[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_separator height=”10px” size=”custom”][us_image image=”32711″ size=”tnail-1×1″][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]“Make this valley full of trenches” must have been a nearly paralyzing command. A depleted army, in a bone-dry desert, following the word of a newly appointed prophet. It couldn’t have sounded like the melody of victory. My guess is, the command to dig trenches in the desert felt like an empty and hallow task – one that wouldn’t yield much dividend, if any. There is some work that feels that way. There are some disciplines that feel that way. There are some routines that feel that way. We can relate to the feeling of doing something without much hope that it will pay off.

Digging a trench was one way of creating space only God could fill – an empty hole they trusted would soon fill with water. The Israelite armies knew they couldn’t bring the rain, that was God’s job; but they were commanded to play a part in God’s plan. The armies digging trenches is a metaphor for the spiritual life. We’re called to create space that God can fill by His Spirit. A spiritual discipline is a ditch. Spending time in prayer is a ditch. Carving out space for solitude and silence is a ditch. Loving our enemies is a ditch. They don’t have a power in and of themselves – their power is in creating something that can host the presence and power of God. It’s something empty we ask God to fill.

The problem with digging trenches is that there isn’t always a cloud on the horizon. We’re often called to participate with God in Kingdom work without seeing how he might fill the space. It’s the reason Paul felt the need to encourage the church at Corinth by writing, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)” Paul reminds the church that their labor is not in vain. God is going to fill the trenches with water. When we anticipate God’s blessing, it positions us to do hard work. This paints a beautiful picture – the hard work we do, allows us to receive God’s blessing. Looking back, if the armies wouldn’t have dug the ditches, the water would have just flowed through the land – just passing by without being caught. Many people live their lives with Jesus seeing his blessing pass them by because they haven’t dug the trenches necessary to hold his presence.

What ditch do you sense God inviting you to dig? Is it a spiritual discipline? Is it pursuit of restoration in a relationship? Could it be serving somewhere in the church? Take one step towards digging that ditch this week.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Ryan Paulson  

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