When In The Wilderness!
Over the last few months, God has been ambushing my mind with revelation regarding who he is, how he loves, what he desires, and what that looks like in me. Throughout my life, I’ve had these seasons of separation where God draws me away from the crowds and distractions to prune, teach, instruct, and prepare me for the next level of my destiny. Some may see it as isolation, but I see it as the wilderness season.
In this wilderness season, God revealed that promotion from him will not look like promotion in the eyes of man. While man sees promotion as power, notoriety, tangible or something of monetary value, God sees it as him enlarging your level of influence and ability to operate under his anointing, so that he would get the glory.
It’s interesting how these wilderness seasons always take place after a significant event in our lives. Mine would take place after a death in the family, the loss of a job, or after being rejected. Let’s consider Moses! After he killed the Egyptian soldier for beating a Hebrew slave, he ran away to the wilderness. Some may say he was a coward, but in actuality, he did what was necessary for the next step of his destiny. Moses ran away to a place where he could escape and he pretty much began a new life. He married a Midianite woman, had a child and became a shepherd… Now we all know that God calls upon Moses to free the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians. But, what’s funny is how inadequate Moses tried to make himself out to be, yet, he had already begun operating as a liberator of those who were oppressed and held captive. Let me explain…
16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock.
If you notice, when Moses went away to Midian, he was positioned to save the Midian priest’s flock. The daughters were most likely no match for the shepherds, so Moses became bold and fought the enemy… Similar to how he went up against Pharaoh, right?!
What we don’t realize is that the wilderness season does involve us growing in the knowledge of Christ, but it’s a season of practical application. During this season, there are so many test and temptations thrown at us, but for every attack God shows us how to overcome. Think about Paul… In Acts 9, we see that he was a murderer of those who believed in Christ, until he was blinded. Upon being blinded, his wilderness journey began. He was connected to Ananias who laid hands on him and filled him with Holy Spirit. After this, he was strengthened and he quickly began professing the gospel of who Christ is. The same boldness and zeal he had as an unbeliever was redirected, fostered, and strengthened for the Lord.
15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Acts 9:15-16 shows the call that was upon Paul’s life. It took a wilderness experience for him to be repositioned spiritually, physically, socially, and mentally, so that he could minister to those he was assigned to. I'm sure the process was not fun for Paul, but he grew to know Jesus in a unique way..
Like many people, I too, am in a wilderness season. I’m drawn away from many people and places, so that I can be drawn to Christ. Remember, being in the wilderness is when you take the knowledge of Christ and begin to use practical application. Prophet Graham Cooke wrote about what it looks like to be preoccupied with Jesus.
Being preoccupied with Jesus brings a deeper enjoyment of life in all its shades. We live each day under God’s smile. We do the things that bring Him pleasure. We bask in the warmth of His affection. We cooperate with a generous Holy Spirit who reveals Jesus to us. We fall more under the spell of this radical Savior who fills us with Himself. We learn His pleasures and develop them to please Him. Every circumstance is His opportunity to shine over us and through us. In our preoccupation, we become God conscious. Pleasure, delight, warmth, and happiness became conspicuous.
Excerpt from Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior by Graham Cooke
This changed my whole perspective of what my wilderness season looks like. It’s not a time to have a “woe is me” mentality. Instead, we take on the identity, attributes, attitude, and heart of Christ that will be very useful for the next stage of our destiny. He raises us up in his image and sends us out to complete the task given. Many won’t understand it, some people may even think you’ve gone rogue and decided to be rebellious or you’re confused and backsliding, but the reality is you are simply being available and obedient to God. Everyone’s wilderness won’t look the same, look at Moses and Paul! Some may move out the state, some may stop hanging around certain people, and like myself and many others I know, we decided to be committed to being the church versus being committed to a church building. No matter how it looks, know that it is directed by God and for his glory. Don’t despise this season! Embrace it knowing that your diligence, obedience, and consistency is what will show God whether you are truly ready for the next level of your destiny!