The Purpose of the Wilderness: To Know His Ways

[This is part of the Sojourning the Spiritual Sahara Series. Check out the other posts!]

depressed

Emotion by rexquisite (flickr)

Now that I knew I was in the wilderness I was mad at God. Why did You take away our awesome times together? For awhile, I continued my times with God in denial that I was in the wilderness: I didn’t seek God for His purpose.

As the days passed I felt further and further from God. Then I started skipping days with Him since the time was not joyous. I was depressed. Too much of the skipping and I was going backwards with God.

After a few weeks I came to my senses; this is not what I wanted! I finally realized if I didn’t learn what God wanted me to learn that I would be here for forty years or until I died, whichever came first.

Seeking God brought me answers. I discovered that I had based my relationship with God on the soul realm. I based His existence and love for me on what I could feel. Yet God leading me into the wilderness was a good thing because He was saying I was ready for the next step in Him, and that was to teach me to trust Him when His presence wasn’t obviously felt.

God Wants Us to Trust Him

In order to know God we are to learn His ways.  The Lord wants to bring His people to a place where they are led by the Spirit, not their souls.  If we are always depending on feeling the Lord’s presence to believe He exists or is in communion with us, then maybe God wants us to learn to have faith in Him.  

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

Other Things to Discern

Emotions can be deceiving. Has the devil tricked you into thinking God is just mad at you, so He stopped being near you? That’s perceived rejection. (Keep things in balance: God does get angry, but His anger only lasts for a moment! (Psalm 30:5, Isaiah 54:7-8.)

We also need to discern if our relationship with God is being affected by a lover. I read an article once of a woman who wrote that every time she was in a relationship, thinking that the man she was with was “the one”, she noticed that she felt such love from God. Then whenever she was single, or the relationship she was in was long-distance she felt like God was being distant from her. Eventually she realized after seeking God about it that she was getting her fulfillment, love and feelings of acceptance  from those relationships in place of God.

Have you ever dealt with any of these situations in your relationship with God?  What happened?

Sahara Desert

Photo credit: roaming-the-planet (flickr)

As we continue in this series we will talk about other purposes He has for the wilderness season. In my next post I will tell you a humbling story of how I reaped from error . Subscribe so you don’t miss it!

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