“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice!” Phil. 4:4 NLT
Save me! I’m in the wilderness! Ever heard of people stuck in horribly dangerous, deadly situations in the wilderness who do everything they can to be rescued? They scream, cry, use cell phone with dying batteries, send smoke signals, wave their arms to passing planes, do anything they can because supplies are running short, their bodies are injured from disasters they’ve endured, they’re in pain, hurting, hungry, thirsty, scared, desperate, uncomfortable, isolated from other people, they miss their loved ones, they want to return to their usual lives, they’re frantic, exhausted, uncomfortable, crying out for rescue! Get me out of the wilderness!
Sometimes God leads His followers into the wilderness for various reasons. To face temptation from the enemy to learn to put our trust in Christ and say no to temptation. To test us regarding what He has been teaching us. To enter into a season of rest. To spend time in prayer undisturbed, undistracted from the world. To sit at Christ’s feet and learn of Him. To draw closer to God. To learn to depend solely on God and not everyone else. To hear God’s Spirit speak to our hearts in line with His Word as He grows us and gives us a vision of His will for us.
Oh, and how sometime we resist! We rebel! We cry! We throw temper tantrums! We get scared! We cry out for rescue! We don’t want to be in the wilderness! We’re lonely! Overwhelmed! Uncomfortable! Afraid! We want to be around everyone else! We want to be busy with everyday life! We complain! We beg Him to get us out of there! Now! Oh help!
Maybe you’re in the wilderness now. Or you’ve been fighting going there. Maybe you’ve been begging God to take you out of the solitary place He has you in. Maybe you need to re-think how you’ve been handling your wilderness experience. Once God spoke to me about my resistance to being in the wilderness and my desire to be rescued out of there. He gave me the word JOY! He wanted me to REJOICE! Because of my circumstances? No! To learn to experience JOY no matter where I am, no matter my circumstances. Because of Christ! To experience JOY because I’m loved, saved by grace through faith in Christ, forgiven, endlessly blessed, and have a forever relationship with God! To shout out and sing for joy because no matter how hard my life might feel at times, I belong to Christ forever! To rejoice because He loves me so much He leads me into the wilderness to draw me closer to Himself and to prepare me for where He is leading me next in love and service to Him and others! Don’t fight your wilderness experience. If He leads you there, remain, REJOICE, grow, and trust He will lead you out when He desires. All for His glory!