“Wilderness Wandering Series”
At various seasons in our lives we will be led into a wilderness experience. How we respond will determine the length of time that we remain in the wilderness and the type of results that we receive.
There are many reasons for which we will be led into a wilderness experience. In this series, we will be discussing a number of those reasons. While the reasons that we experience wilderness seasons in our lives will vary, the end result should be the same: a closer walk with our Lord and Savior, a personal triumph over our enemies, and an empowerment to help upbuild the Kingdom of God.
Our wilderness experiences have been designed for a reason and for a season, but sometimes, we get stuck and we wander in the wilderness, because we lack knowledge, we lose momentum, we get caught up in the cares of this world.
The study of the “wilderness wanderings” of the Hebrew nation is quite fascinating to me. Through my personal experiences, I have discovered that their journey in the wilderness is a blueprint of how to walk with God in various seasons of life. In the wilderness, we are “becoming” who Jehovah has designed for us to be.
As we journey through the wilderness with the Hebrew nation, we discover what to do as well as what not to do; we learn how to walk a walk that is pleasing in His sight. This journey is a journey of faith, because without faith, it is impossible to please Him, right? We learn how to walk by faith and not by sight. It is in the wilderness that we learn how to develop our faith muscles and we learn how to defeat our spiritual enemies.
We will also explore Jesus’ wilderness experience and learn how it teaches us to respond to issues in our lives during crisis situations. Whereas the Hebrew nation’s journey through the wilderness was literal, our journey is one of a spiritual nature.
So, I pray that as we take this journey, that you will learn how to be equipped and how to successfully navigate through your wilderness experiences and that you will come out and into your desired destination, your land of promise, your destiny.
This is God’s call to His children to come out of the world system and trust Him completely for our very sustenance. He wants us to rely on Him for everything that concerns us in our daily living, our relationships, our well being. I learned (I’m still learning), how to walk this walk by “listening” to the instructions that He had given to the Israelites:
And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.
Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.
At the commandment of the Lord they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the Lord they journeyed: they kept the charge of the Lord, at the commandment of the Lord by the hand of Moses.Numbers 9:21-23
We can see from this passage that the Hebrew nation had a command to follow the Lord in a precise way: when the cloud moved, they moved. If the cloud did not move, they did not move.
This close proximity to the Lord is that “secret place” that we read about in Psalm 91. When you get the opportunity, it will be well worth your time and effort to not only read, but memorize and declare the entire Psalm over your life daily and reap the benefits of “becoming” as you learn how to be “willing and obedient”. God’s promise to us is that when we are willing and obedient, we shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19). That means that we achieve our endeavors in life through His ability to empower us.
It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish That Determines Success
As with most of us who at times start on a journey, the Israelites started well, but as they began to encounter pitfalls along the way, they began to complain, and in doing so, had completely forgotten about the One who had parted the Red Sea for them and brought down the biggest, baddest army anywhere for their sakes.
What should have taken them a few days to complete their journey from the wilderness into their land of promise would instead take forty years, due to their lack of unbelief. As we take a closer look at the Israelites journey, we will discover that unbelief will cause us to wander in the wilderness…indefinitely.
The Wilderness – A Place of Transition
The wilderness is a place of change and transition. It’s where God uproots everything that we know: our comfort zone. He desires to take us to a new place in Him:
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.Isaiah 43:18-19
This change can take place in many different areas of ones life. When God wanted to start the Hebrew nation, He started with a man named Abram. He changed his name to Abraham meaning “father of many nations.” As a result, the direction of Abraham’s life was totally changed, because at that point in his life, he did not have any children! How could he become a father of many nations, if he did not even have an heir?
The name change signified what Abraham would become. While the majority of us may not undergo a changing of our name, we are nevertheless, in a state of becoming. Our wilderness experiences provide the cocoon for us to be transformed into the beautiful creation that God had in mind at the foundation of the world.
It is in this season of transition and change that God does some of His most awesome work in us: in our hearts, in our mind, in our will, in our emotions…because we are in a place where we have nothing familiar to hang onto. It is in fact what the Lord spoke to the Hebrew nation in His explanation to them as to why they had to embark on this tremendous journey:
And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.Deuteronomy 8:2-3
Although the way may be rough, and the going may get tough, we can hold on to His promise that He will make a way for us. He is our Way Maker. And He will sustain us through the pitfalls that we will encounter on our way to our land of promise. He wanted the Israelites and He wants us to remember that it was and is Him:
Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;Deuteronomy 8:15-16
So, it is imperative that we recognize that although it may be difficult, and it seems as if we are not going to make it, be assured that the Lord has your back and He will see to it that His purpose and His plan prevails.
The wilderness is a place of transition, it is a place where faith in God is built, it is where you find destiny. When you purpose in your heart to “press towards the mark of the high calling of Christ Jesus”, you have stepped into purpose. You don’t have to worry whether or not you will make it through this tough season in your life. The Way Maker has already prepared your way. All you have to do is walk in it.
I know that that is easier said, than done, but then that is why we have this “blueprint” to help us know the times and seasons and how to navigate them so that we may live that abundant life (to be blessed and to be a blessing to others) that Jesus said He came to give us. (John 10:10)
Did you learn how to get unstuck, if not, stay tuned. The best is yet to come!
Blessings to you!