Excerpt from Chapter 3
Your Personal Wilderness
“Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths.” Hosea 2:6
In order to truly know God, we are going to have to understand the true Father heart of God. A good father has both a tender mercy for his children and the ability to administer discipline when his children are straying. Our heavenly Father is no different. If we are not coming under the discipline of God when our hearts are being carried off, then the Scripture says that we are illegitimate children, meaning we are not true sons and daughters.
There is a holy jealously in God’s heart for each of His children. Ecclesiastes 3:15 says, “God seeks that which has been driven away.” God will send you into the wilderness to expose the strongholds that are driving you away from Him. His goal is to seek you out and deliver you and cause you to overcome the sin that entangles and the schemes of the enemy. His desire is to reveal to you the workings of your flesh in a deeper way, so that you can learn how to truly walk in the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit.
You may have convinced yourself that your circumstances are too painful to endure and that God understands your particular plight, and to some degree this is true. He does understand your affliction and it grieves Him. But we must understand that God has called us to be overcomers – not victims. Please forgive me if you think my comment harsh. With everything in me, I want you to know that I am not belittling your pain. I too understand the devastating effects of pain inside the human soul, but the more we excuse ourselves to coax the bitter feelings and self protection that accompanies pain, the more bound we become.
I have come to see something in the scriptures. The wilderness is not some obscure experience that the children of Israel had to go through because they were more rebellious than any of us. The wilderness is God’s path to freedom. If we truly desire to walk in the fullness of the abundant life, we will have to pass through the valley of trouble. Adam and Eve, all of God’s leaders, the Israelites, and Jesus Himself were all led into the wilderness. It’s the place where our hearts are laid bare before the Great Physician. It’s the path that takes us through the breaking of our own strength so that we can truly be alive in Him. You can’t truly possess your allotted inheritance until you go through the wilderness. There are no short cuts.