The Why Of The Wilderness

Posted on 29. Oct, 2018 by in Re-Imaging Church

why of the wildernessOn our journey of faith, it’s almost given we will end up in a wilderness area. The scripture has multiple examples of those who spent time in the wilderness prior to their call to a service in The Kingdom.

You can see the likes of Joseph who spent years as a slave and in jail until he was elevated to rule Egypt and the means of survival for Abraham. Then there is Moses on the back side of the desert before he was called to lead the nation of Israel out of bondage. David, after being anointed, spent many years running from Saul in the wilderness until he was recognized as King. Even Paul, the writer of much of the New Testament, spent three years away from his homeland after receiving the revelation of Jesus before stepping into ministry.

While, is unlikely we will end up in a literal wilderness, we can be placed in an emotional, mental or spiritual one. Life’s ups and downs have a way of dumping us in these places. We can experience events that potentially rock our faith. Protracted disease or sickness, financial problems, marriage or relationship breakdowns, family issues, business or work difficulties can place us in what feels to be a desolate, isolated and dry place.  It is in these times we feel as if God is far away and silent. However, when this happens, we should stop and look past the misery and see The Why Of The Wilderness.

I am sure much has been written and preached about a wilderness experience. What I would like to address as the Why Of The Wilderness is the transformational process that ultimately elevates us to the next place of ministry or service in His kingdom. This process begins with being cut off from previous influences in our lives. We are then positioned in a place of confrontation and ultimately, we are led to a place of restoration.

The Wilderness cuts you off from previous influences.

One of the first things you sense in a wilderness is the isolation. Even in the midst of “church” folk, you still feel alone. It is as if no one sees you or can grasp what you are experiencing. In some instances, the wilderness is a true severing of the relationships you have depended upon in prior ministry or serving. The friends you were so closely connected with seem to simply vanish. While it may not seem like it, this is actually a blessing.

In the isolation of the wilderness, you cannot depend upon the advice of your “friends.” It allows God to begin to recalibrate your thinking. To take you to the next place of service in His kingdom, it requires a change of thinking. The wilderness is a paradigm shifting place.

It is a place of confrontation.

Not only does the wilderness process cut you off from the influences of those you depended upon, it forces you to look at what you believe. It can challenge your faith, your beliefs about God and your purpose. While this is painful at times, this challenging process can be a significant period of spiritual growth. Because the influences have been stripped away, it allows you to examine your beliefs in an unbiased way, just you and God. This results in a liberation of many religious traditions and dogma, setting you free to see God and his kingdom in a new light. In many ways it is a recalibration.

It can be a place of restoration

While restoration may seem impossible, the process of transforming strips away those things that are a hindrance, and by transformed thinking, gives clarity to God’s Kingdom purpose for your life. It was this process that allowed Joseph to become the ruler, Moses to develop the heart of a shepherd/leader and David to become a man and king after God’s own heart.

So, as I had a friend tell me; “The wilderness is holy. It’s the place of God’s development. Don’t despise it.”  We should settle into it, seek to deepen our relationship with God and not rush the process. In His time, you see The Why Of The Wilderness.

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