By Isaiah Ogedegbe:
What is a valley? According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a valley is “an area of low land between hills or mountains.”
What is the valley experience? The valley experience is a crucial moment when a believer is faced with challenging situations. It is described as the “night” in Psalms 30:5 which says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” It is easier to praise God and believe Him when a man is on the mountain, than when he is in the valley. In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas could still praise God and believe Him in their valley experience. The Bible says, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” When Job had his own valley experience, he “fell down upon the ground, and worshipped” (Job 1:20).
The valley experience is a crucial moment when a believer is faced with seeming impossibilities. For example, when a man is in the midst of the valley, he is between mountain and mountain. His view is obstructed by the mountain at his right and by the mountain at his left. At such a crucial moment when we have no one to turn to, we must look up to our God for help. Psalms 60:11 says, “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.” When we are faced with seeming impossibilities, we must turn to the Lord for help; “for with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). When David had his own valley experience, he turned to no one but God. In Psalms 61:2, he said, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
It is important to note here that it is God who allows us to go through our own valley experiences and here are four reasons why God allows us to go through them:
1. Faith is tested by God through the valley experience. In Ezekiel 37:3, God asked Prophet Ezekiel this question: “Son of man, can these bones live?” God asked him this question to test his faith. As I told us earlier, the faith of Job, Paul and Silas was also tested by God through their valley experiences.
The valley experience is characterized with dryness, but the dryness gives way to wetness as we believe God’s promise to us in Isaiah 41:18 which says, “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”
The valley experience is also characterized with deadness, but the deadness gives way to life as we believe God’s promise to us in Ezekiel 37:12 which says, “Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” Because I live, ye shall live also (John 14:19).
2. The power of the tongue is utilized through the valley experience. In Ezekiel 37:4, the Bible says, “Again he saith unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.” As children of God, we have been instructed to utilize the power of the tongue in the midst of our valleys. The valley experience is not a moment to keep silence, because a closed mouth is a closed destiny. If a man who is in the midst of the valley keeps silence, he may not come out of the valley. In Psalms 23:4, David utilized the power of the tongue in the midst of the valley when he said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Your mouth is a vehicle that can take you out of the valley experience. The Bible tells us in Job 22:29, “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up.”
It is only those who say that there is lifting up, when they are cast down in the valley, that will experience divine lifting. Those who are cast down in the valley and who say that there is no lifting up, they may remain in the valley forever. There is lifting up for us in Jesus’ name.
3. The eyes are focused on God through the valley experience. As I told us earlier, when a man is in the midst of the valley, he is between mountain and mountain. His view is obstructed by the mountain at his right and by the mountain at his left. That is a moment to focus our eyes on God, looking up to Him for help. No wonder David said in Psalms 121:1-2, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”
4. The Lord is glorified through the valley experience. Ezekiel 37:13 says, “And ye shall know that I am the LORD” and Ezekiel 37:14 says, “Then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” God desires to be glorified, that is, to be known as the Lord in our lives and He fulfills that desire by taking us from the valley and placing us on the mountain for all the people to see and glorify His holy name. Isaiah 40:4-5 say, “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
I want to conclude my message by telling us four things we can do, in order to come out of our valley experiences and they are:
1. Have faith in God. The Bible tells us in Mark 11:22-24, “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Believe that God can take you out of the valley experience.
2. Utilize the power of your tongue until you come to the state of perfection. In Genesis 1:3, God could have said, “Let there be everything,” but instead He said, “Let there be light” and there was light. God went on and on until the whole world was in the state of perfection. Genesis 1:31 says, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”
In Ezekiel 37:8, things got better after Prophet Ezekiel prophesied upon those dry bones, but the condition of the people could not be described as “very good” because there was no life in them. God was teaching Prophet Ezekiel a lesson that not until you have arrived at your best, never stop declaring God’s promises concerning your life, even if things have gotten better. God says in Isaiah 62:6-7, “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
3. Wait upon the Lord in prayer and fasting. No wonder David said in Psalms 40:1-2, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
4. Praise God in the midst of the valley and He will lift you out of it. Do not wait until you are lifted out of the valley before you praise God; praise God in the midst of the valley and He will lift you out of it in Jesus’ name. Isaiah 24:15 says, “Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.”
NB – Isaiah Ogedegbe is a Warri-based preacher and the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. Please contact him on phone: 08134836494 or +2348134836494. Thank you.