Many of us have endured a wilderness experience at some point of time in our life. To be perfectly honest, if it was up to me I would gladly skip that season in my life! The wilderness experience has a way of sneaking up on you and when it comes it seems to last forever. I can only imagine how the children of Israel felt as they walked through the wilderness for forty years. My wilderness experience lasted for five years and I felt like the world was coming to an end!
Now that I look back over that period in my life, I see it really was God's way of testing me "to know what was in my heart". Although I went without many of the comforts of life I had grown accustomed to, God always met my needs. I wish I could say I was grateful and didn't complain, but that would be a lie. I complained pretty much the whole time not realizing that I was making things worse and prolonging my time in the wilderness. You see, I was focusing more on what I didn't have versus what I did have. I was longing for what was taken from me instead of what was waiting for me in my Promise Land.
It's during your wilderness experience that you really find out who and what has your heart. My heart was consumed with people, material things and money. That was my focus, until one by one they were snatched away from me. I loss my job, my home, my man, and some of my dearest friends. It wasn't until I was isolated that I discovered that I had been neglecting my First Love. Yes, I went to church and I prayed, but my focus was on everything else that was around me.
Many of us are guilty of this. If we are not careful we can become so accustomed to our Christian walk that it becomes just another routine. I wasn't spending quality time in the Word or listening for His voice. I cringe to think of all the things I could have avoided had I just spent time with Him. I was so busy trying to make things happen on my own that I ended up making things more difficult than they had to be. If I would have just trusted the process, I would be so much further along than I am now.
It's a New Year and a New Day! I have decided to submit to God's will and His way and embrace His plan for my life. After all, His plan is to give you the desires of your heart. He had a better plan for the children of Israel. He knew what they wanted and He was ready to give it to them. He just wanted them to know that it was Him they should serve and not the STUFF! Let that be our lesson for today. Make a decision to stay calm during your wilderness experience. You will not die! This is not the end of the world! It's Just A Test!
Know that greater is coming to you after you pass this test! I leave you with this last word of warning given to the children of Israel. Let it also be a warning for us to put no one or nothing before Him even after He brings us out and gives us the desires of our heart.
Deuteronomy 8:18-20The Message (MSG)
17-18 If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today.
19-20 If you forget, forget God, your God, and start taking up with other gods, serving and worshiping them, I’m on record right now as giving you firm warning: that will be the end of you; I mean it—destruction. You’ll go to your doom—the same as the nations God is destroying before you; doom because you wouldn’t obey the Voice of God, your God.