“But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.” Galatians 1:15-17
After his experience with Jesus, Paul was led by the Spirit to go to an Arabian desert rather than to go see the original apostles. They were right there but Paul did not go see them. The church of Jesus was situated in one direction but Paul went away into Arabia. It shows us that God doesn’t always lead us to a church or to church leaders to find Him. Sometimes he leads us into a dry and silent desert instead so that we can find and experience more of Him there, away from any church setting. If God knows that we will experience more of Him in a more authentic way in the Arabian desert instead of a church, then that is best for us for the time being.
The Arabian desert provided something for Paul in his relationship with God that not even the original apostles could have given him, which is why the Spirit did not lead Paul to them. Paul might not have become the apostle that he was if it was not for his years spent away from church and in the Arabian desert. Don’t feel that if you’re not in a church or not living a church lifestyle that you’re out of God’s plan, lost your calling, no longer His, or no longer led by His Spirit. This was not the case for Paul and is not the case for you either.