Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Psalm 78:52 “But he brought his people out like a flock; he led them like sheep through the wilderness.”
Jesus chose the wilderness: the barren, dry, lonely land, whereas you and I tend to run from the difficult, desolate, parched areas of life. In the wilderness, water and food are scarce. In the wilderness, it seems there is no way out. You can have a wilderness experience anywhere: at a school line, in a divorce court, in an unemployment office. It is the struggle, the weakness that makes you look for a way out.
Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness when he was doing the right thing. God took the Israelites through the wilderness on their way out of Egypt. Everyone deals with these wilderness seasons, but God’s presence is with us. The wilderness can be a place of miracles. When the Israelites went through the wilderness God gave them direction with a pillar of cloud and protection with fire at night. When we are in a dry space we need focus and direction. We need his divine protection during our barren seasons. He also provided sustenance with manna. Our God will provide everything you need to survive and thrive in your wilderness if you rely on him. He is our source and our portion, our strength and deliverer.
Memorize James 4:8a. “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” How do you apply this verse to the situation you are going through today? Center your life on Christ. Soak in his Word while you are in the wilderness season.
Lord, no one likes the wilderness, but we acknowledge that is where you teach us and shape us. The wilderness is where we sense your presence. May we learn exactly what you desire us to learn. May we hear your voice. In Jesus’ name. Amen.