Donate/Tithe with Bank Deposit (direct to Mike Connell)

Wilderness Wisdom (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

But He was not well pleased with them, it says in 1 Corinthians 10. It takes faith to please God. Why was God not so pleased with them? Because they were overthrown in the wilderness. When a period, which God designed for their benefit, came into their life, instead of responding in a godly way and understanding what God wanted to do, they fought, wrestled, and eventually fell and failed in that wilderness experience. Jesus had a wilderness experience, it must be important. It can't be just an Old Testament thing. 1 Corinthians 10 says: it's a warning, a learning exercise, it's something for us to learn from, and it says: make sure you don't make the same mess ups that they made. Two billion people died so you could learn and expensive lesson, so it's quite good to read and learn the lesson isn't it aye? So the thing is that tests always come in the kingdom. Now when I went to university I had a test, but you always knew it was coming up, and you could prepare for your test. You swotted up, and then you went into a room, and then it was basically you'd learned. They did the test, they posted the marks the next day - so you knew about when it was coming, and what it was about, and you knew how to get ready.

But the tests with God don't work like that. [Laughter] What a shame. When God brings tests around our life, He doesn't advertise they're coming. They come when you don't expect them. You're probably in the middle of one right now - and when they come, they are not about head knowledge. They're not about how many books you've read, they're not about how many sermons you've listened to, they're not about how many iPod downloads you've got. They're not anything about how much knowledge you may have, and that is a dilemma, because for many of us we have a lot of knowledge. We've sat and listened to lots of wonderful preaching, but it's actually about what experience you have. It's about what is built into your life, in your walk with God. It is about the kind of person you really are on the inside, and in the initial phase of our Christian experience, often everything goes absolutely wonderfully. It's like we've - man, we've got cake, and we've got icing as well. It's just wonderful, we're having a glorious time.

Then next thing you know, you're eating bread with no butter or nothing, and it seems like it's a different deal. Now what happened? Where did God go? We don't understand that God actually designs a path for us. You know the Bible tells us that there is a scroll written with your destiny on it, and how your life will unfold, what God has prepared for you, but you have to open the scroll a little at a time. You've actually got to unwind it. It's not like a book, you'd read the end of the book like that. With a scroll you've got to take it, and unwind it bit by bit. God prescribes for us, He knows exactly what we need. So the purpose of the wilderness training, or wilderness seasons in our life, is essentially it's for preparation. It is preparation. If you are facing a season that you might call a wilderness season, I can assure you, it is your time of preparation. It is a time God has set aside for you, to be prepared for the things He's planned for your life, so it's important that you respond to God properly in the season of preparation.

If we want to become great in anything, there's always a season of preparation. Most of us want to just get the dream and we're there now, but it never works that way. Nothing in life works that way. There's always preparation. No one is a great concert pianist, they had preparation. Everyone has preparation, and preparation's not nice. I was with some men on a ship, musicians. I asked them how long do you practice? They said eight hours a day. I couldn't imagine sitting at a piano practising eight hours a day, that's what they did - so people in the Bible, all through the Bible you'll find any great man of God, not only had encounters with God, which we all love by the way, but they had wilderness experiences. We don't want to hear about those, but they are the way of God, to get you from your encounter experience, and your revelation, into your destiny; so you have to go through preparation.