigating the wilderness experiences in light of God’s sovereignty by Desiree Rooks

I have been attending a women’s luncheon at a different church for fun and because right now I want to be sitting under the Word as much as possible. A friend of mine introduced me to this monthly meeting. When I can, I attend. The church is called Glory Oasis Fellowship, located at 1903 Route 44, Pleasant Valley, New York 12569. I love Bible studies. It is interesting to hear another person teaching, for sometimes the Word, when presented from a different point of view penetrates deeper. The group begins with a luncheon, then there is a significant period of praise and worship, the reading of the Word and prayers, and then a guest speaker. The speaker in December was Desiree Rooks.

Before the meeting the leader of the luncheon asked if anyone had heard from God during the praise and worship. I had seen in my minds’ eye a field of land mines and I was picking my way through the land mines. God told me to look up to Jesus and not down at the land mines and He would help me through them. My job was to hold onto Him and He won’t let me go.

Then Desiree spoke, and her talk confirmed what God showed me. The group usually asks the speaker to share a bit of her testimony.

Desiree said His eye is always on us, there is nothing hidden from God. God is sovereign, and He is always in control. It doesn’t matter what our circumstances look like, God is in control.

What we are going through is a process we have to go through and He will show us how to survive in the wilderness. God has one plan, the enemy has another. God is in control but the enemy desires to take us out, to rob, kill, and steal us away from God’s plan.

She mentioned that seven years ago, when she looked at people who called themselves Christians, she did not see people living what came out of their mouths. She saw a lot of hypocrisy and that turned her off. She thought, if that’s what Christians are all about she didn’t want anything to do with them.

But she was still aware of God. God still did not change His mind about Desiree. A friend of Desiree’s gave her life to God, and Desiree witnessed the changes in her friend’s life when a life is totally submitted to God. Her father’s death brought to her mind the reality of tomorrow, the fact that tomorrow is not promised to us.

She realized she needed to know God for herself. To have a personal relationship with God. To see God in His sovereignty revealed to herself. She came to the realization you can’t receive what someone else doesn’t have. So she began to spend some serious time before God.

She began to say, “God, no matter what…” She was ready to tell God she will obey, no matter what. She said to God, “I would love to be able to say to You, ‘yes,’ BUT…I can think of a million things I don’t want to experience.” At the end she submitted and realized, GOD, YOU ARE IN CONTROL AND I TRUST YOU.

Then she started experiencing a period of testing, and as the tests come she thought God might have been saying like in the book of Job,  “Have you considered Desiree?”

She told us, when tests come, go through the time of testing, the fire, the tribulation. You can’t dismiss it. Willingly put yourself to the stake. God will have His way one way or another. If you escape one trial, He will give you a similar one until you pass the trial.

There are many examples of people in the Bible who were used by God who faced serious trials.

For example, Esther who was in position “for such a time as this” to save her people, submitted to God realizing if she perished, she perished, but she had to do God’s will.

When Jesus took the walk to the cross there had to have been fear, anguish, questioning God, and praying that the cup would pass, but in the end Jesus submitted to God and was obedient.

We need to yield to God.

Everything we experience in life is part of our destiny and will be used to serve God.

When we go through trials we sometimes feel isolated, we feel no one is there to communicate with us, we feel there are no exits, and people we used to call friends are not there to support us. God wants us to know the only voice we can count on is His. We do not look to the left or to the right. We need to be yielded and surrendered to Him, clearly hearing His voice.

We can hear all kinds of voices when we are struggling in our trials and, if we focus on others’ voices rather than God’s, our trials can be a time of great confusion. We have to walk through the painful trial with our focus on God.

The greatest pain comes when there is betrayal and hurt coming from the hand of someone extremely close to You. For example, Jesus and Judas. Desiree had been betrayed by someone close to her and she realized Jesus understood what she went through, because He too had been betrayed at the hands of a friend.

2005-2006 God permitted tons of trials in her life for those two years. She told God He was still in control. She was hurt and beat up by life, but she did not take her eyes off of God.

Esther also submitted to the sovereignty of God. She was an orphan, raised by Mordecai, and becomes the queen of the land. Vashti, the king’s former wife told the king , “No.”  But God had a plan and used this situation to put Esther in position to save the Jews. His plan would occur no matter what. God’s plan is for our good, no matter what circumstances appear to be.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

When the Bible says that ALL things work together for good… it does not mean just a few good things that happen to us, or some things – but all things, those that we perceive as good and those that we perceive as bad ALL of them work together for good.

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.

We have to hold onto the truth that God is sovereign, no matter what is going on in our lives. Even when the enemy throws his darts at us.

How did Esther get to the Palace to become the new queen? All the girls were brought to the palace and prepared for their meeting with the King. Esther found great favor.

Even in the wilderness experiences God will show us great favor. It is kind of like living a double life. On the one hand we are facing the darts of satan, and on the other hand great favor appears in unexpected places.

In the wilderness you HEAR with a heightened awareness. In times prior to the wilderness you may have seen the face of God, but sometimes in the wilderness you can’t pray, or you don’t know how to pray. You can feel distant from God. You feel overwhelmed and almost despair, but know that God will not let you go. God knows our hearts. We may not know what to do, but if we sit still long enough He will send someone to you. The answer may not come the way you expect. It  may come through a person, through your dreams, through a solution that you did not think about. Write down what you experience and learn in the wilderness, because you need to encourage yourself.

Then there is the factor of TIMING. God’s timing is always perfect, no matter what the circumstances look like. A crisis can be the exact moment when we meet our destiny. All the preparation in the past helps us to meet our destiny.

Mordecai was also in the wilderness. The enemy is always working. Esther was being prepared by God for such a time as this.

Wherever we are in our walk it is for such a time as this. The enemy’s goal is to take us off God’s timing, to cause us to take crooked paths and to waste our strength.

For example, we can see this in the life of King David. Desiree said, if she were God, David would never have become king for some of the stuff he did. Yet God saw David as a man after His own heart. How can God say that, when David did such sinful things? David was a true worshipper, he loved God with all His might, his heart never changed, and he was quick to repent. God has every situation in control, and knows what the consequences are for our actions and His plans.

Esther was also noted for her OBEDIENCE, even to the point of death. She was willing to shed her life for the Jewish people. If you have to go through these painful things and it helps even one person it is worth it.

YOUR TRIAL ISN’T ABOUT YOU! In fact it NEVER is all about you. When a person comes to you in a difficult trial and situation, filled with emotions and hurt and pain, you can identify with them and let them know that you understand, and help them to see that God is who He says He is. That God is sovereign, and that God will never leave or forsake them.

Jeremiah 29:11-14  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

The enemy can’t do anything unless God allows him to do it. God has a purpose and a plan – and even though circumstances do not always show it, the plan and purpose is for our good. Don’t lose sight of the sovereignty of God, God is always for us.

He has the answer – HOLD ON!

Desiree and Pastor Angela Michels spent time prophesying over the women at the luncheon. And their prophecies mirrored the prophecies I received later from Pastor Leon Forte. God does have a plan for my life, and He had already shown me what these people prophesied prior to what they said. So I pray to be obedient, in God’s perfect timing.

I hope this teaching blesses you. In the past I never saw the hand of God in my life when I was facing the abuse I received, but God was there even though I did not see Him. Recently He has been sharing what He was doing and why. The pain is there and the pain is real, but God has restored what the locusts have eaten, and God is using what satan meant for harm for the good of others. I would not trade my past and my experiences for anything.

I am praying for you tonight and plan to come and visit your sites over the next few days. I am now almost caught up with my notes. It is funny how there is so much to share and I don’t want you to miss one nugget of God’s truth.

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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