The Wilderness

Life happens.  Good things.  Bad things.  Confusing Things.  Things you choose.  Things you don’t choose.  The wilderness is a place where we may find ourselves, feeling alone with many questions about why things are the way they are.  Being full of faith doesn’t safeguard you from entering it either.

The dry wilderness reveals whether you really trust Him or not.  Are you trusting in food and water more than the One who gives life?  While we feel that we want tangible help – help that makes our belly feel full and our lips enlivened with cool refreshment, help that affirms our hard work and sympathizes with our pain – the Lord knows what we really need…an increase in our faith.

How will an increase in our faith ever happen except to be placed in a situation where no amount of our own efforts will affect the outcome?  We are in the wilderness to discover the Increaser of our faith.  We are in the wilderness to discover that He really never leaves our mind, our heart, our spirit.

However, when we strive to get out of the wilderness on our own, we grow weary, anxious, confused, and hopeless.

What if we were supposed to be in the wilderness?  Jesus was.  Matthew 4:1-4 says, “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’  Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  Satan appeared at Jesus’s weakest point, attacked his identity while appealing to the fleshly desires of food and control.  Satan pushed him and Jesus leaned into the Lord, relying on God’s Word to silence the enemy.

The more the enemy pushes you, the more you should lean into God.

What if we are striving to prematurely get out of a certain situation in which the Lord desires us to remain?  God prepares us for what is coming through our current trials.  Satan knew that Jesus was the Son of God, but he tempted Jesus to act outside of God’s timing in his own strength and ability.  Right after his wilderness experience, Jesus began his powerful ministry of healing and preaching the Good News.  God’s timing had arrived; prophecy was fulfilled.  Jesus was the Son of God.

Only will the weeding out of self-strength and dependency on worldly things provide the necessary room for the flower of faith to grow.  This flower will carry us into the next fruitful season.  Stay the course.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Gal. 6:9

He knows best.


ashley final pic 2

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