Previously we considered that John’s wilderness to dwell in was not Jesus’ wilderness of 40 days. In this entry, I want to offer another thought… John’s wilderness was also not the Hebrews’ wilderness of 40 years. I bring this out because there are certain buzz words that we communicate in the local church with a blanket meaning — Egypt, Babylon, Jezebel, witchcraft…and WILDERNESS.
It is possible even with the best intentions to take the wilderness (in concept and reality, based on Scripture) and create a sort of mash-up. This is important because we can apply an elaborate model from the Word to our lives…AND IT BE THE WRONG MODEL. The Hebrews’ wilderness experience was marked by unbelief that resulted in cyclical patterns. God let a generation die in the wilderness before He moved their children out to possess their inheritance.
We can repeat the mistakes we mock and become the people we shun with a misplaced application of the wilderness.
Consider the reason for the Hebrews’ wilderness — It was to humble the people, to reveal their true heart and their real intention toward obedience (See Deuteronomy 8:2). What lessons could this generation have taught us if their full potential was revealed? How could history’s record have been altered by their genuine love for God (not that they didn’t love God) and willingness to obey Him?
We can skew our perception if we apply the 40-year wilderness model without consideration for the complete, redemptive work of Christ and the power of Holy Spirit, grace and resurrection that assist us today.
The danger of too closely aligning with a misplaced model is the attempt at verbatim application. We can misread cues and signs and indicators because we accepted that we have to live out the Scripture, just as the Hebrews experienced it. This kind of identification with Scripture can create an erroneous bondage.
All that said, please consider the nature of your personal transition — apart from ties to a business, family and/or local church. Are you in Jesus’ 40 days, where the result is Spirit and power? Are you in Israel’s 40 years, where God is humbling you and proving your heart to show you who you really are and what you’re really willing to do with and for Him? Or, John, are you dwelling in the wilderness until the time of your revealing and what you think is transition is God’s way of life for you?
It depends on how you view the wilderness.
There’s more, but I’ll continue in another post. Selah, and love to all.