Longing for the Wilderness Experiences


In The Wilderness

In The Wilderness

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?

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6 Responses

  1. In answer to your question about the promised land ( probably rhetorical), I would say it does not represent heaven, as the songs describe it. But then again, Jesus taught us to pray “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”. If we seek the Kingdom as Jesus commands, we would not seek to go to heaven, but to bring heaven to earth, at least its culture, economy and influence. If that is true, then the promised land could be our state of living here on earth, seeking to please God by being the people He would have us to be, with our culture reflecting heaven, our attitude reflecting heaven, our giving reflecting heaven. The battles then, would be against the world system that is occupying OUR land. We have to kick satan out. God put us here on earth, satan is here illegally, not us! The promised land is the earth, we are given dominion (Gen 1:26), through Jesus we need to take it back!

  2. Based on the Longing for the Wilderness Experiences posting, I think you might really enjoy a book that discusses this in more detail: God in the Wilderness (Doubleday, 2008). It talks about the lessons the rag-tag group of former slaves learned in the wilderness, and why God chose the wilderness to reveal the 10 commandments and other teachings. You can get the first chapter free at: http://www.GodintheWilderness.com/

  3. I enjoyed this post. I have been doing a great deal of study lately about the glory of God. In this study I have found that it was in the wilderness that Moses first saw a manifestation of God in the burning bush. He saw God again at Horeb and had a tremendous encounter their with Him. Jacob found God really existed when he was all along fleeing from Esau at Bethel. The other instances are many but it seems that these wilderness experiences or the school of the wilderness has much for us. David learned a great deal alone herding sheep that experience prepared him for ruling.

  4. Thank you for the insight. Your comment has added more to this blog. I know that Jesus often went to the Mount of Olives but it did seem that He often made a trip to the wilderness. He did leave the wilderness full of the Spirit. Again, thanx

  5. The word, wilderness, reminds me about Sarah’s maid servant, Hager, who cried out to God in the desert with her baby. God had compassion on her and heard her regardless of her status at that time. She recognized God’s voice. There are several (Hindu) women in the present who are ready to throw their babies in the river when a flood comes during certain times of the year. I know their hearts are broken but why are they unable to recognize God’s voice?

  6. Hagar hung around a family who heard God’s voice and worshipped Him regularly. These Hindu women that you speak of do not have the godly influence that Hagar had. Unless Jesus personally reveals Himself to them, will anyone else share with them that there is hope and that the voice they hear calling is God?

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