Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
All of my life I have been taught that spiritual wilderness walking was something to be feared. It was recognized by lonely times, moments that God felt so far way.
We often relate the wilderness to spiritual hunger and thirst, doing without, wondering with no direction. But, is it really.
- Was it not in the wilderness that God gave Israel their first laws as a new nation?
- Was it not in the wilderness that Israel never had to worry about hunger again because of God’s Manna that He sent them?
- Was it not in the wilderness that Israel’s clothes never became thread bare?
- Was it not in the wilderness that God was always visible to Israel as a cloud by day and a fire by night. Never in their history was God ever so close to them visibly.
It is true that all but two of the first generation out of Egypt died in the wilderness. But when we are spending time in God’s presence, learning during lean times how faithful He is to provide – that is when the desires of Egypt can be conquered and our Independence can be placed in check.
Jesus often went into the wilderness to pray. His 40 day fasting took place in the wilderness. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness.
The promise land is wonderful, but let’s not forget what can be accomplished back in the wilderness.
That leads me to another question as food for thought. If Israel moving into the promise land represents heaven, as so many songs suggest, then where were there so many battles taking place in the promise land in order to conquer the land?