The wilderness time seems like a dry lonely place. The wilderness place is best described as when God pulls His manifested presence back from us and we “feel” like we are alone.
Of course we know that He never leaves us but in the wilderness place it seems like God has departed. It is the natural thing to do to seek to get out of that place as soon as possible. What are some of the causes that lead believers to the place called the "wilderness" ? The wilderness place is the result of many different things.
If we walk in unconfessed sin, we may very well find ourselves in the wilderness place. The Father, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, desires that we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh or in sin. If we are walking in unconfessed sin the Holy Spirit will convict us. If we ignore that conviction to ask forgiveness and seek repentance than the Father will draw back His manifested hand of His presence.
TO LEARN TO LOVE GOD FOR NO REASON OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT HE IS GOD:
What is going on when we are not in sin and we are activity seeking the face of our Lord with all that we know to do? With all of our strength and mind and emotions we are going after God. And then, we find ourselves in the wilderness pace. Things are dry and we feel like God has packed His bags and left us.
Why would God place us in a dry place where He seems to be thousands of miles away and our prayers seem like they fall flat in the floor? The wilderness place many times is manifested when we long for His manifested presence and to experience His love, yet nothing comes but silence. Maybe to help understand this I will use a kid’s game to describe it. It seems like God is playing “hide and seek” with us at a time when we need Him the most. And believe God would ask us, "Do you love Me for nothing?" "Do you love Me as you seek after Me and yet you don't feel My presence?"
Job 23:8-10 ESV “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; (9) on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him. (10) But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
Have you ever been there with Job? We seek God and God could not be found! Although we know that He is present and that He loves us, and the Scriptures say He will never leave us, but we still have this overwhelming feeling that we are alone. We seek Him and His heart but we get silence and a sense of loneliness. We pray, and we remember, "there was a day when all I had to do was whisper God’s name and His presence was immediately there and filled the room."
But now in the stillness and the silence, we want to shout, "GOD WHERE ARE YOU?" Job was picked to undergo a testing of his faith.
Job 1:8-12 ESV And the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?" (9) Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "Does Job fear God for no reason? (10) Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. (11) But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face." (12) And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Yet in all that Job suffered as he saw the lose of his family, his livestock, his possessions and his health, he still praised God through it.
Job 1:20-22 ESV Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. (21) And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (22) In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.
Job 13:15 ISV Even though he kills me, I'll continue to hope in him. At least I'll be able to argue my case to his face!
WELCOME TO THE WILDERNESS PLACE! Read Ps.63 for more insight to King David's wilderness place.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.