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Wilderness Wisdom (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

Summary Notes

Introduction:
Luke 3:22 “… the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove…”
Luke 4:1 “When Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit … was led by the holy Spirit into the wilderness”
Luke 4:14 “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit …”
· ‘The wilderness’ is a place of preparation for your destiny to be fulfilled
· The Kingdom has a system of passing tests to qualify you for enlargement
· Tests in the Kingdom are about leaning to trust God and develop character

The Purpose of Wilderness Testing:
a) Wilderness Experiences are a preparation for enlargement/fresh move of God
· Bible examples: Moses, Israel, David, Elijah, John the Baptist, Jesus
· All the great men of God had experience to prepare them for their destiny (Word picture – a tree in water)

b) Lessons from Israel’s Wilderness Experience:
Deut 8:2,3,16
i. God led them into the wilderness v2. Wilderness = 4057 OT = uninhabited place; solitary, desolate. The wilderness journey was God’s idea – it was a journey not a destination
ii. The wilderness experience was for preparation not destinations
iii. The wilderness was a place of humility – of experiencing lack. Wilderness experiences include: pressure, lack, injustice, misunderstanding, opposition, apparent failure, temptation
iv. The wilderness is a place of testing. Test = to prove or examine the quality of our relationship
v. Pressure reveals what is in our heart (know = yada = to be intimate) Bitterness, offense, pride, critical, judgmental, motivations, attitudes, soulish attachments, fears, unbelief
vi. The wilderness is Tailor made by God for our enlargement and blessing v16 “to do you good at the end”
vii. The wilderness is a place of deepening intimacy and trust

3. Jesus’ Wilderness Experience:
· Luk 4:3-12
· Pressure came on Jesus in 3 areas related to His identity
· “If you are” => a challenge to His identity
· Key issue: Who are you? How do you define your identity? Will you put on a mask and play a part?
i) Performance Trap v3 “I am what I do”
· What have you achieved? What do you do?

ii) Possessions Trap “I am what I own”
· What do you own? You are nothing unless possess you things

iii) Popularity Trap “I am what other people think”
· When you live to please people you cannot be true to who you are and your calling
· Everyone had expectations that they tried to put on Jesus
· Jesus lived true to himself, and his calling, identity and disappointed people constantly e.g. parents, members of his hometown, disciples, religious leaders, crowds
Note: The Word of God was the weapon He used to vanquish the accuser

4. How to Flunk your Wilderness Test:
· Israel flunked the test God gave them 1 Cor 10:5-6
· Evidence of flunking Num 14:1-4
(i) Weeping – self-pity v1
(ii) Complaining v2
(iii) Blaming other v2
(iv) Victim mindset v3
(v) Rebelling and leaving v4
· They flunked because the believed the negative reports instead believing God

5. Graduating with Distinction:
Num 14:24 “My servant Caleb because he has a different spirit in him and has wholly followed me … I will bring into the land”

1 Cor 10:13
a) 4 Things to remember in your wilderness
· Other people have experienced it too
· God is faithful, He will stand by me
· I have the capacity to handle this
· God will provide strength and direction to get me through

b) 4 Things to Ask in your wilderness
· Whet is the struggle/issue I am facing?
· What is being revealed about/in me?
· What do I need to let go of/change?
· What “Word of God” do I need to hold o to/believe?

· How are you doing in your wilderness testing?
· What promise of God is shaping your response and destiny
· Peter – “When you are converted, strengthen your brethren”