Wilderness is a waiting period that feels like forever. It is an illness that won’t go away. It is people who are trying to go a way other than the right way. It is hope deferred. It is hours of turmoil on top of hours of turmoil. It is times when it appears God isn’t talking, moving or working.
I’ve lived through all of this on replay for years. I’ve camped in the wilderness.
Are you there today? We all go through the wilderness. Even Jesus did. In fact, the Spirit led Him straight into it.
So, if God is good and the Spirit is God, this teaches us the wilderness is good too. Right?
“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.” Deut. 8:2
As this verse points out, the wilderness:
1. Humbles us.
2. Tests us.
3. Proves what is in our heart.
4. Shows whether we will obey his commands.
Underneath it all, (and I can confess to the truth of this verse), we learn, “real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3). We thought it was bread we needed – or answers, our own way, people who change, a better life, a move, or things to stay the same – until we realized it was none of those things we needed, but Jesus.
His Word. His Truth. His direction. His discipline that disintegrates every mistruth off of us, so we can actually enjoy the promised land we’re approaching.
The discipline teaches us to delight in our greatest delight: God. It teaches us to receive the goodness of Him, rather than the emptiness of the world. This is a very good thing.
Delight in discipline, in the wilderness, in the wasteland of today. For tomorrow, you will be well prepared to enter “a good land of flowing streams and pools of waters.” (Deut. 8:7)
And best of all, you won’t:
– Lose God
– Do it your own way
– Fret because you fear it will be taken from you
– Become angry because you wanted it another way
Your preparation today is preparing your joy for tomorrow. Be encouraged.