The wilderness experience
There are always moments in our walk with God, when we feel stagnated, lonely, rejected and disoriented.This is what I term as “the wilderness experience”. “The wilderness experience” is mostly characterized by intense spiritual, emotional, financial or relational drought.
One may not literally feel the presence of God. And, to some extent, experience the engagement of God.This is a time of solitude— facing challenges alone— coupled with complete silence from God.
The wilderness is not a comfortable place to be— but is the best place to discern the ‘still small’ voice of God.
It is in these moments, that God trains us up to be humble, strong, courageous, and faithful. “The wilderness experience” builds up our faith, teaches us to lean on God, and prepares our feet for swiftness.
Like Elijah, we might want to give up our life, ministry, relationship, or business in these times. But— wait a minute!
Why the wilderness?
Why would God allow us to go through the ‘wilderness’—with all its pain, stress and stagnation?
Spending time to know God’s heart about the situation really eases us of the tension and stress we might go through.
‘Wilderness’ originates from a root word in hebrew, which figuratively means: “to speak ; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue: -answer, appoint, bid, command, commune, declare, destroy, give, name, promise, pronounce, rehearse, say, speak, be spokesman, subdue, talk, teach, tell, think” (Strong’s concordance)
In contrast to our view of the wilderness, God uses it as a time to speak to us, commune with us, destroy the unbelief and pride in us, and also to take us through the rehearsal session.
When God promised the Israelites deliverance, the next thing they experienced was oppression. What is my point? Most atimes, what really happens is that, when God promises ‘light‘, our next experience becomes intense ‘darkness‘; when He promises a land flowing with milk, the next place we tread tends to be a desolate and wild land.
“The wilderness experience” is inevitable; God arranges and uses it to strengthen us. But the experience often becomes so much severe that we tend to give up. This is the time we would have to persevere by holding on to our faith and learning to trust in the promises of God.
Promises for your survival
God’s grace and love do not end in the wilderness; instead, they abound even more and more.
• Provision: Even in the wilderness God promises provision.
In such a time of lack, God’s Word assures us of the supply of our needs.
“…God shall supply all your
need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”–Philippians 4:19
As God did for the Israelites: He shall surely feed us with bread from heaven(Psalm 78:24-25).
• God’s presence: One of the most difficult experiences in the wilderness is learning to discern the presence of God(1 Kings 19:11-12). But treasure this promise in the midst of your heart as you journey: God says;
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”—Hebrews 13:5
•Restoration: God promises to restore your joy, peace, relationship and progress as stated in Joel 2:25:
“…I will restore to you the
years that the swarming locust has
•Renewal: Is it a broken marriage/ relationship, or a lost child? God promises to renew your life and restore your joy(Ruth 4:15).
•Health: Sometimes the wilderness can weigh your heart down with depression, disappointment or (even) a health problem. God’s word promises a “true healing inside and out” with a “thorough renovation” of your body(Jeremiah 33:6).
You can be lonely but not alone; God’s word gives innumerable promises that could give us hope in such times of trying.
Have you ever been in the wilderness? Are you currently in the wilderness? Do you know of other promises of God that could encourage and uplift someone in such a season of life? Please do share: We appreciate your comments!