The term “God Adventure” sounds kind of intriguing and exciting, doesn’t it? Even a little mysterious! If you have an adventuresome spirit, just those words may make you want to explore what a God adventure is – learn more about it!
A “God Adventure” could be following God’s leading to take a new job. It could be a missions trip or a move to a new city. Maybe you’re actually going to commit to leading a Bible study at your church or reach out to a needy family in your area. How about working on reconciling a broken relationship with a family member or friend?
Not all God Adventures are so positive or encouraging. Sometimes a God-adventure comes your way uninvited and unexpected. It can come in circumstances that involve loss, unfair treatment, illness, or broken relationships. These are the wilderness places that God uses to shape, refine, and carve character into us, if we’ll let Him. The process is so painful, but the result is pure gold.
Some dear friends of mine, a married couple, have been through this recently. A cancer diagnosis brought surgery, radiation, doctors, doctors, and more doctors. Pain, loss, rehabilitation, fear and uncertainty.
Who’d sign up for that? But, now let me tell you what I saw this “wilderness” produce in their lives …a sense of God’s presence that over-rode all the circumstances, a trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness (which is never really fully experienced until you find yourself in the furnace of affliction); a deeper love and appreciation for each other as a couple; and peace, real peace, in the midst of the storm.
They were not delivered from the experience, they were lifted above it and carried through it. Isaiah 40:31 outlines the promise of God to those who are walking through trials.
“They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall rise up on wings like Eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.”
The Bible is filled with the stories of great men and women of faith, and almost all of them had one or more defining wilderness experiences that God used to prepare them for even greater use. My favorite is the story of Joseph. Sold into slavery by his brothers, wrongly accused by the wife of his employer, thrown into jail for something he didn’t do, and seemingly forgotten by those he had helped. In all of this, a span of 13 years, the Bible never once records that Joseph complained or railed against the Lord. Read this amazing story yourself – Genesis 37 – 47. Through his years in the wilderness, Joseph learned humility, obedience, patience, and responsibility. In God’s perfect timing, he became ruler over all of Egypt delivering the Egyptians and his own family from the famine in the land.
How can you turn your wilderness into a God Adventure? For starters let this scripture sink deeply into your heart and mind – Romans 8:28
“ALL things work together for good to those who love the Lord, who are called according to His purposes.”
ALL things – even your trials and afflictions.
Give them to God with a sense of anticipation. You are being refined – prepared for something. Look for the lessons.
Surrender your “rights,” your arguments, and your confusion to Him. God never makes mistakes.
Rest in Him – climb up into his lap and let Him refresh you with His strength.
Trust His timing – He’s got it all together. Jeremiah 29:11 says this,
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Stay close to Him and watch your wilderness become a God-Adventure!