The Way of the Wilderness

NOTE: When we live in a prophetic age (and we do) and are among a prophetic people (and we are), then we find the prophetic word in all kinds of places. We might hear God speaking in repeated 11:11 on a digital clock, or highlighting a passage in his Word, or in another book, as here. This particular prophetic word comes in the form of a college term paper (and a term paper at a notoriously anti-Christian school, at that!), but I believe you will recognize the breath of God on her words, though you may need to dig a little deeper than usual.

If you are not going through the “troughs” referenced here, then people you know are, you lead people who are, or you will at some point be one of those people yourself. The “troughs” are a clear trend among a good portion of the prophetic community in our Northwest region at this time, which means that this word is appropriate for the prophetic community in the region at this time, particularly regarding our responses to the trials and discouragements of "the trough." Listen for the breath of God in here. Your comments are invited at: http://www.facebook.com/northwestprophetic.


The “Law of Undulation,” or the Way of the Wilderness

“We didn’t count on suffering…we didn’t count on pain…but if the blessing’s in the valley…then in the river I will wait…” – Delirious

Christians often speak of “seasons.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…” One of these seasons is what Screwtape calls the “trough.” In letters eight and nine of The Screwtape Letters, the elder demon, Screwtape, writes to his nephew, a novice demon, about “The Law of Undulation.” This law is a major principle in the Christian walk. While Wormwood, the novice, is thrilled about this condition of spiritual dryness, the trough, Screwtape is much more cautious, and writes at great length about how God (The Enemy) uses the trough to His advantage. Screwtape’s terminology is of “troughs and peaks,” but Christians often refer to “wilderness” or “desert” seasons, and to ‘hills and valleys.” It’s all the same concept. All Christians, at some point, go through these ups and downs.

While Wormwood is eagerly planning the ways he can use his “patient’s” trough to his advantage – and in fact, the demonic can use troughs to their benefit – he gets a stern correction from his uncle: “Now it may surprise you to learn that in His [The Enemy’s] efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, He relies on the troughs even more than the peaks; some of His special favorites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else.” Consider Moses, who spent 40 years in the wilderness with the Israelites, but who remained faithful throughout. Or Job, who had all kinds of horrible things happen to him, but still declared, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 15:1) Or David, who often felt abandoned by God, and did not hesitate in saying so. In Psalm 22, he cries out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent…” Perhaps even Jesus was in this trough, when he echoed David’s words on the cross. Certainly these are good examples of God’s beloved experiencing deep valleys, or troughs, as Screwtape calls them. Screwtape also says “Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.” All of the aforementioned people prove Screwtape’s point. Despite their trials, their pain, or what seems like God’s absence, they ultimately remained faithful, and what’s more, they remained obedient.

Troughs, or valleys, or wilderness seasons, generally do not constitute the fun part of being in relationship with God. In these seasons, it is harder to hear God’s voice, feel His presence, or even see evidence of it anywhere. Doubt and depression often enter in. Screwtape harps on this when he encourages Wormword to get his patient to think in terms of “phases.” We wonder if we ever heard God, if He was ever there, if we really witnessed those miracles. We can even begin to wonder if we are really “saved.” These are the times where we must rely on what we know to be true, not what we feel is true. It doesn’t matter what the trial is. What matters is our response. Are we going to give up on God, write our whole relationship off as simply a “religious phase,” as Screwtape would like? Or are we going to take advantage of what God has for us in the wilderness?

Looking through the Scriptures, it is interesting to note how often those in the wilderness are led there. They didn’t just find themselves there, completely by accident. The Israelites were led out of Egypt into the wilderness. Not only were they brought out of slavery, but they witnessed miracle after miracle, like the parting of the Red Sea, bitter waters made sweet, manna sent from heaven, and water brought from the rock. It might be safe to assume that God was with them. And indeed He says “For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These 40 years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked for nothing” (Deut. 2:7). Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where He countered satan’s tempting with the Word (Matt. 4, and a good lesson for us). And then there is Hosea 3:14-16, which is perhaps the most moving passage about the wilderness in the Bible.

14)”Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
15)I will give her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope.
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the days when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16)”And it shall be, in that day,”
Says the Lord,
“That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’
And no longer call Me ‘My Master.’”

While we may not see, hear or feel God in the wilderness, in the trough, in the valley, it is in this place that we are schooled in His grace, His provision, and His love. The Israelites – though they complained bitterly – lacked for nothing, with all the miracles they witnessed and lived on. Job had everything restored to him. David continued to offer that “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15,) and was considered “a man after God’s own heart.” And I don’t need to describe what Jesus did. In the trough, we have to walk by faith, and not by sight, which we as Christians are called to do, anyway. (2 Cor. 5:7). We have to trust that God is with us, even if we can’t hear or feel Him. And we know that He’s with us, because He promises to never leave or forsake us. While we may enjoy the mountaintop experiences, or the peaks, we grow in the wilderness, in the troughs. Screwtape himself says, “It is during such trough periods, that it [the human] is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best.” In the trough we learn to rely on God and on His promises. We learn to seek more diligently after Him, and in doing so, can be rewarded with the some of our most intimate and rich moments with Him. Look at what He says in Hosea: He will “allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her.” Comfort in the wilderness? Yes, it is possible. And in verse 16, He says “You will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me ‘My Master.’” What a picture of intimacy! On the mountaintop, or on the peak, to use Screwtape’s word, we tend to become self-sufficient. In the trough, we are unable to be self-sufficient. We may find ourselves stripped of all that we once relied on, meaning that we must depend solely on God. In this time, it helps to remember that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). And in the trough, we are indeed quite weak.

I don’t mean to paint such a glorified picture of the trough. It is not an easy season to be in, and we can be quick to resent it, and resent God for it. But as I said before, it is not simply our being in the wilderness that matters; it is what we do with our time in it that makes the difference (and often determines how long we remain there). It can be a time of real intimacy with God and tremendous growth in our faith. It can also be a time of depression, doubt, and even worse, self-pity. This is when Screwtape and company can really enter in and rob us of what God has for us. Doubt can destroy all the good God had planned for us. Wormwood is advised about this: “Do not let him [the human] suspect the law of undulation. Let him assume that the first ardours of his conversion might have been expected to last, and ought to have lasted, forever, and that his present dryness is an equally permanent condition.” It is easy, when in the trough, to see it as permanent, and lose hope, and even worse, lose faith. Screwtape continues: “When you have caused him to assume that the trough is permanent, can you not persuade him that his ‘religious phase’ is just going to die away like all the previous phases?” We need to be like Jesus in the wilderness, responding to the devil’s taunting with the truth, the way Jesus responded with “for it is written…” each time the devil tempted Him. And the truth is that the trough is not permanent; God’s love is.

We cannot reason our way out of the wilderness, the valley, the trough. We may remember with longing the joyous feeling of being on that mountaintop, and work our hardest to get back up there. But if we don’t pause, seek God and see what He has for us, we miss the potential for so much. We might miss blessings, miracles, opportunity for growth, and worst of all, true intimacy with God. Though it may be dark, the fire by night will guide us, and we will lack for nothing. God will be with us, even if His presence is not as readily apparent as it once was. It may seem like He’s gone silent, or even worse, left us. It may seem like we are being punished for something. This is not the truth. The truth is that the wilderness – though difficult and often painful – is when we get to mature as followers of Christ, to learn to rely on God rather than people or things, to stand on His promises and not be swayed, no matter what may come against us, and above all, to really draw near to Him, knowing that He never has and never will leave us. In the trough, if we respond well, Screwtape’s fears will be justified, and we will become just the sort of “creature” God wants us to be.


Kim Mitman

The Need for Relationship

I have been very impressed, particularly the last two weeks or so, of not only the need to focus on Jesus, but for the need for those of us who so value the freedom for which He set us free to be in relationship with one another.

Many have not gathered with the family of God, and many of those who do continue to isolate themselves from truly being known by others in the Body of Christ.

Jesus reaffirmed the last promise of the Old Testament when He said Elijah would come, and he also confirmed that he had come, when speaking to his friends about his cousin. When Elijah comes, according to the words of Malachi, he will turn the hearts of the fathers toward the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.

We are coming into a season change of even more rapid than we have seen in the last decade, and it will be very trying for most of us, but will be disorienting to those who are not connected and growing in the body. This makes the word to fix our eyes on Jesus especially timely.

It also means that those of us who might have been casual about our connection to the Body, and have not let ourselves fully be known, must invest our trust in the Body and do so now if we are to bring to the Lamb the full reward of His suffering, and to remain healthy personally.

Many who have been abused by false shepherds and other ‘titled ministers’ in the past have spurned submission to any leadership. Much of the mission of the body of Christ in the next season will not be accomplished if they continue to do so. As intimidating as it is to many of us, there are times when just listening to what Holy Spirit says won’t work, if we are not willing to be obedient when He identifies this one or that one as responsible to accomplish something that requires the submission of the rest of us to his or her leadership to accomplish what Papa assigns.

We fathers need to step up and make ourselves available without reservation. I know many of the younger ones might hesitate…don’t. You are what Papa says you are, regardless of how you see yourselves.

At the same time it is vitally important that every one of us develop and maintain relationships with people that we can respect and learn from in the Body: secure relationships where love, trust and respect grow to a point where we know we are unconditionally accepted, and can ask or share anything and remain loved and accepted.

The church of Cascadia has quietly been becoming one of the great influences on the planet. The missions to and prophetic acts in distant countries have had and are having a profound effect.

Your love for one another and faithfulness to the call to which He has called you are an example to all the churches of North America. I mention you often to the family of God in New York and Pennsylvania.

In love for the King and His people,
Craig Adams, Elmira, NY

Change of Focus

There is a remnant of God’s people who are more passionately pursuing the freedom of the Kingdom than they are pursuing participation in human gatherings. For a long time, these have resisted the control of man’s religion and man’s rules and man’s approval, or lack of approval.

It has been right, it has been good that we have resisted that control that has been pharisaical and restrictive. It has been appropriate that we have resisted constrictions on our freedom in Christ.

For years – perhaps for decades – those pursuing have needed to watch for those who would, knowingly or unknowingly, steal that freedom away. It’s not time to let down our guard, but it is time that we change the focus of our resistance.

In fact, it’s time to stop looking at what we are not; time to stop looking at what we are leaving behind. Instead of focusing on what we have left, it will be good to look at where we’re going. It’s time to fix our eyes on the the One who is leading us.

A very wise man once said, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” If it was not this season before, it surely is now.

We have had to keep our guard up against those who would take our freedom, and it’s good to guard our freedom. But we’re coming into days when we need to keep our eyes on the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. We need to watch Father closely, because he’s moving more quickly, he’s speaking more softly, than he has done before. We need to be close, so we can hear well.



Arthur Burt Prophecy of 1930


Story of a prophesy given in 1930 – Bob Jones Birth year.


Several years ago I was in Wales. I was doing an Elijah list conference. After the conference I went to North Wales, to visit an old friend, Arthur Burt. Arthur has been in the ministry for about 85 years. He was part of a tremendous revival years ago around the 1930's.

When I came back to the U.S. I called Bob Jones to see if he had any word for Wales. He said, "No, but I have a word for an old man in Wales and you were just in his house." "That must be Arthur Burt," I said as that was the only older man whose house I had been in. Bob didn’t know who Arthur Burt was at that time.

"What’s the word?" I asked. "Tell him, he will see the word," Bob said.

"He will see what word?" I asked.

"Bob said " I don’t know, you will have to ask him what word he received. He received it years ago. It was given to a group of people and they are all dead now except for him. But tell him he will see it."

So of course I called Arthur Burt in Wales. Had a conversation like this:

"Arthur, this is Kathie Walters. Did you receive a word years ago among a group of people and you are waiting to see it?"

"Yes, we did receive a word." "Good," I said, "What was the word?"

Arthur replied "They are all dead now, the people in that group, I am the only one left."

"Yes, I know Arthur; what was the word?" I asked again

"I can hear it now like it was then. I keep it in my pocket you know" Arthur said.

"ARTHUR, WHAT WAS THE WORD?" I practically yelled at him then.

This is the word that he read to me over the phone: remember that the promise to Arthur was that he would see this revival before he died. He is now 97 [in early 2009].

GIVEN TO A GROUP (Arthur Burt was a part of this group) 1930 - Bob's Jones birth year!

"THERE SHALL COME A BREATH AND THE BREATH SHALL BRING THE WIND AND THE WIND SHALL BRING THE RAIN AND THE RAIN SHALL BRING THE FLOODS AND FLOODS AND FLOODS AND THE FLOODS SHALL BRING THE TORRENTS AND TORRENTS AND TORRENTS.

SO SHALL THEY BE SAVED LIKE FALLING LEAVES FROM THE MIGHTY OAKS SWEPT BY A HURRICANE IN A GREAT FOREST. ARMS AND LEGS SHALL COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND THERE SHALL BE NO EBB."

Bob Jones, speaking at a conference in 2009 [and again in 2011], said the FLOODS are movements of the Lord, the Torrents have to do with the end time revival of a BILLION people which the Lord told Bob about in 1975.

A Torrent is a river in extreme flood that cannot be stopped. The parallel of a word being given to a man who is very old, who is told he won't die before the word comes to pass is the story of Simeon in the gospel of Luke, chapter 2.

Bob Jones retold this story from his own perspective at a conference in Moses Lake last weekend, and he made application of this word to the Pacific Northwest. This version of the story was taken from here and here.