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Wilderness Wisdom (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

But all sorts of things come out in the wilderness - quite surprising, there you are on your own, doesn't feel like God's around, and suddenly this pressure's on you. Bitterness comes up, if it's in your heart. Offences come up, if they're in your heart. They all come out on display. Pride comes up, if it's in your heart. Whatever's in your heart comes up in the wilderness, just shows itself. People see it. If you've got judgement in your heart, that'll always come up too; critical attitudes, oh they'll all come up too. If you've got a victim mindset, that'll come up. You know what also gets dealt with in the wilderness? Soulish attachments, the things that we love that comfort us, and we prop our life up with. Well those, they get shown up for what they are too. Sometimes God takes them away, sometimes He calls you to repent and let them go. He wants us to trust Him, wants us to walk by faith, and so wilderness experiences help us deepen the quality of our relationship. Isn't that lovely?

Fears come up in the wilderness. All your world's falling apart, you'll be surprised what depth of fear can be inside you, surprised. It grips your belly, and there you are, you love God and you're worshipping God, and you've got this deep fear gripping your belly, that you've got to face and overcome. That's wilderness time. It's possible to overcome these things. That's what they were for. They were to grow the people, not destroy them. Now notice here's the last thing; the wilderness is tailor made by God for you, so no one has to prepare one for you. God makes it for you, and it's tailor made for your enlargement, and for your blessing. Notice God's plan: if you are in a wilderness now, and you're walking through a wilderness, God's plan is to do you good, because He's a good God, and He doesn't mess up. You say: well you don't know what I'm going through. No, welcome to your wilderness. What's out the other side of it for you though, the joy ahead? You've got to keep thinking it's a faith walk, and so everyone, if you want to be a leader, great. Welcome. You'll have a wilderness experience sometime - may have more than one, and you'll just want to give up, but you can't.

In the wilderness people do quit. People quit in the wilderness. I've watched over the years, I've seen many - I've seen pastors, I've seen leaders, I've seen congregation members, quit God in the wilderness. You watch their life - they had many reasons for quitting, many reasons for leaving, but in the end I watch their lives what happens. It's not good, because you are called to greatness, and when you fail and draw back from God, He says my soul has no pleasure in him that draws back. You do open your life to all kinds of other problems, so escaping the pressure, the best way to escape is to run into God, never to run away from God. He will always give you the option, so I think God: I'll run, I'll place my hands in the hands of the Lord. [Laughs] Okay, let's have a look here in Luke, Chapter 4. Then the spirit Jesus was filled with the Holy Ghost, and He returned from Jordan, was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Oh my God, the devil's in the wilderness! [Laughter] It's full of devils! Predators! That's what a wilderness was like. It's full of scorpions and snakes. Fortunately God has given us authority over serpents and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy, nothing shall harm you. You don't have to be scared of it.

So notice this - And the devil said to Him: if You are the Son of God, command this stone become bread. And He said: it is written man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. So then the devil took Him up a high mountain. Ever thought how he did that one? That is a high level spiritual encounter, transported from one place to another, by the devil. Man, that'd freak you out, wouldn't it? And the devil said: all this authority I will give You, and their glory, for it's been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I want. If You worship me, it'll all be Yours. Get behind Me Satan! It's written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve. Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said: if You're the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here, for it's written: He'll give His angels charge over you, to keep you, and in their hands they'll bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. He said: it's written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God; then the devil finished temptation, he departed from Him until a better opportunity presented itself.