And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel. (Luke 1:80)
This verse is speaking of John the Baptist. John grew and was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel. I don’t know about you, but when I think of my children growing up and living their adult life, I wouldn’t in a million years think that they would live in the wilderness, eating locusts and honey and wearing camel hair outfits. However, as a Christian parent who is raising godly young children, I do expect they’ll face spiritual wilderness, likely more than once in their lifetime.
When we think of the wilderness in biblical accounts, it’s a physical and metaphorical place, but often seen physically displayed in an account while reading the spiritual work being done there.
Examples in the Wilderness
- Jesus was in the wilderness leading up to His ministry, being led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil after fasting for 40 days (Matthew 4).
- The apostle Paul spent time in the wilderness after his conversion on the road to Damascus in which he grew in the LORD and was prepared for his ministry (Galatians 1).
- The prophet Elijah spent time in the wilderness as God told him to hide by the brook Cherith. There God provided his needs through ravens bringing food and when the brook water had dried up, he was sent out to serve God again (1 Kings 17).
- Likewise, John the Baptist was also being prepared, spending time with God alone, for when he would make his public appearance to make straight the way of the Lord.
In all these people, time spent in the wilderness led to wonderful works of God being worked through them. And yet, it’s not only through Jesus and these biblical figures that we see the Holy Spirit working. He is still working through men and women today, and they go through their own wildernesses and preparation in order to be fully equipped for the good works that God has prepared for them to walk in.
What Season Are You In?
If you’re in a wilderness right now, take heart, God has good plans for you, for hope and a future. He knows what He’s working in you through this season of wilderness, which may feel dry at times, but I can guarantee you that if you’re spending time with God through it, you’ll be like a tree, planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season. Keep meditating on His word day and night! (Psalm 1)
If you’re also a parent, would you pray for your own children’s seasons of wilderness? That they too would be brought through it well, being refined and prepared for the next season of work in their life. It doesn’t matter how old you or your children are, God can use you and will use you if you’re surrendered to His will.
My prayer for you and your family is that you all grow strong in spirit in any and every season of your life, but that you especially continue that growth in seasons of wilderness.