Have you ever journeyed into the wilderness? The Israelites did. After spending time in Kadesh, the people of Israel turned and journeyed into the wilderness. God told them to be very careful as they passed through the territories before them. He reminded them that the Lord had blessed them and that He knows they are going through this great wilderness. (Deuteronomy 2:7) As a reminder to help the people, God reminded them they had lacked nothing for forty years.
But, what does a wilderness experience look like for us? It could be a job loss, an illness, and/or a depression. Or it may be even more horrific, like torture, kidnapping, abuse. No matter where you are or what you are going through, God cares for you. You are His children and He loves you. He is the one that will see you through it. He will encourage and strengthen you.
When we find ourselves going through a wilderness period in our lives, we should follow the same instructions the Lord gave the Israelites.
- Remember to be careful;
- Remember your blessings;
- Remember God knows you are in the midst of a wilderness period;
- Remember God has never let you lack before.
- Remember that God always brings His people out of the wilderness
The lion is considered the King of the Jungle. A male lion controls both his territory and every living creature in that territory. Lions have power and strength, but they can be overcome. As you face the lions in your life, remember that lions can be caged. Just as lions can be captured, so can your lions be put under control when you trust Jesus and get help when you need it from the people God brings into your life.
But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 2 Timothy 4:17 ESV
The Temptation of Jesus
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. Matthew 4:1-11
I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. Deuteronomy 29:5
Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.” Hebrews 3:7-9
Dear Lord, Help me to always remember how you lead the Israelites out of the wilderness. You took care of them and provided for them every step of the way. Give me the ability and the wisdom to always remember that you will take care of me – even if I move into a wilderness periods in my own life. Use my wilderness periods to trust you more, to seek you more, and to abide in you more. Thanks Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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