Monday, 15 April 2013

THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE


TEXT: PSALMS 63:1
The opening statement in the chapter shows that David wrote this psalm when he was in the wilderness of Judah. Before he could rule Israel as King, He was trained in the wilderness by God for many years.
Most Christians; especially those who have serve the lord faithfully for a long time have had a “wilderness experience” a period of dryness, a time when nothing is working as planned. It is not a joyful time; rather it is a period of confusion and wanting to throw in the towel!


Questions like God have you given up on me? Have you forsaken me? Why have you deserted me lord? What did I do wrong? Where have I missed it? ….. Would be asked. There is not much comfort in a wilderness experience, but the comfort we have is that we are not the first; neither are we going to be the last to have such an experience.

Many Saints of the old had their various wilderness experiences, in fact in reoccurring manner! Some people believe that when somebody is going through an unpleasant phase in life, it is as a result of his or her sin, but this is not always right. David was conversant with “wilderness experience” yet he was a man after God’s own heart.

Anytime you are experiencing a “wilderness experience” be sure that there are one or two lessons God wants you to learn. Until you patiently use your faith and learn these lessons, you cannot be prompted to a higher ground. Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness and he came back with power. Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-13 after a resounding victory on mount carmel, he ran to the wilderness Jezebel was after him. He was down cast depressed and told God to take his life, but he encountered God in a new dimension. God sent an angel to him to supply him food and his strength was restored to continue his journey.

 However; when you are going through the wilderness experience, like Elijah; you will be depressed and down cast. A feeling of hopelessness will set in, but if you cry unto God like Elijah did, you will have an encounter with Him the same way Elijah experienced God in that wilderness.

The Israelite also went through the wilderness for them to be able to get to their “promised land.” When God freed them from Pharaoh’s oppression, they had to pass through the wilderness for them to get to their place of abundance that God prepared for them. Between the wilderness and the promised land, they encountered many challenges, but it is for them to experience God’s power in different ways, for them to know that God can do the impossible. As believers we will go through different wilderness experience. Like the Israelite  we were set free from Satan’s oppression (through the blood of Jesus) the day we accepted Him as our personal lord and saviour. Before we can enter into our promised land (heaven) we have to go through the wilderness, like the children of Israel did. Your response to the wilderness experience will determine whether you will go to the next level in your relationship with God or not.
This is where the Israelite missed it; they saw the wilderness as an inconvenience or a problem. They complained and wanted to go back to Egypt. Have you ever felt like giving up? Or are you feeling like that presently? Is life getting too hard and unbearable for you? Are you longing to go back to the old life that the world has to offer? Don’t look back! Be still and you will see the salvation of the lord.

In that wilderness; God is there with you, you are not alone. He never left the Israelite alone in the wilderness; He was with them all through. He provided them everything they needed to make the journey. He will do the same for you; He will sustain you through the journey. Your wilderness will soon come to an end, and you will cross into your promised land. The question now is when you come to the end of your wilderness experience, how will you be? Would you have become better and learnt what God want you to learn? Or are you going to make the wilderness journey longer like the Israelite did? If you don’t have positive attitude towards God during the wilderness journey, the journey will be prolonged. Wilderness experience could be the following:

·        Sickness and disease
·        Unanswered prayers
·        Lack, failure and worthlessness
·        Period of stagnation
·        A period when nothing is working well with you
·        A period when you feel you are not breaking forth
·        A period of bereavement (loss of loved one)
·        A period of hopelessness

I pray that God will give us the grace to persevere and develop a right attitude that will take us to a greater height in Jesus name.