“God calls us out of bondage, often through a time of testing to build our trust in Him, and then leads us into His blessing.” Stephanie Clarke
I’ve been talking quite a bit lately about the Israelites and their trek through the wilderness. I believe God didn’t intend to just use that pattern with the Israelites (calling individuals out of bondage into a time of testing and then leading them into His blessing for their lives), but instead with all of His children.
I’ve lived most of my life with the mindset of trying to avoid the wilderness. When finding myself in the desert, I tried to “quickly” learn the lessons so I could leave and live in the Promised Land, whatever that looked like. However, lately, God has been showing me a different, better perspective about the wilderness. There is definitely a purpose to the wilderness and until it’s fully grasped and understood, I believe our time there will be lengthened because God loves us too much to leave us partially mature.
The wilderness isn’t something to be feared or ignored. The wilderness has a valuable purpose and everyone, that’s right, I said everyone who wants to walk in the purpose God has planned for their lives must first take a trek through the desert.
Let’s look at Joseph’s “wilderness.” His included being beaten up by his brothers and then sold as a slave, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and then thrown in jail. God used that time in jail for Joseph to use his gift of interpreting dreams which eventually placed him on Pharaoh’s radar, which eventually led him to the position of second in command of all Egypt.
I could talk also about Moses, David, Daniel, Esther, etc. from our previous conversations in past blogs and their individual wilderness experiences. However, the point I’m trying to make is there will always be a testing or training period before being allowed to walk into the calling God has for our lives. I used to fight the training period or do whatever I thought might speed it along. I believe that all that extra work just kept me in the desert longer.
Looking back over my own life, I see now how much I needed my personal training period because I had (and still have) a lot to learn. I needed to learn how to fully surrender my life to God. I needed to learn who was my real boss – not employers but God Himself. I needed to learn to trust God to provide for our finances, I needed healing from depression and panic attacks, I needed to learn other important skills in order to use them for the calling God had on my life.
I’m glad God showed me a new perspective of the wilderness. It’s not something to be avoided, it’s not something to be feared … and it’s also not somewhere to build a vacation home. The wilderness has its purpose which is to prepare us to be used for God’s purpose. I’m still only visiting, but I’m more willing to enjoy the process now, fully trusting God that my time here is still temporary.
© Cheri Swalwell 2018