The wilderness is a scary and lonely place – a place where none of us would ever volunteer to go through. But there’s a reason why God may be calling us into the wilderness and that is to receive what we could never receive outside the wilderness. Will you face your wilderness?
We all have our own version of what our “wilderness” may be. Your wilderness may be getting laid off from a job, not getting accepted into your dream college, or maybe having to let go of a relationship that you so dearly cherished.
My wilderness was walking into singleness.
Just the thought of being single scared me. It felt as if I was really stuck in a scary and dark wilderness all alone. Life is tough as it is, and the thought of having to face it alone made it even harder.
I couldn’t understand why God would call me to such a place of loneliness and hardship. I mean if God was good, why would he tell me to go to this wilderness?
But through much time alone with God, he opened my eyes to see that the wilderness isn’t all that bad. While on the outside the wilderness may seem like the worst place to ever be at, it’s in the wilderness that we become strengthened in the word of God like never before.
The wilderness is the place where God prepares us for His great plans.
Even Jesus himself had to go through the wilderness before he started his ministry. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness right after he got baptized. Matthew 4:1 says, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
Jesus was parched from not eating or drinking for 40 days and 40 nights and he was alone. On top of that, he was tempted by the devil. But through the wilderness, Jesus learned to rely on the word of God alone. Jesus would reply with, “It is written” for every temptation that was thrown at him by the devil.
Jesus tells the devil in Matthew 4:4, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.‘” The wilderness was the perfect place for Jesus to learn to depend on the word of God, and it is also the perfect place for us to learn as well.
We must learn to use the word of God to overcome the schemes of the enemy – to say “It is written” over all temptations and obstacles we face.
After Jesus overcame his wilderness, he started his ministry full of power through the Holy Spirit. He began to preach and heal everywhere he went. Matthew 4:24 says, “News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases…”
God wants to use our lives just as mightily as Jesus’s life, and the only way for that to happen is for us to go through the wilderness. God has plans to use us in ways our minds cannot even fathom. With great power, we must have great faith. The only way for our faith to grow and be strengthened is to face the temptations of the wilderness.
It’s in the moments of hardships that we learn to rely on the word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active..” The word of God has the power to strengthen us and cut through all our temptations and doubts. Ephesians 6:17 describes the word of God as the sword of the Spirit. God has given us his word so that we could be overcomers and live life in his freedom.
What wilderness has God called you to? Will you trust God and be still in the midst of temptations and hardships? Even if it hurts? Even when it’s hard?
There’s a reason for the season you’re in. Don’t run away from your wilderness, but press on knowing that God has a purpose for this season of hardship. The wilderness may be the place where we’re stripped away from everything, but it’s also the place where we receive the all that God has for us – his presence and provision. So remember, face your wilderness.
Prayer: “Lord, give me the strength and courage to face my wilderness. I know you are always with me and I am never alone.