The Holy Spirit encouraged me several years ago with the verses from Psalm 84.5-7 about the Valley of Baca. Being able to look over this valley in person will always be a treasured moment for me. I thought of all of us who are spiritually making our way through this valley, and I sent out a little prayer of thanksgiving and help for each of our unique journeys.
“How happy is the man whose strength is in You and in whose heart are the roads to Zion! As they pass through the dry valley of Baca, they make it a place of good water. The early rain fills the pools with good also. They go from strength to strength. Every one of them stands before God in Zion” (Psalm 84.5-7 NLV).
Baca is the Hebrew word for “weeping.” Our journey as Christians will always run through this Valley of Weeping because it is only in the wilderness that we learn to die to self. Just like the unbelieving generation had to die in the wilderness before Israel could make it into their Promise Land, our flesh must die because it is what contains our lack of faith (Judges 5.6). Only our God-breathed spirits encompass our full of faith.
The wilderness journey to my Promise Land has been very difficult for me. And as I look back, I realize I didn’t quite understand the process that God was putting me through. I’ve struggled through many trials of faith that have strengthened my belief in God and His promises. And I’ve learned that our walk of faith is not about following the right formula; it’s about following Jesus and getting to know Him.
In retrospect, though, I should have consumed more Living Water while I journeyed through the Valley of Baca. God had His spring of “Good Water” available to me at any time. However, I fear that I was too focused on ending the wilderness journey instead of making myself open to how God was transforming me.
I could have drank more deeply from the Lord and found my strength renewed over and over again, yet I teetered on becoming bitter and disillusioned instead. I allowed God to quench my thirst just enough to prevent me from giving up, but I cannot attest to having a constant stream of abundant strength, faith and resolve.
What would I tell others who are walking through the Valley of Baca? I would tell them not to rush. Their speed does not change God’s timing. There is a process of dying to self and it does not happen overnight. God must peel away our flesh bit by bit, lest His flash of glory cause us to fall over dead to our promises. The Valley of Baca may have its moments of pain, but joy does come in the morning (Psalm 30.5). We are all eager to get to our Zion, but we need to understand that Zion is already in us.
The Holy Spirit and every amazing attribute of our Father God is living in us because of what Jesus did on the cross. We have overflowing love, joy, peace, hope, patience, goodness, etc. already dwelling within our spirits (Galatians 5.22-23). Yes, God has tangible promises for each of us, but those are merely overflows of His glory and His will. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the ultimate gift! Even in our sinful, imperfect state, we can commune with a Holy God and receive His eternal goodness every day!
Once we learn to die to self and submit our flesh to the spirit, God will cause rivers to flow in the desert (Isaiah 43.19). He will make a way where there is no way (Luke 18.27). But we can’t reach the supernatural power of God until we give up on our natural strength. Many times we have to exhaust our own strength, resources and knowledge until we finally rely on the almighty power of God. We must truly believe in the faithfulness of God. If God gives us a promise, even in the most desolate of situations, we have to remain firm in our belief!
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 1.20 NIV).