As I begin to round up this series on the wilderness experience, I will like to use the case of Elijah, the wilderness prophet, to summarize all that I have stated in my views as to what it means to be in the wilderness.
Looking at this;
1 Kings 17:1-3, “1And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. 2And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 3Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith,that is before Jordan.”
Elijah moving to the brook in this wilderness journey was very specific. The Father personally told him where to go just like the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. God led Israel into the wilderness. Meaning the wilderness journey is not just what you feel like embarking on at will.
“4And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.”
The supply in this wilderness journey came because the Father was involved. He instructed him on where to go to, and so He was responsible for the supply as well. This is what I indicated in part one of this series that if God initiates your wilderness journey, He will also make sure you have the provisions needed in the wilderness.
Meaning one of the major reasons we don’t experience the supply and so suffer unduly in what we call the wilderness, is because the Father didn’t initiate the move and not involved .
“5So he went and did according unto the word of the LORD: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. 6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.”
He did exactly what the Father said and the ravens began to feed him.
Now get this right; ravens ordinarily feed on dead carcasses, but here they were supplying food to Elijah and sustaining him. The Father changed and shut their appetite. Why? Because God was involved.
Unusual miracles will accompany your wilderness journey if God is involved like the crossing of the Red Sea with the Children of Israel.
“7And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 9Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee,”
The second miracle because the Father was in charge of the whole process. Meaning if God is involved in your wilderness journey, you will not only get to the right spot for provisions, there will be constant communication with the Father. You will always hear the Father.
A true wilderness experience opens you up to the Spirit of the sonship wherein you will be in constant fellowship with the Father.
You can’t be confused in life and in your journey once you are in a true wilderness experience. It’s not a realm for suffering people, neither is it a realm of confusion. Anything of such is not God’s wilderness.
Furthermore we are told;
v.1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
v.2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
v.3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
v.4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
This is when he chose the wilderness for himself yet at work with God, very much at the center of God’s business, out of human frustration in ministry even in a successful one for that matter.
But see this;
v.5 “And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.”
v.6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
v.7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
v.8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.
Did you see that? God will not leave him alone to himself. Provision must be made and mind you, in all this He wasn’t going to allow him to be in the wilderness for Donkey years before the Father start talking to him and providing for him.
Friends this is the only wilderness experience permitted by the Father. Anything short of this is a self-imposed religious suffering season, and nothing good comes out of it.
These major things must happen if you are in the will of God and in the wilderness directed by God:
(1) You will hear God for yourself;
(2) There will be no delay before He starts talking with you;
(3) There will be abundant provisions;
(4) Your sonship relationship position will be magnified; and
(5) You will never miss a divine direction as to the next phase of your walk and ministry.
v.15 And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:
v.16 And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room.
The wilderness is not for suffering and hiding from people. It’s a relationship with God and unfolding of your assignments before the Lord for mankind.
Embrace it if it comes from God, but not for human suffering. Take no pride in human religious wilderness experience.