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Mike you said, “They were flourishing in the desert. Hopefully this is encouraging to us today. If we are in right relationship with God, I believe our lives will clearly flourish in whatever circumstances we might find ourselves in - even if we are in the desert.”

After reading your statement I was reminded of a verse in Isaiah,

18 Do not [earnestly] remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.

19 Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it? I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

20 The beasts of the field honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen, (43:18-20 Amp)

Throughout history it has always been under severe hardships when men rise to greatness. Maybe its because we are forced to look outside of ourselves after having tried everything in our own strength and failed, that we turn our focus to God and then and only then He makes “streams in the desert.”

I’ve heard it said that we are always looking for that mountain top experience, that-knock-you-off-your feet high that comes when we have an encounter with God. That feeling is indescribable and incredible, but it is in the valley where the fruit grows. It is in the valley where we get the sustenance to sustain us as we journey up to the mountain ‘cause food doesn’t grow up there. It is in the valley where we learn to live the full life God has planned for us so we can hang out on the mountaintop above the frost line, for a season.

Thanks Mike for giving that original image of flourishing in dry places. Come to think of it when there is no surface water we must send our roots way down into the earth, into God, the Father, where we will find Living Water but where our roots will attach themselves to the bedrock of faith.

Well, what I saw in today's readings must be different than everyone else. I saw:

God said stop being yoked with the Midianites and an Israelite man brought a Midianite woman into the camp. Phineas the priest became overcome with zeal for God and killed the man and the woman by driving his sword through them both.

If we would put all our immorality to death that quickly and effectively then God would protect us from the plagues that we cause to ourselves. Especially in the U.S. we need to turn from our wickedness and seek His face. If we repent, He will turn and heal our land.

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