Survive the Wilderness Seasons of Life
- Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Walk through the wilderness of unmet desires. When you’re waiting for something you hope for to become a reality, you can feel like you’re stuck while other people’s lives are moving forward. You may wonder if God has forgotten you. Pray for God to give you the strength you need to avoid envy and be genuinely happy for others who are enjoying what you desire but don’t have. Ask God to guard your mind from comparing and coveting. Don’t try to manipulate your way into getting what you want; the easy way out will never truly fulfill you. Whenever a worry creeps into your mind, turn it into a prayer. Choose to trust God to meet your heart’s desires. If you encounter an opportunity to obtain your desires that seems too good to be true, don’t act impulsively. Instead, pray about it and make sure that it aligns with God’s will for you. Remember that God is good, and He will meet the desires of your heart that are best for you, in His perfect timing. Keep praying about your desires, honestly telling God how you feel, but making sure that you fully entrust those desires to Him. Imagine yourself taking each of those desires to the foot of the Cross and leaving them there for Jesus to handle. Learn how to rest and wait on God to work in your life, in His way and at His time.
Drink plenty of water. Jesus is the Living Water who will refresh your soul during your time in the wilderness. Find your daily source of life and fulfillment in Him. Meet Jesus in His Word, the Bible, and drink deeply from it every day. Set a specific time of day to meet with Jesus, begin your time with prayer, read and reflect on a portion of Scripture, and ask Jesus questions about what you read. Consider asking questions like these: “What do I learn about God (the Father, the Son, the Spirit) from this Scripture?”, “What do I learn about myself from this Scripture?”, “What commands/instructions should I obey?”, “What truth can I apply to my life?”, “What sin do I need to confess?”, “What promises can I claim?” and “What does God reveal about my wilderness season?”. You may want journal your thoughts and impressions that come as you read the Bible. The more you drink the Living Water, the more you’ll crave it.
Seek shelter. Jesus’ name is the ultimate shelter for when you’re going through a storm. Simply saying His name out loud invokes unique spiritual power and ushers in the peace that only comes from Him. Banish your fear with faith by praising Jesus for who He is and what He has done. Run to the shelter of the name of the Lord.
Beware of snakes. Satan appeared as a snake in the Garden of Eden, and he is still at work trying to tempt people to sin today. Be on guard against him, realizing that he wants you to doubt God’s heart for you, doubt God’s character, and doubt your own salvation. Whenever you encounter Satan’s deceptive ploys, respond as Jesus Himself did when He faced Satan in the wilderness – by quoting a biblical truth out loud in response to Satan’s lies. Take inventory of your thoughts and ask God to show you which ones reflect listening to or believing evil lies. Base your thoughts firmly on biblical truth. Realize that your thoughts lead to your emotions, and your emotions lead to your actions – so your thoughts are crucial to living a faithful life. Be careful not to entertain Satan’s lies, because doing so means allowing him to dictate your emotions and actions. Decide to stand in truth, especially in the wilderness.
Don’t eat the red berries. Beware of bitterness, which will poison your soul like a wild red berry can poison your body. Deal with unhealed wounds that cause bitterness by honestly and openly expressing your emotions, getting real before God, and asking for help to process your pain and heal. Deal with unmet expectations that cause bitterness by refusing to place the burden of your happiness or completion on someone or something other than God. Place your hope in God rather than on people or things in your life. Deal with unforgiveness that causes bitterness by releasing the debts you feel are owed by people who have hurt you. Answer God’s call to forgive, because He has forgiven you. Rely on God to help you through the process. Invite God to use the suffering you’ve gone through in the wilderness to make you a better person – better instead of bitter – by helping you grow in maturity.
Enjoy the adventure. Don’t miss the wild – God’s incredible plan – in the wilderness around you. All the pain is worth it if it helps you experience the wild adventure of trusting God in new and deeper ways. Trust Him, and enjoy the adventure of walking through any place with Him.
Adapted from Wilderness Skills for Women: How to Survive Heartbreak and Other Full-Blown Meltdowns, copyright 2008 by Marian L. Jordan. Published by B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tn., www.bhpublishinggroup.com.
Marian Jordan is the founder of Redeemed Girl ministries in Houston, Texas, where she currently resides. She served as a teacher of Systematic Theology and Biblical Exegesis at Second Baptist School in Houston from 2002 to 2007. She recently started her own full-time speaking teaching ministry and is pursuing a Master’s of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Theological Seminary. Marian travels and speaks to women all over the United States at college campuses, churches, and women’s conferences.
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