Last night I had a dream about making a YouTube video containing 10 essentials for the wilderness season. Following the leading of the Spirit, I created this video which you can watch here. In this blog, I will be outlining the 10 points I covered in the video, along with scripture references for you to read. I pray you are blessed by this post and encouraged to endure. Xx
What is the wilderness?
For the purpose of this blog, I will explain the wilderness as the period of testing that takes place between receiving a promise / word from the Lord and seeing its fulfilment in your life.
Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. (Psalm 105:19, NLT)
The Lord desires to make us into the vessels we need to be in order to be fruitful and multiply after the image of Christ; therefore, He takes us through a refining period before we step into the promise. The following 10 points are things I have personally implemented during my own wilderness season (which I am still in). The Lord saved me in November 2006 and I received a vision in my heart almost immediately; however, it wasn't until 2008 that I can say I received clear instructions and I felt like the wilderness truly started. So as you can see, my own wilderness has been an 11 year journey thus far; therefore, I empathise with you if you are in the midst of your own. Every person that God ever used in a mighty way also had to endure their own wilderness, and Biblically, we see that this period can be anywhere from 40 days to 40 years long. So what will you need if you want to make it through this season (no matter how long or short)? Well, these are my ten essentials:
1. You need a promise / word from God
Before Jesus was driven into the wilderness the Father confirmed His identity.
And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Luke 3:22)
Immediately after this, Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit and it was here that He was tempted by the devil and the very word God had given Him was under fire.
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. (Luke 4:1-3)
Jesus was able to endure His wilderness because He had a word from God; He had a promise from the Father. Without a promise from the Father, you will not be able to endure. It is the joyful expectation that will make your trial feel worth it.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2)
2. You need to get the scriptures in you
The word of God is the sword of the Spirit, it is our weapon for spiritual warfare. We must have the scriptures in us so that the Holy Ghost can bring the word to our remembrance and so that we can counteract the lies of the enemy when he brings them, just as Jesus did.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17) But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. (John 14:26, NLT) And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luke 4:3-4)
3. You need faith-filled fellowship
You need people around you who can help you stay in faith. Not everyone will know, believe or understand what God has promised you and sometimes you might even have to distance yourself from their unbelief for a season. It's important to have people around you that will help you to "only keep on believing" (Mark 5:36)
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NLT)
4. You need consistent time with the Lord
You need to stay in a place of constant fellowship with God. Prayer is not only about speaking / asking but should be a time of honesty with Him and about extensive listening in order to get His perspective.
He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. (Luke 22:41-43, NLT)
5. You need to get your eyes off of yourself / circumstances and fix your eyes on Him.
You need to learn to encourage yourself in the Lord and this might take some radical, practical steps. Remind yourself of what God has said REGULARLY! Put scriptures all-around your house, watch testimonies of others who have overcome to build your faith, read books, watch sermons, listen to worship music, sing in worship. Focus on He Who is faithful and not your temporary (though it may be difficult) situation.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, NLT)
...but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:6b) You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3, NLT)
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, NLT)
6. You need to be a faithful steward. Waiting means serving.
Waiting on the Lord is not a time to be idle, but a time to serve diligently as unto the Lord. The Lord is watching to see how you handle this season and will entrust more into your hand accordingly.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? (Luke 16:10-12)
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23, NLT)
7. You need to make a decision / resolve not to give up.
Don't underestimate the power of your will. Make a decision that you will not give up. The Lord cannot go against your will but when you do make a decision to endure (in accordance with His will) He will complete the work.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)
8. You need to live a fasted life / guard your heart.
You need to make knowing Him and your transformation your top priority. Whatever causes you to stumble, cut it off. If you can't do what everyone else is doing in this season, then so be it. You don't have time to be feeding your flesh, the enemy is already after you in this season. Do what you need to do in order to stay sensitive to the Holy Ghost (and respond quickly). Go hard, and stay focused.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23, NLT) Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others. (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, NLT) And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, (Mark 9:47, NLT)
9. You need a journal!
This is such an amazing tool! Be a good steward over the dreams, visions, prophetic words, scriptures, instructions and ideas the Lord gives you in this season. Be a student of how He speaks to you. Your journal is a great source of encouragement, direction and reminders at the times when you feel in over your head and when the enemy is coming after your faith at full throttle.
Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. (Habakkuk 2:2-3, NLT)
10. You need #ObedienceOverAppearance.
Though things won't always make sense at the time, you must be obedient no matter what. Cultivate a life where He leads and you follow. You don't know the exact vessel He needs you to be for the promise or call, but He does, so trust Him. You don't know the exact training needed to shape your character and develop your skills and gifts, but He does. You must be obedient no matter what it looks like and no matter what it costs you. Every step of obedience is a brick on the temple of His building. Every step of obedience is a plank of wood added to the ark He is building. Every step of obedience is a paint stroke added to the masterpiece He is creating from your life. All you have to do is keep saying yes, and sooner or later you will look up and see what all those little steps of obedience led to.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (Hebrews 5:8)
Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29, NLT)
If you were blessed by this post, please leave me a comment below and/or share it with someone else.
I look forward to connecting with you online and in-person!
In His love always.