The wilderness is a powerful metaphor for the times in our lives when things don’t run as we would like them to run. A place where our weaknesses seem to overtake or overshadow our strengths. It is in this place where our strength fails, that God chooses to work on us, expose our deficiencies and strengthen us to continue growing.
When we engage the wilderness experience with humility and perseverance it becomes the place of our greatest potential in God. These experiences are inescapable, inevitable and for everyone that received the gift of existence.
Every experience in life must serve the ultimate purpose of God with man – that we shall be His image and likeness. It is never really about punishment, vengeance or wrath, but it is always about what is necessary to produce the image and likeness. Everything comes from love and is unto the final union of that Love in God.
“…but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”
The wilderness brings moments of deep reflection, self-examination and great potential for growth. Growth into the image of His holiness.
Holiness is not primarily about what you do or do not do. But it is primarily centered in the very nature and being of God. To become Holy is to become the likeness and image of our Father – our primary reason for existence.
There are three remarkable characteristics of a wilderness experience I would like to highlight in this piece:
The Wilderness is a lonely place. People are removed from your life. Even those who are close, suddenly seem far away. There is a seeming disconnection that takes place. The solitude drives us to a place where we can centre in our dependence and relationship with God again. Renewing our primary dependence upon Him. God is our companion.
In the wilderness, sources of supply dry up. Finances seem to trickle rather than flow. Human resources usually readily available to us, might faint and reduce drastically. It is a dry place. But it is a place where we learn that God is our supply and source. That He supports us even in the face of the failure of our supply lines. Our Father carries us.
- Endless Horizon.
The Hardest part of a wilderness experience is that we don’t know when and if it will actually end. The hopeless feeling of not being able to bring an end to it ourselves, even after we have exhausted our resources and devices. When we cannot see beyond the horisons of our current deficient situation. Here we learn to rest and trust in the timing and motives of God for our lives. – That our lives are in His hands.
It is the Spirit of God that leads us into the wilderness to teach us, grow us and bring us into the image and likeness of our God. It is then also the same Spirit that works in us to detox us from our superficial dependencies. Showing us that we shall not live of ‘bread’ alone but from and through Him.
HE is our Companion; HE is our Supply; HE is our Horison.
Do not despise your time in the wilderness. Draw near to God. Every wilderness is an opportunity for God to show you who you really are in Him – His son, called into His holiness.
Grace and Peace