Time in the wilderness is not necessarily a bad thing for those who have experienced it. Many times in the Bible this is when God chooses to reveal Himself the most to His people. The wilderness is often times where God has chosen to prepare people for a future mighty ministry. If you immediately take a new believer and place them into a Christian small group "community" and continuosily control every aspect of their "Christian" experience, then the chance to have a wilderness encounter with God is impossabile because they never will get a chance to spend time in the wilderness. Jesus even said that his flock is in the wilderness!
And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing (Luke 15:3-5 KJV).
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appearred unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and behold, the bush was not consumed. (Exodus 3:1,2).
And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?.........And the Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. (1 Kings 19:8,9,15).
But when it pleased God, who seperated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace. To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I unto Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. (Galatians 1:15-17).
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentence for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Luke 3:2-4).
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,.......And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about (Luke 4:1,14).
But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed (Luke 5:15,16).
In the wilderness you will not find the pretty clothes or the riches of the world, but God's people satisfied with nothing but Him.
And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. (Luke 7:24-27 KJV).
And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4 KJV).
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (Hebrews 11:37,38 KJV).
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need (Phillippians 4:11,12 KJV).
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