Wilderness is inevitable, at some point, for every child of God. There are lessons that God wants to teach us and often, He allows us to go through the “wilderness” as part of the process. Jesus was tested in the wilderness just before His public ministry began. The following are 10 Keys that I have searched out in the Word to help you get through the wilderness.
Key #1: Realize it’s only temporary. It is a means to an end. You are there for a reason and when God’s purpose is accomplished, He will move you out (I Peter 1:6-7). Often we feel like what we are going through will last forever. But God is faithful and will not allow us to be tested beyond what we are capable of overcoming (I Corinthians 10:13).
Key #2: Understand that God has not forsaken you! You may lose the feeling of His presence for a time, but He has not left you. He is teaching you to walk by faith. Hebrews 13:5 says He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.
Key #3: Don’t murmur and complain. Israel’s biggest failure was murmuring and complaining in the wilderness. It caused what should have been an 18-month transitional period in the wilderness into 40 years! Pray along with the Psalmist: Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3)
Key #4: Don’t blame others. Israel blamed Moses for all their troubles. This world is filled with people who blame everyone around them for their lack of success. If you are in a difficult time… own it. Ask God to do in YOU what He needs to do. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. In I Samuel 30:1-6 it says that David wept until he could weep no more, but finally, he encouraged himself in the Lord.
Key #5: God’s voice in not the only voice heard in the wilderness. When Jesus was tested in the wilderness, Satan tried to trip Jesus up with a counterfeit (Luke 4:1-8). The devil quoted the Word of God out of context to get Jesus to err. Cling to the written Word of God during times of testing. Jesus said, get behind Me Satan, for IT IS WRITTEN…
Key #6: Don’t act presumptuously or make any rash decisions while in the wilderness. You are not in the position to make quality, God-directed decisions while under temptation and testing. God’s Word instructs us to simply stand and having done all to stand, stand therefore (Ephesians 6: 13-14).
Key #7: Follow instructions. While in the wilderness, God will instruct us to do many things that don’t make sense to the natural mind. God told Elijah to go down to the brook and a raven would feed him and when the brook dried up he told him to go to the widow woman making her last meal before she died. In each case, God supernaturally provided. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to not lean on our own understand but to trust Him.
Key #8: Keep your eyes on Jesus. Sounds so simple, right? It’s more than a cliche. Hebrews 12:2 admonishes us to “look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” God will use people to help us but if we get our eyes off of Jesus and onto them, we will extend our stay in the wilderness.
Key #9: Get loosed in the fire, not out of it. When the three Hebrew men were thrown into the fire, Daniel 3:25 says, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Don’t wait until you get out of the wilderness before you claim the victory. God wants to get the situation out of you before He gets you out of the situation.
Key #10: Understand that God is making you into a Leader. Moses was a 40-40 man. He spent 40 years on the backside of the desert being stripped by God of all self-reliance in order for Him to use Moses to lead Israel for 40 years. Let’s hope that you don’t have to spend 40 years in the wilderness! Luke 4:13-14 says that when the devil had ended all temptation that Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit.
There is much more to say about these 10 keys, as well as many additional keys found within Scripture. But I hope that these simple truths have helped at least one person who reads them.