Those stranded in the wilderness must constantly evaluate their situation. They need to take stock of their resources and understand their surroundings. That way they can move forward with a level head and a good idea of what's necessary to get through.
What Are Your Resources?
If we were lost in the wilderness, our odds of survival would drastically improve if we possessed a few basic supplies like food, water, a knife or matches. Never are these provisions more important than when our survival is at stake.
This is also true for the spiritual wilderness. The resources God has given us for spiritual life are always precious, but in the wilderness, we must rediscover them and cling to them like never before.
These resources are the Word of God, the fellowship of saints and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
The Word of God
God's Word is an oasis of truth in any spiritual desert. No matter how barren the season, it is an ever-present source of renewal and strength. It does not depend on outward circumstances to be effective. Christ's Word "dwell[s] in you richly" (Col. 3:16) because "the word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart" (Rom 10:8b).
When outward conditions contradict the truth, the truth must determine our inward condition. "You desire truth in the inward parts" (Ps. 51:6a). This allows us to live and speak from our heart—the hidden chamber that stores God's Word—and not from our circumstances. "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You" (Ps. 119:11).
This is especially important when the enemy takes advantage of our wilderness by flooding us with lies and temptations. Our only weapon against him is the truth of God's Word. That is our wisdom for the wilderness. Jesus exemplified this in His own wilderness when He responded to the devil's temptations by quoting Scripture (Matt 4:1-11). He reached into His internal arsenal, found just the right texts, and fired truth back at his enemy. God's written Word has incredible power when we believe. It is our greatest resource during dry seasons.
Not only does it protect us from lies, but God's Word also reminds us of His purpose for the wilderness itself. The wilderness can knock us off-kilter and make us feel like something is terribly wrong. But the truth of God's Word provides wisdom to put everything in perspective.
The two disciples walking the road to Emmaus were suffering the pain of a sudden spiritual desert. They were totally disoriented, darkened with the despondence of dashed hopes and a chilling sense of prevailing evil. Their hero had died.
Jesus of Nazareth, the mighty prophet whom they thought would redeem Israel, seemed to perish in shame like a false Messiah. Religious leaders mocked and murdered Him. Now their aspirations of freedom and glory lay buried with Him. How could this have happened? How could such hope be turned so suddenly into a wasteland?
Jesus comes along incognito. He walks beside them and interviews them. He learns what they are discussing and why they are so sad. Then He completely transforms their perspective by explaining the Scriptures to them (Luke 24:27).
"Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter his glory?" (Luke 24:26). Notice that Jesus does not first reveal Himself to them in person, showing them He is alive and well and walking right next to them. Rather, His identity remains hidden while He explains from the written Word that their circumstances are not dismal after all. They are necessary to God's plan of salvation. Jesus does not change their circumstances; He changes their perspective through the wisdom of the Scriptures.
Now they will understand, not just that Jesus came back from the dead, but that the whole "tragedy" was actually God's plan from the beginning. There was no other way to forgive their sins and exalt the king. Truth from the Scriptures transformed their viewpoint, not their situation.
That is the power of God's Word. It is a most wonderful treasure when you find yourself in the desert. As you assess your resources, rediscover the Word—because in the wilderness, perspective is everything.
Daniel Kolenda is an evangelist and the president and CEO of Christ for all Nations (CfaN), the worldwide ministry of evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.
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