Being In A Dry Place In God

April 16, 2002 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, turn in your Bibles with me to the book of Deuteronomy chapter eight. Deuteronomy chapter eight. We will read the book of Deuteronomy chapter eight from verse one through verse five. Deuteronomy chapter eight, verse one through verse five. And when you reach Deuteronomy eight, signify by saying amen.

I’m in a different Bible version tonight, so I want you all to read together. One, two, three, read.

1. All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.

2. And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

3. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

4. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.

5. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word tonight. Hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people see You and not me. And Father, as I decrease I ask that You would increase. Dear Lord, let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

You may be seated in the house of God.

Whenever God begins to lead you into a desert place, He is trying to get something out of you. I know that we have read this Scripture before. But God brought me back here, because it’s the season for this word.

God has many of the saints in a hard place, in a dry place, in a place (glory to God) that they don’t want to be in. But God has the saints in this place for a reason. There is something on the inside of them that He’s trying to get out of them.

He said in verse two that, “I brought you into this place that I may humble you.”

When we look at that word “humble,” the opposite of humility is pride. And when we look at the word “pride” (glory to God) it means that I think of myself more than what I ought to think, or I think of my ability higher than what I ought to think of my ability.

What struck me so interesting was this, that God led them out of Egypt. Glory to God. And in the book of Exodus the Bible said that they were serving under a hard taskmaster. Can you tell me this? How can you think yourself to be more than what you are when you’re serving under a hard taskmaster? Do you hear what I’m saying tonight?

If I serve under a hard taskmaster, what happens is, it brings me into a place of deception in my mind. And I begin to take on the characteristics of who I serve.

Their mind, even though they were slaves, they were still in a prideful state.

You see, many of us are serving under the hard taskmaster. And he has brought us to a place to make us think that we are higher than what we ought to be. But see, in that state of mind God would lead us into a desert place. He would lead us into a place where we don’t want to be, a place that’s uncomfortable, a place that’s going to cause us to call upon His Name.

See, you’ve been wondering why you are where you are now? God is only trying to get something out of you. I’m not going to get too many amens tonight.

He said, “I brought you to this place, because I’m going to bring you into a place of humility.” And when I go into a desert place, not only is it to humble me, but it is to test me. In other words, it’s to examine what’s on the inside of me.

You see, too many times I’m in a hard place, but instead of doing what I know to do, I resort to that old way of thinking. I resort to that old way of doing things. You don’t want to hear me tonight.

You see, that dry place is going to show me what’s really on the inside of me. You see, because it’s not only going to be on the inside. It’s going to show on the outside.

He said, “I brought you here so that I can humble you, and that I could prove you or test you, so that I could know and you could know what’s really in your heart.”

Many of us are at a place of testing right now. But He’s only trying to show us what’s really in our hearts. He’s trying to show us that, you know, we can praise Him for the good times. But what about the bad times? Do you hear what I’m saying? I can lift up holy hands when it’s all good. But I’m going to keep them down at my side when it’s all bad. What’s really on the inside of me?

You see, it’s easy to praise God and serve God when everything is lining up the way it should line up. But what about when things start getting out of line? What about when things are not the way that I want them to be? What am I going to do then? Who am I talking to in this house?

He only has you where you are to prove you. He has you where you are to bring you even to another level of humility. You see, humility has different levels. Doesn’t it? Oh yes, it does. You see, I can be humble with some things. But in other things (glory to God) the spirit of pride will leap up in me.

But see, He wants me to be a well-rounded Christian. He wants me to operate in that place of humility all the time, not just sometimes but all the time.

He only has you there to test you. But the question is, how long are you going to be there? You see, there should be a time that you come out of that place. It’s up to you. You can stay there for your entire Christian life, or you can be there for the time (glory to God) that you should be there, and come on out of it.

You see, that place of testing is to show you that what’s in you, what’s in your flesh is not of God. Paul said what? “I die daily.” Why? Because every day a part of me needs to come out of me.

“Why you preaching this tonight, preacher?” Because it’s time for the flesh to come down.

You see, it’s one thing to be aggressive, and it’s another thing to be assertive. Hello. Let me say that again. It’s one thing to be aggressive, and it’s another thing to be assertive.

You see, if I’m too aggressive, then I’m going to cause confusion. Oh, you don’t hear me tonight. But if I’m assertive, I can get the job done, and leave everything in tact.

He wants to show you what’s in you. You know why He puts people around you that wreck your nerves? Because He wants to show you what’s in you. He wants to show you that you don’t love as deep as you think you love. Oh, my God, my God. Why you going there? He wants to show us that we’re not really on the level that we think we’re on. He wants to show us that there are more levels.

To everything that God has purposed, there are more levels. And then there are levels. And then there are levels. And more levels. And then another level.

He said, “I brought you here, because I’m showing you how you really are.”

I’ve seen the humblest of people rise up in their flesh when you press the right button. I’ve seen the ones that you think that would never rise up in their flesh, because of the right button being pushed. That’s just God showing them that they have not arrived yet.

See, when you think that you’ve arrived, then you’re really going to start going through. Oh, my God. I need to stay right there. I felt the Glory hit me. Hey, Jesus.

When you think that you’re in a place where you’re really not, you will be in position for the principalities and the powers and the rulers of the darkness that should not even come your way yet, to come and attack you. They will cause you to get back to where you should be, not where you want to be.

He will bring you into the desert, not that you will die, but that He would cause you to live.

Somebody needed this tonight. You’re in a hard place. He’s showing you what you’re really made of. What is your reaction? What are you... How are you reacting in this hostile environment? Are you bringing hostility to match that hostility? It’ll only bring defeat. But if I bring humility to hit that hostility, then hostility has got to bow it’s knee.

The Bible says a soft answer does what? Turneth away wrath. Oh, I feel Jesus tonight.

He only has us there for testing. It’s not going to last forever. It’ll just be there until you pass the test. Now if you’re not passing the test, you need to say, “Lord, help me pass this test.” Don’t get bent out of shape. Because then you got to spend time trying to get back in shape, and go back through the test all over again.

He put them there to get pride out of them and to test them.

Look at your Bibles. He said, “You’re clothes,”in verse four, “Did not wear out. And your feet did not swell during these forty years.” He trying to tell us something. He said, “You were blessed the whole time.”

But see, those are those quiet blessings, aren’t they? Those aren’t those blessings that make you just jump and shout. Those are those blessings that make you bless God for what you got, not what you’re trying to obtain.

He didn’t say, “I gave you new shoes and new clothes.” He said, “The ones you got didn’t wear out.” Oh, my God, my God.

Look at your Bibles. In verse five he said, “Know then in your heart that a man disciplines his son. So the Lord your God disciplines you.”

Now look at verse three. Go back up to verse three. The Bible says again that, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger, and then feeding you with manna.”

Somebody say, “Appetite.” I find that we spend most of our lives trying to satisfy our appetites. Soon as leave the house of God, we’ll try to satisfy an appetite.

It doesn’t have to be food. It can be something else. But we will try our best to satisfy it. Whatever that desire is, we want satisfaction for that desire. And instead of spending our time praising God, we’re spending our time trying to satisfy ourselves.

There’s no satisfaction outside of God. He is the only one that satisfies. I can’t satisfy you, and you can’t satisfy me. And if we do, it’ll just be for a moment. Oh, my God, my God.

He was dealing with their appetite. And the Lord is dealing with many of our appetites. Because we’re always trying to satisfy it. But the inner and the deeper longing inside of us is still there.

Paul said, “I put my body under subjection.” He said, “I put this flesh under subjection.” He said, “I make it do what I want it to do.” He said, “I’m not going to let you be satisfied.” He said, “I’m going to make you do what I want you to do.”

You see, if I begin to make this flesh do what I want it to do, then it’s going to begin to be like a soldier. And then when something’s out of whack from where it normally is, then it’s going to know, “This ain’t right.”

But if I refuse to discipline this flesh, then I always be in a state of chaos. Every part of me will be chaotic, sporadic. The Lord is speaking tonight. Get the flesh under. Don’t think yourself more than who you are. Don’t do that, because you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re setting yourself up.

Now when we say words like these, don’t get nobody else in your mind. Think about you. Because a lot of time, first thing when somebody says something and you think that so and so should have heard that, you should have heard it. And you should be clapping for you. (Tongues.) Clapping for me.

Their appetite needed to change. When I look around and I look at all of us, our appetites need to change. Because we’re constantly seeking for something to satisfy these cravings. But tell these cravings to die.

Go with me in your Bibles to Proverbs. Proverbs chapter twenty-three.

Now when you hear this word tonight, don’t just hear this word, and then tomorrow go out and act a fool. Hide this word in your heart. Because the devil coming. And he going to make that flesh try to rise. But as soon as you feel it, you say, “No.” You pat yourself on the head. “Get back down. Come back down. You are not all of that. He’s all of that. Humble yourself.

In Proverbs twenty-three, it says in verse one... And remember that I’m not in your same version.

1. When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee:

2. And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.

3. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.

You see, our appetite will lead us into a place of deception while we’re trying to satisfy it. It will lead us into a place to be in a place where we should not be around people who’s motives are not right.

There’s something behind all of that. There’s something behind all of that. But because they are satisfying me for the moment (oh, my God, my God) I’m going to eat from this table. I need to say that again. Because they are satisfying me right now I need to eat from this table. But little do I know that I’m setting myself up for a trap.

Appetite. It can be a dangerous, dangerous thing. It can cause you to lose everything. It can cause you to lose everything. Because of your appetite...

Now one of the biggest problems with appetite is sexual appetite. If your sexual appetite is not right, it’ll take you to hell. Because you’ll constantly be trying to satisfy that sexual appetite.

Now don’t get me wrong. The Bible says that the marriage bed is undefiled. But let me tell you something. You get something demonic up in there, and you’re going to defile it. There are certain things that are demonic. And they can be in your appetite. If it ain’t right, you need to kill it. I ain’t going to get too much amen out of that.

“What you talking about pastor?” You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about that... You know.

It’s undefiled. But when you bring demonic forces in there, you have messed up. Because God ain’t in some stuff. I’m just going to tell you like it is. He ain’t in it, and He ain’t getting in it. He ain’t trying nothing new. Hello, somebody.

I’m saying that because... (Tongues.) I feel the Glory to... I’m saying that because sometimes, you know, we deceive ourselves with our appetite, when we take all of that world into a Godly relationship.

I’m not saying you don’t have fun. And I’m not saying you don’t do all that. But I’m talking about crazy stuff like chaining up folks and all that foolishness, and beating them. I’m just telling you like it is. I’m going to preach. You bring them demons in there, and you think that you and your spouse are getting it on. But you got the whole bunch of stuff in there getting it on. I’m just telling you the truth.

That appetite can kill you. It can kill you. It’s truth. It’s truth. It’s truth.

The Lord only lets me say what I need to say at the time I need to say it. Because I say, “Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” So he’s going to put a watch over my tongue and keep the door of my lips. And I can only say what He would have me to say. And that’s something I needed to say.

I believe that when I pray He hears me.

Turn with me to Ecclesiastes chapter six. In Ecclesiastes chapter six and verse seven it says,

7. All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

All men’s efforts are to try to bring pleasure. Yet his appetite is not satisfied.

See, we’ve been searching for something to satisfy us. We ain’t found it yet, but in Jesus. Somebody need to hear that tonight. That’s why we can’t be content. There’s no contentment. Because we’re on the prowl for something to satisfy. (For lack of better words, “prowl.”) But listen. We’re searching for that thing to satisfy. But it says the appetite can never be satisfied.

Go with me to Romans chapter seven. We almost finished tonight. Is anybody in the house? You all ain’t going to beat pastor, are you all? Praise the Lord.

Look at your Bibles in Romans chapter seven, and verse fifteen. Paul said in Romans seven, verse fifteen... Listen.

15. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Wait a minute, Paul. You mean you went through the same thing we go through Paul? As anointed as you were? Yes, he did. The same things that we go through, he went through. And you know, that brings it on home a little, you know, closer.

You know, Jesus, the Bible said that He went through the same things we went through. But still in peoples’ mind they say well, “You know, He was God. He could go through these things.”

But Paul said, “I went through too.” Wrote most of the New Testament. He went through too. He shared the lessons that he learned with trying to deal with his sinful desires.

Look at your Bibles in verse twenty-one. He said,

21. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.


22. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Wait a minute. You can be in jail in your mind. Your mind can make you a prisoner. It can hold you captive. Too many saints are being held captive in their mind. When you look at them, you see no one restraining them. You see no bars around them. But it’s all in their mind. Being tormented day and night by the war that’s going on on the inside.

We need to put these wars to rest. And when these wars start rising up, uh, uh. Stomp them out in Jesus Name.

He said,

24. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

What do you mean, Paul? In other words, Paul was saying, “I need deliverance. Who will deliver me?” And then he went on to say that Jesus is his deliverer.

Jesus is the only one that can keep you. Can’t no man keep you. Can’t no woman keep you. Jesus is the only one that can keep you. The pastor can’t keep you, the prophet, evangelist, teacher, apostle. They can’t keep you. Only Jesus can keep you. He’s the only one that can rescue you.

Saints of God, let’s deal with these appetites. If you’re in desert right now, deal with that pride that’s in you. If you’re in a place of testing, deal with what He’s trying to get out of you and show you about you. If you’re dealing with that appetite, that thing that wants to be satisfied, tell it, “I’m not going to satisfy you no more.” Command it to get under subjection.

Remember Jesus has delivered you. And Jesus will keep you delivered.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise. Hallelujah. Thank You, Jesus. Hallelujah. Thank You, Lord.

It can be a frustrating thing dealing with your appetite. That’s why some people always frustrated all the time. You always wonder what’s wrong with them. It’s their appetite... I ain’t... It can be anything. It’s their appetite.

But if they will push that appetite and say, “Uh, uh. I’m not satisfying you. And I’m not seeking to satisfy you,” then that craving will begin to leave.

It’s like a sugar junky. I want to satisfy this craving for this sugar. It’s like somebody that love meat. I want to eat meat. But if you start pushing it away and pushing it away, eventually you can deal with that thing.

It’s like that diet I’m on with that carb thing. Pushing that bread away. Pushing those potatoes away. Pushing that rice away with that gravy. Pushing it. Lowly baked potatoes.

But once I get that thing under subjection, I can look at that thing in the eye and say, “You don’t even bother me. Now back off me. I’m bigger that you.”

That’s how we got to get our flesh. Whatever stimulates that appetite to bring you into sin, get that thing under your feet, and keep it under your feet.

Lift your hands to Jesus tonight. 

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