Excerpt for Transformed by the Desert Experience by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

TRANSFORMED BY THE DESERT EXPERIENCE

Redefining Your Call & Refining Your Character


Copyright © 2017 Clarence Dalrymple


ISBN: 9781370870653

Author: Clarence Dalrymple

Publisher: Smashwords, Inc.


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author.


Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture references are from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible.


Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to Smashwords.com or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

Dedications

Acknowledgements

Forward

Introduction

Chapter 1: A Table In the Wilderness

Chapter 2: The Ways of God

Chapter 3: The Desert: A School of Self-Discovery

Chapter 4: Moses- A Man of Destiny

Chapter 5: Redefine Your Call

Chapter 6: Refine Your Character

Chapter 7: Develop Your Faith

Chapter 8: Bloom Where You Are Planted

Chapter 9: The Secret of Contentment

Chapter 10: Delays - Sometimes God’s Plan

Chapter 11: God Has a Bigger Plan

Conclusion

About the author

Other Books by Clarence



Dedications

First and foremost, I dedicate this book to the Lord and Savior of my life, Jesus Christ. Your faithfulness has been so great and constant in my life. You have guided each step of my life. You have upheld me and kept me through all my years of serving you. Forever Yours!

I dedicate this book to all the young ministers who have discovered their divine call in the ministry. Your journey is just beginning. My prayer is that the contents of this book will give you guidance and help you become the quality ministers that will always bring glory to God.

I also dedicate this book to all the seasoned ministers who have experienced the desert and have stayed true and faithful to God. I pray that your latter years be greater than your former years as you have learned firsthand what it is to redefine your call and have your character refined.

Acknowledgements

This book would not have been possible without the help of two very special people who sacrificed their time to complete the final manuscript for publishing. It takes team work to make sure a project is completed. God gave me two special people to be part of this team and present this book for all to enjoy.

I want to acknowledge Reverend Mary Barratt who designed the cover for this book and the special chapter pages for each chapter. The design is one of excellence and depicts the contents of the book. Thank you Mary for this excellent design and your spirit of excellence in completing it.

I want to also acknowledge Jean Gingras who organized and edited the manuscript. Thank you Jean for your time and many hours of editing this manuscript. It took several times of going over each chapter to make sure of the spelling and grammar, but after many hours of proof reading every word and paragraph, all for the Glory of God, the book was published.

Forward

Please accept this letter as an introduction to a personal friend of mine, Rev. Clarence Dalrymple.

I have known Clarence Dalrymple for more than 40 years. I know him to be a man of integrity. He has ministered for me on many occasions and has always been a tremendous blessing.

You will find his prophetic Biblical ministry to be anointed of God that few men have and Clarence Dalrymple is one of those men.

You will not be disappointed by his anointed teaching of the Word or when you read his writings. Clarence Dalrymple is an excellent communicator. This book “Transformed by The Desert Experience” is about communication between God and His servants. The author makes it very clear concerning the communication between God and His people.

Like his speaking - and he is one of my favorite speakers - Clarence Dalrymple’s writing is humorous, exciting, fast paced, and packed with provocative content. I found it difficult to put down the manuscript of “Transformed By The Desert Experience.”

Clarence Dalrymple has become one of the most popular guest speakers at Training Institutes for evangelism for students, pastors, and members of churches. Hundreds at these institutes, as well as multitudes of others across America and many other countries, have been challenged, inspired, and motivated by his messages and anointing.

One of the most inspiring things about Clarence Dalrymple is his honesty. He dares to look at things as they actually are in real life and forces us to confront reality with him and encourages us to seek to be in the center of God’s perfect will.

In “Transformed by The Desert Experience” the author reveals the importance of being in communication with God. Clarence Dalrymple impresses upon the reader of not only knowing the message and call of God but recognizing the importance of having that call redefined and having our character refined.

This book is a great example of what the author purports to teach. It is written with obvious wisdom and joy and will be read by many with sincere hearts seeking God’s best in their lives. The artistry and content of this book will be worked out in many lives for years to come.

I heartily recommend “Transformed By The Desert Experience” with the prayer that as the result of reading it, the reader will be able to experience and share the abundant life of our Lord with a needy world.

Dr. Joseph Clark

Co-founder and Vice-President of Southern Bible College

Houston, Texas

Introduction

Have you ever felt as if you were all alone in this world? Nobody understood what was going through your mind or the experiences that you were encountering? It seems that you have entered into a period of God’s silence that seems to go on forever. The cry of your heart is “Where are you God?” “Why have you forsaken me?” “How long will you allow this to happen?”

What is next after this time of silence? Is it a wilderness that stretches our trust? Is it a punishment or a test? Is it abandonment or a preparation for something wonderful in store for us? Is it God’s judgment or His infinite kindness that helps us grow spiritually mature? There are times of difficulty that seem like a “‘dark night of the soul.” However, this is also when we grow deeper in faith, and we are refined of hindrances, and gain the fragrance of Jesus by the fruit of the Spirit.

This time that you go through is a desert experience. Each person encounters his or her own personal struggle. No journey is identical for each person, but each individual desert experience produces the same result in every person. When God deals with us, His purpose is growth, maturity, and preparation. And, it always involves death to self. God will draw us into a desert experience with Him to give us the opportunity to grow to die to self, to learn to trust Him or to gain more insight into His ways.

God has put a blueprint of His divine purpose in each individual. This blueprint was imprinted in your spirit before you were ever born. God never deviates from His plan in order to bring it to complete manifestation. But everyone has to go through these formative years of growing and maturing. This is the “desert experience.” This is where your calling is redefined and your character is refined.

Are we willing to be changed? Do we want to go further? Perhaps the desert is the place for us. Don’t be afraid, it is a road that many have followed in Christ. Just remember that He will never leave you and does not forget his promises.

My reason for writing this book is to encourage those of you who are experiencing this dry season in your life. I want you to know that the divine purpose that God has ordered for your life will be completed. God wants you to see and understand that where you are in life and what you are experiencing in your life is not going to destroy you. You will exit from your desert with a redefined call and a refined character.

You are not alone, but God your Father is right there with you. He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us, but will always be present with us.

In the spiritual life, the desert experience is a time of preparation and deepening of our life with the Lord.

Clarence Dalrymple

2013

Chapter 1: A Table In the Wilderness

Can God set a table in the wilderness?

Yes, He can. But you’ll never know as long as you stay in Egypt.”

Yes, they spoke against God: They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?” Psalms 78:19

The Children of Israel became irritated with God during their excursion in the wilderness. Remember, they found themselves here, because God was pruning their character and preparing them for greater days. Complaining and murmuring became a common practice among them as their sensual desires were not being met according to their standards.

It’s far better to be in the wilderness with Jesus than in a fancy penthouse without Him. Life isn’t about your dreams, your agenda, your hopes, your ideas, or your plans. Life is all about God’s dreams, God’s agenda, God’s ideas, and God’s plans. It’s His kingdom we’re praying to come, not ours.

God never leads us into the wilderness in order to destroy us. He intends the time of testing to make us stronger. Think of what you find in the desert:

Victory is here!

Holiness is here!

Spiritual growth is here!

The Holy Spirit is here!

Jesus is here!

It’s easy to get lost there. You may spend a long time there. But it is also the place where you learn your own limitations, face your own failures, wrestle with temptation, and listen to God’s Word. You see God work in unusual ways and find strength you didn’t know you had. You encounter the impossible and learn what God is like.

Where is your wilderness? Is it an unpleasant person? Is it a difficult work situation? Are you learning to deal with grief? Is it a loss of job or a physical battle that you are walking through? Your wilderness can be a number of different situations that you are facing today.

But there is one consolation that I want to give you as you read this book, and that is that God has not forsaken you nor will He ever forsake you. His purpose is to complete what He has begun in your life. His desire is to see your dream be fulfilled and for you to reach your destiny.

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 NIV

The Children of Israel had many years of learning the faithfulness of God in days of countless encounters of difficult situations. They had learned firsthand what it is like to be in a barren place where food was scarce and there was no pure water to drink. It seemed in their minds that God had led them out of one prison of hopelessness into another desert to allow them to perish.

Now Israel had entered into the journey to the Promised Land, but where was their faith? When things became difficult they blamed Moses and Aaron. So the question was raised? “ Where is God? The Lord did it then, but CAN HE FURNISH A TABLE NOW?”

So the people who had trusted in their God spoke against Him openly. It wasn’t the first time. If you followed the Jews ever since the great miracle at the Red Sea, you would have heard them moaning and groaning and griping and complaining. “Who is Moses anyway? Why did God put him in charge? We miss Egypt. At least we had food to eat. It’s hot out here. We’re tired of wandering in circles. Why are we here?”

The Lord heard this. He began to prove to them that He was able to feed them and take care of them in the wilderness. He rained manna from above and they ate it. It was the food of angels. We do not know what food is available in heaven for God’s children. The Israelites desired much meat in the wilderness. Then God gave them plenty of meat. He rained meat in the form of feathered birds from above. They did eat meat according to their desire. But it was at the cost of tempting insultingly challenging God. They forgot all the marvelous things God did for them. The same thing we also do. When a test comes, “Can God do this for us?” This question arises in our minds. God does not like this attitude in His people.

The Children of Israel became chronic complainers who could never be satisfied. The very first thing that spewed out of their mouths after a great deliverance from the wrath of the Egyptian army was “Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” Exodus 17:3

In some ways the doubts were understandable. It is a fearful thing in life to be “between trapezes.” That’s a metaphor I learned a few years ago to describe the frightening moment when you leave the familiar for the unfamiliar. You can describe it like this:

It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change, or so in love with old ways, but it’s that place in between we fear ... it’s like the trapeze artists being in between trapezes. It’s like Linus one of the characters in the Peanuts comic strip when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.

In order to make it to the Promised Land, you’ve got to leave Egypt. You have to disconnect from the past to enter into the future. It would have been easier for the Jews after crossing the Red Sea, if they had stepped directly into Canaan. But that’s not how God usually works. We all have to go through some “desert time” to get from where we are to where God wants us to be. That “desert time” is like being “between trapezes.” On paper it made sense for the Jews to leave Egypt. Though they had enough to eat, Pharaoh had cruelly enslaved them. Who wouldn’t want to leave Egypt?

But having left, they discovered that the wilderness was a tough place to live. They were “between trapezes,” in that frightening place where you have let go of the past but the future has not yet arrived. You let go because you have to, but then you wait, hanging in space, hoping and praying that the other trapeze arrives in time. In that desperate place, it’s easy to doubt that God knows what you are going through.

By definition the wilderness is a lonely place. It’s a huge, vast, trackless expanse of desert that seems to go on forever. Walk for a mile in any direction and the terrain looks the same. Climb over a hill and all you see is more of the same. Even though you may actually be surrounded by people, in the wilderness you feel all alone, abandoned, forgotten, and discarded.

We’ve all been there.

Waiting for the job interview.

Hoping for good news from the doctor.

Watching the money run out.

Worrying about our children.

Wondering if we can hold on for another week.

Trying to forgive and finding it hard.

Feeling stuck in mud and wondering if life will ever change.

Trying to rebuild our shattered dreams.

In those tense, fearful moments, it’s easy to think, “God has forgotten me.”

But it is much more the other way around. We are the ones who have forgotten God.

The wilderness shows us both our own weakness and how God can meet us in the most amazing ways. As long you stay in Egypt, you’ll never need manna and quail, but you won’t experience the miracle-working power of God either.

The wilderness is not an easy place to be. It can seem...dangerous, lonely, deadly, risky, and hopeless. It’s easy to get lost there. You may spend a long time there. But it is also the place where you... learn your own limitations, face your own failures, wrestle with temptation, listen to God’s Word, see God work in unusual ways, learn to lean on others, find strength you didn’t know you had, encounter the impossible, and learn what God is like.

The Lord heard the words that came out of their mouths. God instructed Moses to take his rod the one God gave him in his own desert where God revealed Himself to him and smite the rock. Moses obeyed immediately and smote the rock and water began to pour onto the dry earth and the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed.

Not only did God provide water supernaturally, but He also provided manna from Heaven to feed them. God allowed the “angel food” to fall from Heaven and it sustained them on their journey.

In spite of their unbelief God proved Himself faithful and revealed His love to them by providing in the wilderness everything they needed. He did not lead them into the wilderness to destroy them but to prove to them that He was God and would be faithful to His promise to them. He was also revealing their true character to themselves. In the wilderness they learned who God really was and their character was refined so they could manifest the Glory of the Lord to all the world.

The questions that come into your mind when you first encounter a desert experience are:

Can God prepare a table in a place like that?

Can God meet me right where I am?

Can God spread a table in the midst of my personal wilderness?

A few years ago while I was ministering in Toledo, Ohio the pastor took me into an area of town where the homeless lived. There was a shelter there where the volunteers ministered to those less fortunate people. That morning I met a young girl who was serving breakfast at the homeless shelter. She seemed bright and cheerful and happy to be there. She became pregnant at age 13 by a man who is now in jail. By God’s grace she found the center and through the center she found Jesus and now she was at the age of 16 and she is taking care of her baby while attending high school and getting high marks. She hopes to go to college one day, which would be a kind of miracle given the neighborhood that she lives in. Now she volunteers by serving others in need. Her life has been radically transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. When I saw her smile and heard her story, I realized that she had found a “table in the wilderness.”

That’s what God does. He meets us when we feel abandoned and forgotten, and He says, “I will spread a table for you in this wilderness.”

Oh, how God must become weary with how often we question his itinerary for our lives. How often we think we know better how to get from here to there! We are so much more prone to grumble with the conductor when the train turns south, than we are to sit patiently and wait for lessons from the Lord. He is a very mysterious guide. We never quite know what is coming next. God would never make it in the travel industry because he is always leading his best clients into the wilderness.

Can God set a table in the wilderness? Yes, he can. But you’ll never know as long as you stay in Egypt. By definition you have to be in the wilderness first. Then and only then can God set a table for you.

Before we leave this topic, let us remember that our Lord was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. There he experienced great temptation from the devil but came out of it empowered by the Holy Spirit Luke 4:1-14.

The wilderness is never easy. But God has purposes for us in the wilderness that cannot be accomplished by staying in Egypt. Those who resolve to follow Jesus must eventually spend time in the desert with him. There in that solitary place, they gain what cannot be purchased except through pain and suffering.

It was necessary for Jesus to go into the wilderness. It is necessary for us also. Think of it this way. The wilderness isn’t a fun place to be. You always end up feeling alone and exhausted. You may not fast for 40 days, but you will often come to the end of all human resources. And you will feel like giving in and giving up. You will wonder why God has abandoned you. Nothing will make sense; all will seem confusing. But do not despair.

Stand your ground.

Remember the promises of God.

Cling to the Lord.

Do not turn back to the old way of life.

Do not give in to your emotions.

Lean on your brothers and sisters in Christ.

David had been chosen by God to be the next king over Israel. His physical appearance was not one of a kingly nature. He was the youngest of all his brothers and was not a likely candidate to be king. Yet the prophet Samuel had a keen insight into God’s plan for His people. God told Samuel not to look on the outward appearance or the physical stature because God does not see as man sees, but God looks at the heart.

David was anointed to be king the day Samuel poured the oil over his head. But it was several years before the reality of kingship happened. David had a rugged experience for several years of his own wilderness and desert experience. It was during his experience in the desert that David wrote the twenty third Psalm. This psalm is one of the most quoted psalms within the church today.

David was in hiding from King Saul who had lost the kingdom due to his rebellion and disobedience. He was jealous of David’s position with the Lord. Because of his jealousy and rage he attempted to kill David. David learned that God was with him during the tough times as well as the good times. He learned that God was a faithful God and did not lie. David learned to experience the presence of God during the dark lonely hours and even when he did not feel important nor feel like a king.

David described what he learned during this time of his life:

He learned that the Lord is his shepherd.

He learned that he would not lack any good thing.

He learned that God would cause him to lie down in green pastures.

He learned that he would be led beside the still waters.

He learned that God would protect him when he walked through the valley of the shadow of death.

He learned that God would prepare a table before him in the presence of his enemies.

He learned surely goodness and mercy shall follow him all the days of his life.

Can God set a table in the wilderness?

He can.

He does.

He will.

You can count on it.

We all have to go through some “desert time” to get from where we were to where God wants us to be.

Chapter 2: The Ways of God

God doesn’t think in straight lines. He thinks in circles.

He’s doing many things simultaneously.

He’s at the beginning and the middle and the end of many things all at the same time...”

...He makes no mistakes and He is able to take your live, with all of the heartache, all of the pain, all of the regret, All of the missed opportunities, and use you for His glory.”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways.” Isaiah 55:8-9

Each person is a product of his time. A person cannot be separated from his or her times. Your moment in history and your unique, individual circumstances become the anvil upon which your character is beaten out and formed. You will either rise to the challenge of your times, or you will remain stuck on the sidelines.

God uses men and women for a transitional epoch in history. God has a divine purpose for each human being on this earth. God is looking for that person to assume a crucial role in the destiny of men and nations and to step forward and stand in the gap. There are those who have been reluctant. Some may have even been frightened. Some have been filled with regret and self-doubt. But at the end these individuals have yielded themselves to God and become God’s instrument in their own generation. They become an instrument of His purpose.

The call of God and the special gifts that God gives to you have to be clearly defined. Often people with special assignments from God are too hasty in completing that special task. They immediately jump into the arena without receiving a clear definition of what God intends for them. The true character of individuals will surface during the attempts to perform the job that God has intended for them to fulfill.

God’s desire is for each of us to walk in His perfect plan. In order for this to happen He allows us to walk through “the desert place” and “wilderness”. It is here that our call and destiny is redefined and our character is refined.

Eventually you find yourself alone at least that is what it feels like. You find yourself walking through a dry place. It seems like you have been drained emotionally and no one is available to talk to and cry on their shoulder. It is a lonely place, but God is using this time of quietness to speak directly to your spirit. There is no place for other voices and opinions to distract you from hearing that assuring voice of your Heavenly Father. The humbling effect of the desert becomes a transforming event in one’s spiritual development only as one’s idea of God and self-image are changed. In the process, faith, hope and love are purified. The desert can help to clear your senses of wrong illusions of who God is and who you are, although it is often a long process. Sometimes you struggle with faulty perceptions of God as a judge or angry parent. Other times you may struggle with self-condemnation and poor self-image or vanity and pride. When these perceptions melt away, the truth can be more easily discerned. God is no longer what you thought He was, and He is now free to show you who He is! You are no longer what you thought you were, but are loved and accepted. God is allowed to be God, since you have realized that you are not God in your life.

Four Gifts You Receive in the Desert

God is completing in you what He began. God has only one thing in His thoughts and that is to redeem and restore everything that was lost at the fall of man. The desert is the place where He works on your motives and character. He is transforming you into the image of His Son Jesus Christ. God’s plan is to have an army of believers who think and act like Christ to display His glory in this earth. There are four gifts that you receive in the desert experience if you co-operate with God’s purposes.

The first gift is spiritual transformation. This gift can include salvation and the refining that comes after it. This transformation is a difficult but very rewarding journey, thus turning your lessons of your trials into glittering gems. Most individuals are conformed and adapted to the world’s system. Therefore the conversation and thought patterns are of this earthly stratosphere and not of the Heavenly stratosphere. Most are of no heavenly use because they are so earthly- minded. Jesus taught that He was not of this world, but He was from above.

“He said to them, you are from below; I am from above. You are of this world of this earthly order; I am not of this world”. John 8:23 Amplified

The second gift can be the gain of a new confident humility in what Paul calls being content in all situations. “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. Phil. 4:11-12. This is a difficult gift to nurture, for it demands a trust in God that puts Him at the center of one’s environment. This could be the desert gift that you are grappling with right now. He is teaching you to trust Him in all circumstances, even when He seems silent and you begin to doubt your calling. A good analogy for this is illustrated in how a poinsettia grows. Apparently these beautiful flowers require a time of darkness for them to even germinate. Perhaps you also need this barren time for essential spiritual growth in faith, hope and love. In the desert, you still experience God’s care and provision even if He is silent, although you may not see this yet with the eyes of your heart.

The third gift can include such identity change as Abram/Abraham and Jacob/Israel in the Old Testament, and Simon/Peter and Saul/Paul in the New Testament. To the ancients, a name change signified a complete metamorphosis in a person and their role. Abram changed from a childless man to the father of many nations Gen. 17:5. Jacob changed from a deceiver to Israel, one who wrestles with God Gen. 35:10. Sanguine Simon became Peter the “Rock,” one of the leaders of the early church. Law-loving Saul of Tarsus became the apostle to the Gentiles and used his Roman name Paul Acts 13:9.

God shows you His grace that is victorious. It is not anything that you can do on your own. After all, it is in the desert that you have learned that apart from Him, you can do nothing. John 15:5

The fourth gift concerns your gift and calling. It determines whether it is great miracles or a quiet life of faith that draws others to Jesus. It is a gift that gives you hope; you know where you are going. The gifts and calling will flow after your life is transformed and refined. Without the refining process the gifts are void of the power that produces lasting results. The purpose of your call is defined. You realize that all of your wisdom and planning is futile because the motive is not pure.

I remember an experience my dad had as he was going through one of the most difficult times of his ministry. My dad was a great preacher who was able to connect with people’s hearts. He allowed God to manifest His power by confirming the Word with signs and miracles.

But my dad’s spirit was crushed in 1965. I was finishing my senior year of high school. God had placed a call in my heart for the ministry at the age of fifteen. This was two years prior to this experience my dad was facing. I had never seen my dad weep, but this untimely experience in his life had knocked all life out of his spirit. I remember so vividly one afternoon of witnessing the brokenness in him. I had Thursday afternoons free because I only had to attend school for half a day. I went to the church to practice my music and noticed my dad’s car was parked in his parking space. I went into the church and heard my dad praying in his office. I decided to wait and practice later as not to disturb my dad praying so I sat in a chair on the stage waiting for my Dad to finish praying.

As I was sitting in a chair on the stage I heard my dad sobbing. He sounded as though he was hurting deeply as he groaned and wept. After a few minutes I heard my dad singing the old hymn “Have Thine Own Way”. I recognized each verse as he sang with a weeping voice. Then I heard him sing a verse of the song that was not part of the song. Here are the words which came out of my dad that afternoon:

“God up in heaven, You hear my cry. You know my heart Lord, You watch with your eye. You know my motives, You see me clean through, mold me and make me, Lord just like You.”

My dad sang that verse about four times, weeping after each time. After singing these words he then began to praise God and thank Him for bringing him through this time of heartache. My dad came out of his office with a glow on his face. He was startled to see me there, but then a big smile came upon his face and he said, “Everything is all right now”. I gained a greater respect and admiration for my dad that day than I ever had before. This desert experience he had during that time redefined his call and refined his character. He went on and ministered thirty-five more years before he went home to be with the Lord. The lesson I learned that day and through the remainder of his years that God would never leave me or forsake me regardless of the battles in life that I would encounter.

God will cause spiritual transformation and psychological change to come to your life. He will lead you into new roles for your ministry and gift. He will give you a new future today.

My Personal Desert

One of the cries of my heart as a Christian has been the desire for spiritual maturity. When I was a young Christian, newly baptized in the Holy Spirit and so enthusiastic that I embarrassed older believers, I begged the Lord for maturity. I experienced healing, love and empowerment, but tried to break through and barge right into the fulfillment of the vision that was in my heart.

After attending Bible College for four years I was ready to launch my ministry. I immediately began to schedule revival services and thus my ministry began. God blessed the revivals with His presence and confirming the Word with manifestations of salvations, healings, and deliverances for many individuals. I was on top of the world and thought that I had reached the utopia of my life. I traveled for two years after graduating from college.

But after returning from the Northwest of conducting six weeks of revival services my “dream” was suddenly changed. God spoke to my heart while I was driving from Fort Worth, Texas to Houston, Texas. He told me in that voice I had learned while in prayer many times. God said, “I want you to go to Ford Marketing Corporation, the automotive warehouse in Houston and work”. My reply was one of exasperation. “What? You want me to come off the evangelistic field? What will people think? They will think I missed it and am a failure.” It is amazing how God, our Father, just will not listen to our explanations why we should not do what He is suggesting.

One thing that I have learned in forty-five years of ministry is that “Father knows best”. God has a one track mind concerning His purpose that He has designed for our lives. He does not change His mind regardless of how much we kick and scream. It is His way or no way at all. God does not have “plan A or plan B”. He has only one plan and that is His “perfect will” for our life.

Eventually God began to lead me into my desert where I would begin to learn my identification with Christ. The Apostle Paul spoke of this identification, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10 .

I had to no longer live as if I were in control of my life, but to allow for a Christ-centered life. I was learning to know him in true deep fellowship, and to know what it means to allow His presence to be real in my life.

I went to work for Ford Marketing Corporation. That temporary position was mine for almost three years. I felt I had been cast into a place of havoc and unruly men. There was no respect for me as a minister from any of the workers or management. I felt I had been stripped of my position in the “Kingdom of God”. It seemed as though every vulgar word and jokes were purposely being unleashed on me. I would go home at night feeling “dirty” inside and outside. I would pray every night and study the Word to cleanse my thoughts and of course change my attitude.

My attitude began to change for the good after I adjusted to my new position in life. It wasn’t long until God began to open the hearts of the men and they began to respond to the Lord who lived in me. Several men were born again. One man’s nephew began working in the warehouse. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol. The uncle began to weep one day and tell me about his nephew. We agreed together in prayer and within two weeks the nephew was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit and delivered from the vices in his life. I learned later that he accepted a position as youth pastor in a church and is still going strong for God today.

Revival broke out in that warehouse. Even the foreman received Christ and was born again. That desert became an oasis of God’s love. This desert had lasted over a period of years. Not only have I learned that desert experiences are common, but they are also biblical! The desert is God’s gift that demands transformation. Isn’t that what being sanctified is about?


Purchase this book or download sample versions for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-17 show above.)