You don’t have to bewildered in the wilderness! Whether you call it the desert, the valley or a dry place; every wilderness in your spiritual journey has a why behind it.
Deuteronomy 8:2-5 shows us the way to the why of our wilderness experience.
Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Interestingly enough God first tells us to remember what many Christians forget about the wilderness; that it is God who leads us there. The wilderness is not the devil’s detour, it’s the place where God disciplines and develops you. At times I have found myself resisting God in the wilderness when His intention for me is to resist the enemy who is determined to distract me from the why of the wilderness. If you are wrestling with God in your wilderness, yield to the Holy Spirit who has led you there (Matthew 4:1).
Secondly, we learn that humility takes us beyond our ability. Verse three teaches us in the wilderness that God himself humbles us in order to instruct us about things He has not yet revealed to us. Humility causes me to hunger for something only the revelation of His word can give me. A key to understanding the why in your wilderness is knowing that God is developing in you a dependency on every word He speaks to you. I believe it is in the wilderness where God begins to reveal the power behind the promises He has made to you.
Finally, you can be confident that you are not going to waste away in the wilderness, but your why will become clear as you come out of the wilderness. I recently came out of a nine month wilderness period in my life. It was probably the most difficult and draining discipline I’ve been through in quite some time. To be honest I didn’t know the bigger why of my wilderness until I was coming out of it and able to look back at my journey the previous nine months.
The key to embracing the wilderness is knowing the reason behind your current season. When you embrace the why you will rest and not resist it, you will be developed and not delay the purposes of the wilderness where God’s promises come fully alive to you and in you!
Refreshing awaits you on the other side of the wilderness…more on that next week!