June 8, 2022 — Dealing with the Wilderness

“I had an appointment over in Ettonville the other day,” Stan commented. “I went over there to meet with a group from the community church to talk about discipleship.”

“How’d it go?” I asked.

“It was just fine,” Stan replied, “but God had an interesting stop for me on the way that really helped.”

“A stop before you got there?”

“That’s right,” Stan said. “As I was going over the summit of Weston Mountain, I suddenly had the sense I was supposed to stop and see something.”

“Did you stop?”

“I did. I pulled over and stopped at the lookout point. You know what you can see from there?”

“What?”

“Wilderness. You see wilderness for as far as you can see. Nothing but wilderness.”

“So?”

“That’s what God wanted me to see,” Stan replied. “Kind of like John the Baptist who is described as a voice calling in the wilderness.”

“Too often,” he continued, “I get kind of frustrated in talking to people about God, Jesus, the church, discipleship, and all that. I get frustrated because there doesn’t seem to be any change. It’s like a voice in the wilderness that doesn’t make any difference.”

“And you think God showed you something about that?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Stan replied. “As I was looking at the vast wilderness from the top of Weston Mountain, God made it clear to me that my role is to be a voice. I am to keep talking about what He has for me to talk about to those who are in the wilderness of the world. He will take care of how that voice is heard and received.”

“And that made a difference with the people you were talking with in Ettonville?” I asked.

“It certainly did,” Stan replied. “I’m not certain about any difference for them, but it sure made a difference with me in seeing that my role is to tell people what God has for me to tell them. And it’s the same for each one of us. God will take it from there.”

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Bible verses to consider:

A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3.

He (John the Baptist) said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” John 1:23.

Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for those people you brought into my life who helped bring me out of the wilderness of the world into your eternal presence when my time here is completed. Thank you, too, for allowing me to draw ever closer to you on this side of eternity—and ever further away from the wilderness of the world, the flesh, and the devil. I confess that too often I do not speak to others the truth that will help them out of the wilderness of separation from you. Please forgive me, and please help me in following every step of your lead so I can be used by you exactly as you intend in keeping myself out of the world’s wilderness, and in helping others in the same way. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you left the “wilderness” in the sense of having accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life with Him eternally when your time here is completed? If no, why? Do you actually prefer that wilderness over God’s presence? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in helping others out of the wilderness of separation from God? If you sense the need for change with that, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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