Does God lead us into the wilderness? Yes. Why would God take us into a place that is dry and harsh? Finally I can answer this. He does because He is Good.
If you don’t know me, I was found by Him at 19. I always felt that God loved everyone else, but accepted me. So from 19 – 23 I tried to impress Him. I did street evangelism, wrestled demons, warfare prayer, was a church intern, and led a college group. By 23 I was burnt out, and just went to get a real job. I moved away from everyone I knew, and wrestled with my mind for the next 2 years.
When I was visiting my family during a holiday, my brother Jeff prayed for me. He prayed out loud the thoughts in my head, then finished his prayer with, “Your soul’s not for sale.” I was shocked that he could pray my unspoken thoughts, and felt instantly free of the wrestling in my mind. I went and quit my job and moved 10 hrs away to Redding Ca.
I was still so dry and tired. I had nothing left. I (with no emotion and no conviction ) prayed a prayer, “God Help Me.”
I prayed this for 6 months. When I would go to church, I would usually go and sit up against a wall and rest. Not a lot of worship, not much emotion, not much feeling. Near the end of the 6 months I could begin to feel God, but the thing that bothered me was I couldn’t tell if He was coming for me or for them.
So one evening (I was about to walk out the door to go to Sunday evening church) I thought to myself, “I’ll stay here and worship God, if He comes I will know its for me since I am home alone. (All my other room mates had left to church.)
I put on some worship music and began to pace in my living room. I was singing and walking in circles, I began to lift my hands. I really didn’t “press in” or anything, it had only been a few minutes. I began to feel His presence, the room was filling with Him. I’m not trying to make this sound more powerful than it was, it was more like a nervousness in me. I was thinking that “I’m pretty sure He is here.” As I began to thank Him for coming. He would come more.
Pretty soon I wasn’t wondering if He was here, I was shouting, and jumping and marching around my living room like a fool.
My roommates came back from church. I didn’t stop or really even care. They just walked over and started joining in the worship. God was on me for 3 days and nights.
I had specifically been bothered that when I needed Him the most these last 2 years, I couldn’t hear Him say anything. During this 3 days, I could hear Him clearly. He was answering my thoughts, my wondering, my questions, my past questions, my past prayers and past struggles.
I asked Him why now? Why when I can feel you and your all around, would you drench me in Your voice? He told me He is faithful, and was always speaking to me, He had never stopped, then He showed me a funnel with a piece of wood lodged at the bottom. He said, when the block was removed, My words poured out on you like water pouring down. I didn’t start speaking to you, I just had never stopped.
I told Him, “well this is how I want to live from now on. I don’t want this to keep going on if Your just going to let this go back to normal.” Seldom have I heard God upset with me.
He said, “What have I anything!, to do with normal!”
After 3 days, I began to have to look for His presence, it wasn’t as obvious, it took more faith. I took this as a sign that this time was over. But I didn’t want it to be over! I keep going to church and would spend time reading and worshiping in my room.
About 17 days had passed when I was sent 2 hrs north to Oregon for a job. I had a friend (Trish) that I knew up there, so I called her and asked if she wanted to meet for dinner. We met and I began to tell her what God was doing with me. ( I can feel the power of God even now.) She had been wrestling and struggling with God.
As we talked I could begin to feel God in the diner with us. Its a little hard to remember now, but I think she was telling me of her struggles to walk with God. The Spirit of God came on me very powerfully, and showed me a dog who had been chained to a pole, this “dog” had worn a completely dirt circle in the grass from running around the pole trying to be free. God showed me that He had removed the chain but she was so used to be bound that she didn’t know how to walk/run in the freedom He gave her.
As clear as I’ve ever heard His voice, He said, “Tell her she if FREE!” It really felt more like “Command her she is FREE”.
When I said this to her, God came on me 10 times as strong. He was in the diner. I started laughing and crying, and wanting to get up and go and hug everyone in there. I looked out the window. He was outside the dinner. He was in the trees. He was moving “being Life”. It got so strong it was hard to look out the window.
I had to get out of the diner, we went and sat in the car for quite awhile. I just kept laughing and crying and laughing.
After this Gods presence was heavy on me for 2 weeks and close to me for about 6 months. People started calling me on the phone to meet with them for prayer and give counsel in there lives. 3 People called me in the first week. These people had no reason to call me, or to think that I would even do this. I wasn’t in leadership or even involved much in the church.
I went to a new home group, introduced myself and told them just a little what was happening to me. They wanted me to lead that night and lead the group the next week. I walked up to a guy I had never talked to at church, when he looked at me he said, “You’ve got it, don’t lose it.” During the next 6 months this was very normal, someone gave me money because they said I was a pastor to them. I was asked to be an assistant pastor of a small church, and another congregation wanted me to pray about being the pastor of their church.
After His strong presence seemed to leave, so did ALL the invitations. It really was just Him. When He was gone, so was everything else. All that was left was just a man, people are already stuffed sick of man and don’t want more of that.
Okay to get back to “the wilderness” part. During the first 3 days, in the very beginning, God showed me something that was supposed to get me through what would be the hardest part of my life with Jesus.
I know this seems like I’m trying to reveal something deep. I’m not, it really is simple.
I was completely ignorant of the meaning of it, so I asked God what it meant.
He said this is how most Christians live. Its the formula of man. Its the carnal mind. This formula is built to continually test God and leave you wandering in the wilderness never able to come into the promise and intimacy of God.
This was the formula Israel walked in the wilderness.
Numbers 14:22 …and have put Me to the test now these ten times.
Psalms 78:18 And they tested God in their heart…
Psalms 78:56 Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God…
Psalms 95:9-10 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me though they saw My work.
Psalms 106:13-14 They soon forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel, But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert.
Jesus was tested too many times to list.
God said to me, “Eddie, you have to change this formula or you will never be able to walk in the Promises.” A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. You have to have a foundation to build on. The questioning of the foundation, will never allow you to invest all that you have, for fear that the foundation is actually unstable and all that you invested may be lost.
“Eddie, the formula is supposed to be this.”
“I am not a variable. I do not change. I am the same. I am constant, faithful, immovable, the Chief Cornerstone. That all things are to be built on.”
The first formula that you saw x+2=g, this makes Me a variable. x is actually the true variable, but you have made Me g also a variable, two variables creates a ship tossed back and forth, this creates double mindedness and will not allow you to receive from Me. I don’t bow to your doctrines, circumstances, beliefs, when you allow your life’s events to change Me with this formula then I am constantly changing and requiring a constant testing, and you change the image of the incorruptible, unchanging God to a corruptible and man made image.
The second formula is fully God plus you. This is what allows you to obtain the promises. This forces the kingdoms of the world to bow and conform themselves to the Kingdom of our God.
If I am G, and will not change, then your environment has to change and it becomes the only variable, it becomes movable. Even a mountain would submit and be cast into the sea. Crooked places would be made straight.
How long will we waver against two opinions? -Elijah
We have to stop the testing of the Lord. We should be testing all things to see what needs to change / submit / or be moved to make the formula of God be made true on this earth.
Sadly I didn’t walk in this, I didn’t hold this close enough to keep me as I entered this next wilderness. It proved to be devastating.
About 3 months in to the initial visitation, I began to pray for a guy who had a brain tumor. His name was Luke Simmons. His was given a death sentence by the doctors. But during this season I knew better. God would heal him. We had people over to my house often on Saturday evenings. Usually we would pray for Luke, other times we would just worship God with Luke. One time he went into a seizure right in the middle of praying and worshiping. We had no idea what to do. When he came out of this we asked him what was going on. He said, “That was the first time I felt peace during one of my seizures.” I knew God was going to heal him now.
I prayed for a guy named Ron, every Wednesday for 6 months.
I didn’t have much left.
My brother Jeff (technically my brother in law), the one who prayed for me at the beginning of this, the one who prayed my unspoken thoughts, he got Lou Gerhig’s or ALS.
I didn’t have really anything, I just didn’t want him to die.
I was crushed, my faith was shaken deep, my suspicions were toward God. He could have, He didn’t. He left my sister (Laura Duncan)and her 4 kids to be a widow and orphans.
Unbelief set in and dried out my heart. Then bitterness was poured into the dry cracks. This was all hardened through disobedience.
I entered this wilderness at 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33. I got married in the wilderness at 30. This was one of a few moments of hope, along with my 2 kids. I poured myself into good old fashioned “Christian work ethic” and started a business. Then poured alcohol on top of that, usually just enough to feel it, but sometimes enough not to feel much of anything else. I found small pieces of a happiness with my wife and kids, but was haunted by Him.
I would hear parts of scriptures in my mind. “better is one day with Him than the thousand you’ve lived away from Him.”
One day my wife came home, she began to voice her frustrations about the absence of God in our lives. “We don’t have the joy of God.” She went on yelling and crying, and wanting me to get it. I knew she was right 100%. I still had no feeling, or strength to change.
God kept at me, He kept coming for the one. Some how I began to read His words, hoping they would do something to me. Dry until I read this. “They will walk after the LORD, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west.” Hosea 11:10
I felt life. I felt His power. I could feel His roar toward me. I think it was the next day or two later I get an email from a friend (Christina Files), she had a dream and a prophecy for me.
“So, I had this really vivid dream last night that I think I’m supposed to share with you.
A group of us were in the CLC sanctuary in GV (Grass Valley). It was empty and sort of dark – not really dark, but all of the stage lights were off and only light through the windows was pouring in. When I was a kid, our youth group used to hang out there between services on Sunday. It reminded me of that.
You were sitting in a pew toward the front and a group of us were standing around praying for you. Andrew Boland and Doug Hippe were there with their hands on your shoulders praying. I remember Sarah was there and even though I couldn’t see anyone else’s face, I knew it was the rest of our spiritual family.
When it was my turn to pray for you, I put my hand over your heart, and I literally heard the Lion of Judah roaring in your chest. It was loud. This is what I prayed. It’s a word for you in this season.
Do you hear that? It’s the Lion of Judah. He is jealously guarding over your heart.
Do you hear that? His roar is mighty lion’s roar that can break down strongholds.
Do you hear that? He is fighting your battles for you. He is the mighty warrior fighting on your behalf.
I bless you and Mallory and your family. I pray for God’s holy presence to come and hover over your life. I pray that you would tangibly feel the breath of God over your heart and hear the roar of the Lion of Judah in your chest. I release His peace and His fighting spirit into you. I pray that you would feel His presence and have incredible faith for what you don’t feel happening.
Take God at His word. This is your season.”
(The entire dream/prophecy can be found here –> Dream / Prophecy
I had just turned 34. Things were moving slowly, but at least they were moving. My cousin Doug got married, I went out to his weddding in California. During this time my brother Mike was having a unique closeness with God. He would say that people just don’t know what they are missing living half way toward God. 100% is the catalyst that allows you to live in the kingdom of God, and no longer just visit.
I have friends and family pray for me while I was there, but the one thing that stuck with me was this “100% thing”.
For three days I wondered to myself about if I had given 100% or not. Now I am shocked that I couldn’t realize this in 3 seconds. Anyways, on the third day of thinking about this, I realized if you have to think for 3 days if you have given 100%, then you haven’t.
(By 100%, I just mean you have given all to God based on the revelation that you have. We are always learning to give more of ourselves.)
So at least I was honest with myself now. I haven’t given 100%. I’ve been living according to what was right in my own eyes. I was spiritually starving, my marriage was suffering, my kids were not seeing God in our house. I had been feasting on “bread that doesn’t satisfy.”
This is when Jesus began to speak to me about real bread. This is what He showed me about Bread.
With a sad history of occasionally tossing up prayers just in case, groanings of the burdens of Egypt, I began to come to Him. I walked to the edge of Egypt and longed for the Bread that I had eaten of before. He said, “Eddie, do you believe that you can come and get real bread, that this is not a spiritual example, that this Bread is real?” I could feel where He was going, so with a little faith I said Yes.
He told me that I could even exchange seen bread for real bread. He wasn’t specifically talking about fasting. He was saying I could exchange anything that doesn’t satisfy for bread that does. I started praying, “God I’m trading you the seen for the unseen. I’m trading (this)”, and I would name something that I used to eat from that didn’t satisfy me. God immediately took the seen and replaced it with the Warm Bread of His Presence.
The show bread of the tabernacle is called the bread of His presence. The priests could eat of it. It had to be warm and fresh every morning. It had to be replaced every day with warm, fresh bread.
This is real bread. Not a symbol. Your Spirit chews, digests, and processes the purity of His presence. There is not waste after digestion as there is nothing that the spirit doesn’t absorb completely.
Psalms 78:22-27 He literally ripped open the unseen realm, and pushed the bread of heaven out every morning. You were only to gather this bread fresh every day. Exodus 16:18 It was His presence that nourished the people.
They rejected this eternal food and preferred the meals of Egypt, complained in Numbers 11:6, that their “whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”
The food of Egypt is seen. The food of Heaven is His Presence.
The Bread of His Presence is REAL. Moses was twice in the presence for 40 days and nights and he didn’t eat or drink. Man’s body can not sustain 40 days without food or water. He ate the Bread of Life and drank from the Fountain of Living Waters. At his death God said that Moses’s strength never decreased till God took him from the earth! Elijah ate of it in 1 Kings 19:8.
Jesus ate of His presence in John 4:32 – He told them, “I have food to eat of, which you do not know.”
Isaiah gave the invitation of eat and drink of it in Isaiah Chapter 55:1. In verse 2 he says, Why do you keep eating the FAKE BREAD that can be seen!
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
2Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.”
How long will we feast at the table of darkness? Eating morsels of deception?
Prov.23:2 “Put a knife to your throat,if you are a man given to appetite.”<–Taken from a K. Vallotton msg
Prov. 23:3 “Do not desire his delicacies for they are deceptive food.” <–Taken from a Kris Vallotton msg
You can’t eat from both tables, or drink from both wells.
This is a season of Bread. He is giving the Bread of Heaven again. Has your “whole being” been dried up? All you can see is this Manna before your eyes?
Ask Him for the Bread, Ask Him for the Living Waters. This is a season of invitation to eat and drink to the full. To feel satisfied again.
Faith is the substance of things unseen. Faith is the plate that your bring to Him, let him serve you from His Table. He will be your portion. You will eat of HIM.