What Is The Wilderness?
You may ask, "What is this modern Christian wilderness experience thing? Will I have to go live in
the desert, wear camel’s hair, and eat bugs for a number of years?" Simply put, in the wilderness God takes away your
normal ability to manage your life, and He leads you into an intensive time of purification, transformation, training, and
inner-healing. In this modern wilderness, the wilderness comes to you, and your life as you know it ends. It is the Holy Spirit
helping the Bride to make Herself ready. It is happening to many Christians right now. In this wilderness, the Holy Spirit
transforms you from the inside out, and deals with all of your sin and pain from the past. Your career, your church-life,
your relationships, your marriage, your residence, your finances, your sanity, and everything else gets "shaken" by the Lord.
Whatever remains, will only be what is part of His new plan for your life.
How Do I Know If I’m In It?
Hopefully this list below will provide you with a simple guide to be able to clearly determine whether you are
actually in the wilderness, or whether you are just having a bad decade. But if you are in fact in the wilderness, then the
following signs and symptoms that I describe below should be somewhat familiar to you. These are the signs:
in your life suddenly seems like you've lost normal control of it. You might feel like there is an unseen force that is resisting
or blocking your usual efforts to make the regular decisions you used to be able to make in your life without much of a problem.
This includes where you work, your relationships, where you live, what you own, what you can or cannot do, and what or whom
you are normally responsible for. You may find yourself getting very frustrated, annoyed, and frightened during this
time as you are blocked from calling the normal shots in your life like you once were able to easily do.
2. The grace
is gone. The normal grace (divine assistance) to succeed and progress in your life is suddenly missing. It's like the car
just ran out of gas, and the only way you can make it go forward is to push it yourself. Before, God may have allowed you
to choose, and He gave you the strength and ability to be part of that relationship, church, place of ministry, or job. But
now you feel like a stranger, where before you used to feel like you fit and had a place with that certain person or group.
During this time, you may only have what or whom God wants in your life because He wants as few distractions as possible while
He is changing you in the wilderness.
3. The old unhealed areas of pain, and sin problems you used to keep fairly buried or under control are suddenly coming
to the surface full force. And you don't seem to have the usual ability you used to have to ease the pain or keep yourself
from sinning in that area. You may find yourself finally grieving over a loss, or traumatic event that you had long since
buried, but has been secretly sapping your strength for many years. Plus, if you have practiced any secret sin habit, you
may suddenly have less self-control over it, and you will most likely be getting caught much more easily, like someone or
something is supernaturally causing it. Your hidden problem will be exposed to everyone so that you will be forced to face
it and receive God’s to help to finally be free from it.
4. You have a sense of being pulled away from the world,
and into an intensive time of introspection, study, prayer, and just spending time alone with God. Your normal attachments
to the world’s obligations suddenly have no support from God and you now live fairly off the grid. It's almost like
driving on a highway and all of the sudden your car takes an exit and stays parked in a secret spot while you sit and watch
all the other cars buzz by. You may feel like a ghost that is still living in a body during this time, and whoever you used
to be doesn't exist anymore. Your old life is gone, and the road that was before you has ended and you're not really sure
what to do, or where to go next.
5. Your finances dry up except for the bare essentials. All of the sudden, it gets
very difficult to pay your bills, almost to the point where you are beginning to wonder if you are going to end up living
in the woods, or whether you will even survive at all. The regular money you used to have to pay your normal bills suddenly
gets dried up except for what is actually needed for your basic survival. It's like the depression of 1929 just came to you
personally, and you are wondering what in the world's going on. You may find yourself going to food banks for the first time,
or having people give you money to get by. This may vary a bit if you have kids, but it will still be some slim pickings for
a while. You learn to live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God for everything in your life and all other previous
means of support or direction is now very limited.
There are other signs and symptoms to being in the wilderness, but
these are the five basic signs that should tip you off as to whether you are actually in the wilderness or not. If you don't
see most of these things happening in your life then chances are that you are not in the wilderness but just going through
a trial or you are just having a tough time with life for some other reason. Rest assured though, if you are a true Christian
then you can expect God to lead you through His wilderness boot camp at some point. It is time for the Bride to make herself
ready and nobody will be left out.
REV 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride
has made herself ready.