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76,000,000 Documented decisions for Christ

The wilderness is an untamed place, a most difficult season for the human soul. But it can become the source of the greatest spiritual reward. As we have seen in the history of Israel, as well as the life of Jesus Christ, God establishes His greatest works in the wilderness. In God’s wisdom, life comes out of death, glory out of suffering, streams out of the desert. All of this happens so that God alone may be glorified for His marvellous handiwork in the lives of those who dare to be fashioned in barren places.

“I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it” (Isaiah 41:18-20).

But for this to happen we must remember God’s purposes for the wilderness, and be determined to reap its benefits. The desert strips us of self-sufficiency, teaches us to rely totally on God, and molds us into the image of His Son. In other words, it increases God’s glory in us by shaping us into human channels of divine life. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:7-11).

At the beginning of this study, I quoted Churchill who said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” For us this means, “If you’re passing through a spiritual desert, don’t waste it by crumbling or complaining; recognise God’s purpose for it and don’t quit till you make it through!” Yet the only way to do that is to put into action God’s wisdom for the wilderness. That is what this spiritual survival guide was meant to help you do. So let’s briefly summarise the six survival tips we covered:

1. Don’t panic – Refuse natural fear and embrace God’s love for you.

2. Assess your situation – Take stock of the resources God provided for your journey, and use them. Also, identify the kind of wilderness you’re in so you will know how to navigate it.

3. Find shelter – Know that God is present to you now more than ever, and hide yourself in Him.

4. Build a fire – Set yourself ablaze with passionate worship for protection and purification.

5. Drink water – Keep yourself spiritually hydrated by praying at all times in the Spirit, especially with other tongues.

6. Find nourishment – Feast on God’s Word through intense meditation, as well as radical faith and obedience.

When we adopt these words of wisdom for surviving hard times, we “clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness, and make smooth in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3). He is always with His children, but we pave a wider path for His involvement when we trust Him and walk in His ways. With the Lord at our side, even when things are hard, we can emerge from the desert like Jesus, “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). So take courage. Keep moving forward. The pain of the wilderness may be great, but greater still is its significance for your life. The Promised Land awaits you.

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