• Call in the Wild…Why Wilderness Moments Matter

    Being led to a place of physical and mental pain does not sound fun but it may be necessary in preparing you for the future. Do soldiers walk out on a battlefield with no training? No! Painful training is passed before entering. I believe the same is true in life. Preparation is a must. I want to take a look with you at the Life of Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are- yet he did not sin. We will never face an obstacle or temptation that Jesus has not already walked through. He understands our weaknesses.

    Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. 

    God knew what was about to take place. Jesus was being prepared for His purpose. I cannot imagine the intense hunger and thirst He must have experienced. I was 18 when I finally surrendered my life fully to the Lord. As a new follower, I was learning all I could to be pleasing to the Lord. After learning about prayer and fasting, I was pumped to jump in with both feet and do some major damage. My friends and I declared a fast! It was ON….until about 3pm and I couldn’t take the hunger pains anymore. After swinging in the next drive-thru, the fast had been broken. Oh the guilt I felt. Sigh! The Lord knew how immature and weak I was. My faith grew stronger and I eventually learned how to get through a fast but it is never easy when the physical body starts crying out.

    Not only did Jesus experience extreme hunger and thirst leading to physical exhaustion but also loneliness. 40 days in the middle of nowhere, I’m assuming would lead to incredible loneliness.  Did he feel forgotten, abandoned, maybe put in  the wrong place? Being alone for one full day is sometimes difficult. The thoughts you must deal with can be heavy. I’m sure you have said, “Um God, are you hearing me? Please don’t leave me alone.”  If you are in a wilderness, God has not made a mistake. He is a God of purpose, not wasting one second of your life, pain or joy.

    At the end of this ultimate weakness, the devil comes along to tempt him with food to meet his physical need and power to meet his mental and emotional need.Satan is waiting for an opportunity to take you down. Don’t be unaware of his schemes. I see this happen so often today in our spiritual walk. We all come to places of extreme exhaustion and weakness. Like a lion waiting to pounce on the injured or weak animal, satan is waiting to pounce on us. Seasons of weakness are inevitable in our life if we are pouring out as we should be. So what do we do? Jesus, the ultimate example, combated the temptation with the truth of the Word. We must know the word and speak the word over our feelings.  Be ready to say, “This is how I feel and this makes sense but God’s word says it will cause me harm” . Matthew 11:28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Go to HIM, Go to HIM!!!!

    If you are in a wilderness season now I would like to share some encouragement. In the New Living Translation vs. 11 says,”Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.” The next title is The Ministry of  Jesus Begins. The power of his ministry began after the hardest season he had faced at that point. Hold on through this difficult time and know that God has something big in store for you. Maybe you are being prepared for a ministry God is calling you to that must have this specific strength. If I’ve learned anything through my wilderness season, I’ve learned that God has THE plan. I trust Him and know that His ways are higher than mine. Even though not everything is understandable, it is all good because it is from a loving father. Find rest from your weariness today my friends and know it’s not a waste.

    with love,

    Ashley