God already prepared me to pass this test.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”...Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
- Matthew 4:1-4, 11 (New International Version)
5 months ago I said yes to God and left my 9-5 — without the proverbial safety net — and while I’ve had some amazingly fulfilling days, many days it’s just been plain HARD. Especially these past few weeks when some of my business and financial blunders have started coming to a head. So much so that I’ve found myself asking questions like the Israelites asked when God delivered them from Egypt: “Lord did you call me off my job just to fail out here in the wilderness? You knew my money, systems & habits were shotty when you called me! 😂”
Ever find yourself asking God questions like this? If so, maybe you’ve realized too that this wilderness experience is exactly what you needed to burn off the mess you’ve been carrying so you can flourish in the fullness of your purpose.
But even if you’ve realized this, knowing that alone still may not quench the feelings of hopelessness & unworthiness you’re battling with. I know it didn’t for me. That’s why I wanted to share how Holy Spirit ministered to me when I cried out for more help:
I know it feels like you’ve in the wilderness right now and you’re questioning me. Even though some of the difficulties you’re facing are self-inflicted, there’s still other areas where you feel like you’ve been following my direction but still ended up here. Here’s what I want you to do: stop trying to figure out what got you here and focus on what you need to be doing while you’re here. Think about what Jesus did when He was in the wilderness. He fought every fiery suggestion of the devil with a word of God. What thoughts or circumstances are you battling right now? Identify them. Then find my word on it -- word that I’ve already placed in you because no temptation comes to you that I haven’t already equipped you to overcome -- and speak that word out loud in response to the trial. Keep speaking it as often as you have to. That’s how Jesus overcame & caused His problem to leave. That’s how you’ll overcome too.
When I did this, I realized the root cause of my stuck-in-a-rut feeling was guilt from feeling like I’d missed it in some areas. Then I remembered an old faithful scripture I always used to confess when I felt guilty in my earlier Christian walk days (1 John 1:9). After speaking it out loud, and thanking God for cleansing me of all unrighteousness (which is all guilt is), that’s when that rut I felt like I was in broke and the floodgates of confidence and renewed energy started flowing again.
Cliff notes version: if you find yourself in a wilderness situation, sometimes it helps to pull from whatever God has already taught you in the past in order to pass the current test you’re facing. Instead of continuing to throw a fit, use this as an opportunity to build your faith muscles, knowing you’ll probably need these muscles (and be glad you have them!) in your season to come. And the best part about all this is that there’s something about overcoming a wilderness situation that gives you a strength that nothing else you face in the future will be able to take away.
Still hungry? Eat more //
Matthew 4:12-25→ Right after Jesus’ wilderness experience, He started preaching & walking in His power. Nothing was able to stop Him. This is your inheritance too.
James 1:2-4 (The Message Bible translation) → This translation of this scripture is so good and really hones in on how our trying seasons help mature us for the purpose seasons that lie ahead.
1 Corinthians 10:13 → The way you'll escape is by using what God has already taught you up to this point.