by Holly Newton
Everyone goes through wilderness seasons – times that feel empty or wanting. When we go through a holding pattern, it doesn’t mean that God is holding out on us. He’s always at work preparing our hearts and our foundation to handle His purposes if we’re seeking Him (Rom 8:28, Amos 5:4-6, Psalm 69:32) It’s here that we are prepared for what’s ahead.
God has great purposes for your life. The questions, barrenness, and difficulties are training ground for shoring up faith and confidence in Him. The seasons that don’t make sense are never wasted. They’re all purposeful. He will lead, satisfy, and strengthen us.
In Isaiah 58, the Lord is describing the character of what true fasting, prayer, and worship looks like along with the blessings and benefits:
Isn’t the fast I choose:Isaiah 58:6-12 (CSB)
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly.
Your righteousness will go before you,
and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
9 At that time, when you call, the Lord will answer;
when you cry out, He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you get rid of the yoke among you,
the finger-pointing and malicious speaking,
10 and if you offer yourself to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
and your night will be like noonday.
11 The Lord will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden
and like a spring whose waters never run dry.
12 Some of you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
you will restore the foundations laid long ago;
you will be called the repairer of broken walls,
the restorer of streets where people live.
When we position our hearts with His Kingdom, we become satisfied and strong – readied to live fully and freely in all we were created to be and do.
The desire to flourish is deep within every living thing and every created being. When we study nature, we see that most of what coaxes life from seed to bloom to flourishing is nourishment. Being wholly surrounded by soil and saturated with water, the germination process yields new life breaking through the ground at its appointed time.
Being wholly submersed in God’s word, prayer, and presence you’ll be like a well-watered garden – never running dry.
Holly Newton is Founder of She Lives Fearless, an author, speaker, and appears on TV and Radio as a guest segment speaker in the Nashville, Orlando, and Dallas markets. She also hosts the She Lives Fearless Podcast. Connect with her at www.hollyanewton.com and on Instagram @hollyanewton.