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Navigating the Wilderness

By Youval Yanay

 

“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” – Psalm 13:1

 

Wilderness experiences happen to everyone, not just soldiers. They occur to every believer, often as prolonged periods of spiritual dryness. Why does God allow us to go through these times, and how can we overcome them?

 

In the wilderness, we often feel disconnected from God. Even when we have time to read and pray, we might not sense His presence or hear His voice. The sense of peace and connection we once felt seems to vanish. This is a common experience during these desert periods.

 

In these times, all the hidden chambers of our hearts are opened. God brings us to our personal “mountain of God” where we come to know Him and ourselves more deeply. In the wilderness, God questions our motives, which arise from the depths of our hearts.

 

Disappointment sets in because God seems absent and doesn’t provide in ways we are used to. Where is He? We feel abandoned, losing the joy of reading the Scriptures and praying. We are left feeling thirsty, dry, and alone, crying out for His presence.

 

“To those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.” – Romans 8:29

 

During these times in the desert, everything we’ve suppressed begins to surface—emptiness, inferiority, self-rejection, anger, and confusion. These feelings lead to bitterness, and though Satan exploits this, it’s also part of God’s plan. He allows this so we can confront our true selves and our hidden sins.

 

In the wilderness, we encounter our true identity without masks or illusions. We face our self-rejection, self-blame, and insecurities. This process reveals our need for God’s intervention and transformation. Like Yeshua, who was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan, we learn to distinguish between God’s voice and the enemy’s lies.

 

The wilderness is a place of learning and discipleship. God reveals the enemy’s strategy and teaches us to recognize and resist his accusations. This period of spiritual dryness forces us to confront our true nature and drives us to seek God with a pure heart.

 

“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” – Revelation 12:11

 

The transformation we undergo during these times is profound. We begin to look more like Yeshua, reflecting His character and love. This inner change allows us to bear more fruit and shine His light in the world.

 

This journey of transformation is continuous, leading us from glory to glory as we become more like Yeshua. When we experience these wilderness periods, we should embrace them as opportunities for deeper intimacy with God.

 

God allows us to undergo these trials to prepare us for greater purposes. Yeshua’s time in the wilderness prepared Him for His ministry. Similarly, our desert experiences prepare us for our calling to reflect His image.

 

During these times, it’s crucial to support one another. When we see a brother or sister going through a wilderness period, we must stand by them, offering love and encouragement without judgment. This solidarity helps us all emerge stronger and more like our Messiah.

 

Walking through the wilderness removes illusions, exposes hidden sins, and allows the light of the Messiah to shine in every corner of our hearts. Holding onto the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, we can overcome any trial.

 

We fight through the power of faith, knowing that the blood of the Lamb is stronger than anything else that influences our lives. There is no fear or guilt; we stand against the enemy with the assurance of the atonement we received through Yeshua’s blood. The declaration of His victory on the cross sustains us in the wilderness.

 

In these moments, we remember that God is always with us, even when it feels otherwise. He leads us through the wilderness, refining us to reflect His glory more clearly. Embrace the wilderness as a sacred journey toward deeper transformation and communion with God.

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