If you feel like you’re in a wilderness experience, then listen up. I’d like to offer a slightly different perspective from what you may have heard before. In it, you may find joy, peace, and comfort.
Let me preface all this by saying I’ve grown up in the church all my life. If my memory serves me correctly, EVERY time I’ve heard about “being in a wilderness experience”, it’s viewed from a negative perspective.
The “wilderness experience” is characterized by just having enough, being punished, feeling like God isn’t there with you and so forth.
Check the back drop…
…God told Moses that He was going to use him to bring the children of Israel out of Egypt INTO the Promise Land. They got to the point where Moses sent 12 spies to check out the land, you know, being strategic. Just cause God says something doesn’t negate us being strategic doing it.
Anyways, so you’re familiar with the story. Ten came back with a negative report, two (Joshua and Caleb) didn’t. Those ten incited the leaders AND nation against the two with a good report and against Moses.
Because of their unbelief in God doing what He said He was going to do, that generation of I think 21 years old and up wondered in the wilderness for 40 years until they ALL passed away, except for Joshua and Caleb.
The reason for this wilderness experience is because God didn’t want that old slave mentality and unbelief they got in Egypt going into the Promise Land.
Same with us…if you’re in a wilderness experience, see if there is any unbelief or doubt that you have concerning what God said to you. If you do, repent of it, change your way of thinking, and start believing what God promised you.
…IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE LORD GOD JEHOVAH TO LIE. IF HE GAVE YOU HIS WORD IT WILL COME TO PASS!
Eventually, once your lesson is learned (only God is the judge of that), then you’ll come out of that experience.
Now, here’s a different perspective that you may not have heard before that I’d like to offer. In this one, you can be excited, although it is still painful and very challenging at times.
This is a revelation that Holy Spirit gave me a few years back. He reminded me of it today as I was reading Matthew 4 when Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and night as well.
Peep what the scriptures say after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in Matthew 4:1
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.” (Keep in mind Jesus was fasting the whole 40 days and night while there).
Notice it is Holy Spirit that leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by satan, NOT Jesus operating in unbelief. Here’s where it gets even gooder 🙂
If we look at the Greek word for tempted here, it is peirazo. Some of it’s definitions are: to test (scrutinize, entice, discipline); to examine, prove.
Normally, when we think of the word “tempted” we think that someone is enticed to sin. However that is NOT the meaning here. Holy Spirit can not entice Jesus to sin. It’s not in Their nature.
So the word tempted here means to make a trial of for the purpose of ascertaining Jesus quality. In other words, it was to prove that Jesus IS the Son of God, the Messiah, Immanuel (God with us). Holy Spirit KNEW Jesus wasn’t going to give in to satan. He sent Jesus into the wilderness to show off to satan that He’s come to bring back the kingdom, God’s rule and reign on the earth.
satan thought he had another gullible person like Adam and Eve. Dumb move on his part.
But good for us!
The second perspective that I’d like to give about “being in a wilderness experience” is that what if you’re going through hard times, being on an emotional roller coaster, all hell breaking through in your life…
…NOT because you’ve sinned or are operating in unbelief at what God promised you.
But what if it’s to prove to satan and all his demons that you are good quality. You’re not going to bend or break. In all things you’re going to praise The Lord.
What if it’s so God the Father can brag on you to all the celestial beings.
He did it in the case of Job. That whole testing period, however long it lasted, was to prove Job is good quality. That he wasn’t going to curse God if He took all the possessions and things away.
Paul wrote the following in Ephesians 3:10
God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
As always, please read this in context so you can get a better understanding.
What I’d like to pull away from this text though is that God is always wanting to use us, the body of Christ, to show off His abundant wisdom to angels and demons.
He wants to show them that frail, unreliable, sinful human beings, when they become born again when they place their faith in what Jesus did for them and hence new citizens in God’s kingdom…
…can do good, can live out God’s ultimate plan for us which is to rule and reign over the earth.
Isn’t that great news?! How cool is that right!
I can’t even imagine the conversations that go on in heaven about you, about me, about us.
So in my opinion there are:
Two reasons why you can be in the wilderness
- You’re operating in unbelief
- God is wanting to prove your quality
So as you can see, being in the wilderness isn’t always a bad thing. It can be a good thing for you. But you got to be truthful with yourself and do a self evaluation.
Search deep in your heart if you are operating in unbelief over what God promised. If not, and you’re in category #2, then you’re cool.
(Technically you’re still cool if you’re in category #1…it’s just that this experience could have been avoided.)
I’d like to encourage you with a few scriptures as I wrap up:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
1 Peter 1:6-7
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter 4:12-13
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
In my life I can recount SEVERAL times where I’ve been in category #1 more than I’d like to admit. But I can also thank God for the times He’s brought me through category #2. I know it wasn’t my own doing, but His grace that did it.
Now that you have these two perspectives, I’d like to hear from you if you’re in a wilderness experience. Do you feel like you in #1 or #2? Leave in the comment section below. I want to pray for you regardless.
And by the way, you don’t need to put what your situation is.