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Feeling barren and unproductive? Not hearing God like you used to? Maybe you’re in a wilderness season.
We don’t like to hear that.
The wilderness reminds us of Israel and their punishment for unbelief when it came time to conquer their Promised land. We wonder… did I do something wrong. How did I end up here?
But the wilderness is not always an attack of the enemy. Moses first encountered God in the wilderness and that’s where he was given his assignment to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 3).
There is nothing wrong with the wilderness. Its main purpose isn’t to punish. Israel was always meant to go into the wilderness. When God instructs Moses at the burning bush He tells him to go with the leaders of the Israelites, before the King of Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let the people go so that they may go into the wilderness to hold a feast to honor God. (Exodus 3:18)
That’s right. Before reaching the Promised Land, Israel had to go through the wilderness. It was the only way.
Because in the wilderness, you discover two things.
That God is who He says He is and you are who HE says you are.
Unfortunately, when the first generation of Israelites came to the edge of the wilderness to take their Promised Land, they hadn’t learned either of these lessons. As they journeyed through the wilderness, God showed up for them in many ways. He was their provider, protector, and defender. And He remained faithful even when they wavered. He showed them He could be trusted.
And all along the way, God showed them who they could become. In His eyes, they were mighty warriors who could do anything with Him on their side. In their own eyes, they were merely grasshoppers incapable of defeating the giants that held God’s promises captive.
David too spent lots of time in the wilderness, but he used that time to nurture His relationship with God. But he went into the wilderness as an exile and came out as a king.
If you’re in a wilderness season, stop wondering what you’ve done wrong. Use the opportunity to deepen your relationship with God and He will reveal Himself to you in new ways. You’ll also discover that everything you need to take your promised land is already within you. You just have to see it.
Be encouraged, the wilderness is not the battle, it’s preparation for the battle.
Prayer: Father, I recognize that I am in a wilderness season. Help me to embrace this season as you show me who you are as you guide, protect, provide and defend me. Help me also to understand who I am in You, as you reveal all that you have placed in me to help me overcome.
© Deborah Ruck @ As Bold As THE Lion blog
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