Tag Archive: desert


crawling through the desert on my hands and knees, torn jeans clinging desperately to my legs, shirt mostly in tatters, hanging loosely off my shoulders… eyes darting to and fro, hoping to catch sight of, a quick glimpse, the hint of, a water source, river, stream, oasis of sorts… some type of cactus with juicy flesh waiting for me to discover in its hidden caverns the satiation for my current devastation, even temporary relief for my present disbelief of the localised unbelief that seems to surround me on all sides, pressing in, trying to suffocate, attempting to deprecate, to abbreviate, or proliferate its… their, own sense of being marginalised, disenfranchised, tied up, held up, brought up, bought into sense of hopelessness, of clung to plausible deniability, of watered down potentiality… minimalistic expression of a far deeper, richer, more vibrant, on offer life experience that suddenly, once more, slaps me into wakefulness, renewing the drive onwards, pushing me further away from those who will contain me in their quicksand filled, undisclosed and scattered leftover buried mine encased mime constructed boxes of delapidated individuality brought about by the refined redefined personal definition of a wholly holy majestical greater power defined way of existing…

me, my, mine is the call of those who will fashion the path that has already been marked out for me by the One who Lovingly, and Loving me, took it upon Himself to walk it before me, leaving tell-tale signs along the way of His greater intention, His life-interrupting intervention that comes to me [did i mention?] as a whisper, as a quiet voice i can sometimes barely make out hidden in the backgrounds of a gentle breeze, a rapid flash of cover, a hint, a suggestion, a spirit-filled gut feel that points out, draws me out, calls me out, points me to, takes me to, makes me to… change my course, alter the discourse, discover the resource that already lies deep within me…

for history is not my story, it’s His story, but one in which He has invited me to participate, and regenerate, [dare i alliterate?] revelling in the revealing revolutionary revelation of His rambunctious glory, grace and gracious generosity. are you starting to see? will you align with me? but not dispassionately. i desperately and hungrily require some brutal introspective honesty. i am not looking for empathy. i need you walking alongside me. i’m not asking for another one of me. like some kind of test tube created science experimental experience of trying to mess with destiny. i am feeling a little alone here. so why would i be wanting a clone here? bump my head against another loner? i am asking for, appealing for, calling for, crying out for you. are you with me? i am wanting someone who has a hunger for more than games, who nurses a need for more than speed, who has a panoramic vision and life focus that is both from here and to eternity…

are you in? can i count on you? lean on you? walk this road with you? crawl through the desert on my hands and knees, torn jeans clinging desperately to my legs, shirt mostly in tatters, hanging loosely off my shoulders, with you? eyes darting to and fro, hoping to catch sight of, a quick glimpse, the hint of, a water source, river, stream, oasis of sorts… what’s that you see?

so back in new year’s times i met a guy called gabe at an event i was mc’ing and it wasn’t the greatest of meetings – we had a difference of opinion over some or other thing, i blogged about it without using his name (altho everyone who had been at the event knew who i was talking about) and he (and more particularly his friends) didn’t like that i did that so much (some of his friends got quite pissed off with me telling me what a solid follower of Jesus he was and how i didn’t know him and how could i say stuff and blah blah blah)…

turns out funnily enuff that despite the event being on the other side of the country, Gabe is from nearby to where i live and so when i finally was able to get hold of him, he very graciously agreed to meet (slash take me out for pizza) and we met and chatted and got to know each other better and dealt with the new year’s vibe and put it behind us… which was pretty cool.

anyways, i was invited a long time ago to speak at the Rondebosch/Rustenburg schools Christian Union camp which i did this last weekend, with the beautiful Val joining me in a really fun Relationships workshop and we had a complete vibe at the camp…

turns out, the other speaker on camp, was none other than mister Gabe himself – i had already gone to hang out with him in Jan at a camp he led worship at for one nite and so i’d seen him in ministry mode, but it was cool getting to see him ministering in another way…

and i learnt stuff… not necessarily new stuff i didn’t know, but in both of his talks there was at least one key thing that he unpacked differently to how i’d heard or seen it before and so it really was a growing situation for me which was really great – revelationary stuff…

the one was about Jesus being baptised in Matthew 3 (see title) which ends with “As soon as Jesus was baptised, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” [Matthew 3.16-17]

and then Jesus heads out to the desert to fast and pray and eventually be tempted by the devil…

actually, as i’m writing this i remember two things that Gabe brought out of this passage…

[1] the first is to note how many miracles Jesus had done up to that point, how many great preaches He had done, how many of His acts of spending time with the people in society – women, children, tax collectors, lepers, samaritans – that no one liked or spent time with, and the answer is none. Jesus had not done any of His public ministry yet and He receives complete affirmation from God. God’s pleasure and love is a result of God, not of Jesus achieving or earning it. That is a pretty hectic picture of grace.

[2] and the second is that when the devil comes to tempt Jesus, he starts with the questioning phrase, “If you are the Son of God…” in the same way that he met Adam and Eve in the garden and questioned what God had said to them. But we’ve just witnessed it in Matthew 3 as did Jesus – heaven opened and God boomed out in a loud voice “You are the Son of God” – Jesus has heard that He is the Son of God, from His Father and so when the devil comes with his little “if you are the Son of God” He is able to stomp all over it and point back to what just happened. Because Jesus has His identity firmly wrapped up in God and who the Father says He is, the temptations and accusations of the devil fall completely flat.

So stop doing stuff to try and earn God’s love – you already have it [do stuff as a result of incredible gratitude and response to the love you have received – Christ’s love compels me…]

And find your identity in God, stop being sidetracked by the lying voice of the devil… if you follow Jesus, you have been made into a child of a king, live in that status…

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