You don’t have to die in the wilderness

1-JOHN-PREACH-HAND-OUTWARDNumbers 26:65: For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

The wilderness is the place of process. A number of people who were used mightily by God had the wilderness experience of different durations: Moses was in the wilderness for 40 years; David was in the wilderness for some years. And also John the Baptist was in the wilderness, Jesus was in the wilderness.

The end of their wilderness experience started their dominion expression.  At the end of their wilderness they embarked on the assignment that they are born to accomplish. They enter into their impact phase.

The wilderness is a place of testing. That was the experience of Jesus (Luke 4:1-2), it is a place of seemingly little or no activity, and it is even a pace of forgetting the dream, almost, just like the experience of Moses. Moses had the vision of delivering Israel from bondage, but in the wilderness became totally cured of any hint of self-defined ambition (Acts 17:20-36). So that when God came after his forty years in the wilderness of obscurity, Moses had been cured of being too forward. He had no ambition and so nothing to lose. He was therefore perfect for the divine assignment of being a messenger of power to the nation of Egypt.

For David the wilderness was a period of being a foreigner, a fugitive, running in the opposite direction to the dream of becoming King of Israel (1Samuel 22:1-5). Everything he was doing seems to be in the opposite direction his call. But in the wilderness he learnt to make a practice of making inquiries of God (1Samuel 30:1-8, 23:9) which stood him in good stead later on in his dominion phase.

For John the Baptist the wilderness was a period of downloading the divine demands for his life. It was recorded that John was in the wilderness till the time of his showing to Israel (Luke 3:1-7, Mark 1:1-7, Luke 1:80, Matthew 11:7).

For Jesus, the wilderness time was the time of testing what stuff he was made of, getting him ready for the stupendous power that will mark his life. For Jesus the wilderness, forty days was also a time for emptying. Jesus was emptied of his natural strength so that he can take hold of the supernatural strength to cause supernatural effect, while for Moses it was to empty him of whatever of his preconceived notion, so that he can bend to the divine will. The wilderness was to make him ready for the divine task.

The wilderness is definitely a place to be made ready for the throne just as David was, though it didn’t look like it.

The wilderness can be a place of great uncertainty. Saul was busy chasing David to kill him, while he runs all around, for him life. Till he was so frustrated he decided to go into the land of the Philistines to live there, to just save his neck from Saul’s troubles (1Samuel 27:1-4). It was in the wilderness that his training as a warrior and a leader was increased in tempo, he learnt to survive in the harshest of conditions and also tasted the faithfulness of God.

The wilderness trained Jesus spiritually. After the time of Jesus in the wilderness, he came out beaming the power of the Holy Spirit, the spiritual functioning, conditioning and outflow from his life was on a whole new level. He became a terror to demons, they screamed on sighting him. He has always been the Son of God, but after the wilderness experience he got activated and began to shine in a blaze that discomfited demonic forces (Luke 4:40-41).

For John the Baptist, it was in the wilderness was the word of God that he was to proclaim, came to him. He became a voice not an echo from the wilderness. Because of the force of his word, thousands made a beeline to where he was in the wilderness, where he held an ongoing revival meeting.

The wilderness experience of David toughened him up, and he developed a trust in God. The wilderness time is the time to be hidden. Don’t be so overawed that in your wilderness time, you seem to be hidden, unappreciated, undervalued. That is the whole idea. To hid you so that certain things of God can be worked in you to mark you for significance for a life time.

For a period of time, David was relegated to taking care of sheep in the wilderness. He was even forgotten when his father, Jesse was to write a list of his sons. However, it was in that wilderness that he learnt to confront his fears and when he confronted Goliath in the open, it was a walk in the park (1Samuel 17:33-49). When God reveals you to your generation, he wants you to be ready, to represent him fully. So don’t waste your wilderness time, it is a blessing of God.

For Moses, the wilderness was to cure him of his aggression, anger and pride, eventually he was called the meekest man that ever lived (Exodus 2:12-15, Numbers 12:3), and he became almost patience personified.

But the experience of the generation of Israelites that left Egypt but died in the wilderness is far from all these. They rejected the plan of God for themselves that the wilderness time would be a mere transition time between Egypt and the land of promises, and last only a few years. But they lived life in the wilderness full of grumbling, complaints and blatant rejection of God and his plan in lack of faith; they want to take the law into their hands and not follow God. There were constantly second guessing the will and intention of God, fretting with Moses, God’s messenger, at every turn.

The writer of the book of Hebrews wrote that they could not enter into the promise, into rest, because of unbelief (Hebrews 3:7-4:11). Unbelief is the greatest attack on the person of God; it is claiming it that He is less than He is should be. With unbelief they disqualified themselves from the best of God, and perished in the wilderness.

God seeks for those who will trust him in the wilderness of life. Job said that even if God slays him, yet he would still trust him, which is the attitude of those who do not die in the wilderness (Job 13:15). But the Israelites do not know anything about trust, they were fixated on immediate comfort and gratification and they died in the wilderness.  They do not have any endurance and because of that they refused to follow the way of God.


2 thoughts on “You don’t have to die in the wilderness

  1. Hi, Ive recently been a lurker around your blog for some months. I enjoy this article plus your entire web site! Looking forward to studying more!


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