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The Purpose of the Wilderness

Do you feel like you are in a spiritual wilderness? Have you been expelled from your Church? This explains why God calls some out of the Church for a season to teach them new things, so that they can return to minister to those who have ears to hear.

Category - Short Book

Chapter 3

Knowing By Experience

I have been in many impossible situations, especially involving God’s provision. Years ago, God really did prove himself to me, and it got to be where I knew that if I were someday dropped off in the middle of the Sahara desert, somehow God would provide, because He had always done so. He would come up with such unusual ways of providing at the last minute, at the eleventh hour. When everything looked impossible, God did it, and it looked so easy.

When you have some experiences like that under your belt, you just know by experience that He provides. It is not knowing with a head knowledge. It is knowing experientially. Everyone needs to come to this conclusion experientially, and not just have a head knowledge about what the Scriptures teach about other saints.

So often, we go through life in our Christian experience, and we talk about the experiences of the great men of God, but it is quite irrelevant to us. We feel that God does this sort of thing with biblical saints, not with us ordinary people. And yet, these men were ordinary people, too. We call them saints today, but any sainthood they may have attained was totally on account of God’s training. We need to see them as they were when they were born like we were, when they wet their pants like we did, when they were immature even as we were at one time. We need to bring them down to our level. That is not to dishonor them, but to make the Scriptures accessible to us.

Remember, Elijah was a man of like passions (James 5:17), just like we are. Saul was like we are. Moses was like we are. All of these people were in many ways the same as we are today, and these examples are written for our learning. We undergo the same type of training as that found in the Bible.

So in the midst of hardship, we learn His provision. In the midst of condemnation, we learn mercy and love. In the midst of bondage and imprisonment, we learn the Jubilee of utter forgiveness. Then at some point God brings us out of the wilderness and back into the world or back to those that remain in Saul’s household in order that we might minister to those who yet cling to their golden calves of heart idolatry.

So if you have been led out of the Church, do not be surprised if some day God leads you back into the Church. You have to return some day when you can be of help to them and share the truth in love when God gives opportunity.

If you find yourself being kicked out again, it might be that they are not yet ready to hear the word that you have been called to share. But, then, perhaps you are not yet fully equipped to minister to them either. It is easy to blame the Church for its immaturity and for its blindness. It is easy to condemn them for not seeing all the doctrinal truths that God has shown to us. But we must recognize that the Christians in the Church denominational systems are precisely where God has put them. If they were not there, you would not have a ministry. If they were waiting eagerly for the truth you had for them, they would not put everything you had learned to the test.

The fact is, you need them as much as they need you. They may need the Word that you have for them, but you need them as your barometer to know whether you have really learned to speak the truth in love. Chances are, they will not be able to hear any truth you have for them unless it is made palatable by the love of Christ in you and by the power of His Spirit. The more you are like Christ, the greater will be your ability to change men’s lives for the better. And this, after all, is what it is all about.