Have you ever described the mountain top experiences of life as the moments of greatest joy, perspective, revelation and victory; the place most desirable to live life from but not the easiest to attain or maintain? Have you ever described the wilderness as a dry, wasteland of testing, trial and loneliness that we must do everything we can to escape so we can start climbing the mountain again and get back to the top of the mountain where everything is okay? I certainly have.
But, what if it’s not true? What if our journey through life with God is, in reality, a vast landscape, varied, unique and beautiful? What if our entire journey in Him contains wonder, majesty and splendor just waiting to be discovered and experienced? What if the wilderness is just as full of joy, perspective, revelation and victory as the mountaintop but we have been trained by religion and tradition not to even look for it? And what if that is one of the ways the enemy comes into our lives to steal something that is precious to God, that He wants us to have and experience?
Is it possible that the reason the enemy wants you to focus on getting out of the wilderness as quickly as possible is because there is tremendous wealth of promise and encounter; splendor and glory in that place and he is hoping we just see it as dry, arid and worthless? Is it possible that he wants to steal from you a substantial territory that God wants you to establish and inhabit with joy and delight?
Some of the greatest revelations of the personality and character of God recorded in the Bible were made in wilderness places. Time and again, when all the person really wanted was resolution, God met them in the wilderness with revelation and everything changed in that place of encounter.
Is it possible that we can flourish in the wilderness and instead of busting through it like the world and the enemy tells us we should do — we can actually bear great fruit to the glory and honor of God in that place? Can we be oasis bearers — carrying the oasis of the presence of God into the desert places of life and changing them to places of life, healing, restoration and tremendous beauty? Are there treasures, promises, encounters awaiting us in the desert that we’ve bypassed because we didn’t slow down to consider that the God who promised to never leave us and never forsake us is actually right there with us and if He is there then anything could happen?
What if the wilderness is a place of wide open space waiting to be explored? What if it is an invitation into limitless possibilities and tremendous promise? What if the wilderness is the place of vision, dreaming and equipping — a place to be longed for and looked forward to, where only the water of His presence will satisfy and it just so happens to be the only water available?
It looks to me that those who belong to God should walk into the wilderness with great anticipation; allowing rivers of living water to flow from us, expecting a place of rejoicing, thanksgiving and encounter which overwhelms all who look at our lives by the revelation of the glory, majesty, splendor and excellency of our God!
If you’ve been in a wilderness place in your life and you’re looking around, praying for rescue and wondering why God seems to be ignoring you, I pray that the eyes of your understanding would be opened and that these words would encourage you to take in a new horizon, to see the landscape around you through a different lens. Look for the place of encounter with the Lord. Dance and rejoice in the wide open spaces around you. Expect Him to reveal Himself to you in a way that is powerful and transforming. Allow the sound of everlasting joy to rise from your lips and resound through every crack and crevice of the circumstance and look for the treasures of promises, revelation and relationship.
Allow the Spirit of the Living God to thrill your heart and reveal to you what you haven’t seen yet. Believe that something greater is not only possible, but intended. Instead of an unfruitful place of despair and isolation; open your heart to see the tremendous love, delight and desire of the heart of God to have you to Himself in this place and to lavish you with His presence and with revelation upon glorious revelation of Who He is for you right now. Engage your heart with His to see the possibility, the rich promise and treasure that is all around you; to look for the encounter and revelation of His heart. Drink deeply of His intimate presence in this place and delight yourself in Him as rivers spring forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert changing the landscape everywhere you turn.
Dare to allow His love and presence to remodel the so-called wilderness!
We were so inspired by Anysia’s perspective on wilderness experiences! Do you have a testimony of a wilderness experience that you would like to contribute to In Focus? If so, please send an email to Media@BrilliantBookHouse.com.
If you would like some brilliant resources from Graham about wilderness experiences, don’t miss A Way in the Wilderness, a 4-part series about learning to enjoy your relationship with the Father in the wilderness.