Have you ever been in a wilderness? Are you currently experiencing a personal, financial, professional, relational or even spiritual wilderness?
Our flesh wants to reject the wilderness. Yet Jesus RAN INTO THE WILDERNESS. Here’s why He did and why you should, too.
Jesus’ Wilderness Experience
“So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Luke 5:16
Let’s breakdown the four key words in this powerful verse.
- Often. Often simply means habitual, something you do frequently enough that it is expected, repeated and noticed by others. Whether it is go to church, play golf, or go shopping, whatever you do often other will say, “There they go again.”
- Withdrew. To withdraw means to retire quietly, to step aside, to remove yourself from the current situation. Withdrawal is a conscious effort to take a break from whatever the circumstance. (If you are still ready this post, I bet you may need to withdraw from something!)
- Wilderness. A wilderness is an area of waste, a desert, a desolate, solitary, uninhabited, and often lonely region. At face value, it is a scary place to consciously enter. Just like in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, we imagine our wilderness to be filled with “Lions and tigers and bears….Oh My!”
- Prayed. Prayer is the reason Jesus ran into the wilderness. It seems to have been His main (only?) activity there.
[FYI: here is a link to my video teaching of this lesson at Marketplace Mondays, a weekly gathering that equips, refreshes & strengthens marketplace believers through Spirit-led worship, teaching, & intercessory prayer. Join us every Monday night 7:30 PM CDT for powerful Kingdom revelations.]
How Jesus Prayed
When asked by His disciples to teach them how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13), Jesus modeled a powerful prayer process. Although I have previously written on this prayer process, here is a quick overview of the five powerful areas of focus in Jesus’ model prayer.
- Praise (Matthew 6:9): “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.”
- Power (Matthew 6:10): “Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.”
- Provision (Matthew 6:11): “Give us this day our daily bread.”
- Protection (Matthew 6:12-13A): “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one…”
- Praise (Matthew 6:13b): “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
It is very safe to assume that these focus areas are exactly how Jesus spent time with the Father during His wilderness experiences.
But one huge question remains.
ROI of a Wilderness Experience
So what was Jesus’ ROI (return on investment) for His wilderness experiences? Now back to Luke 5.
We’ve already learned the four key words that led into Jesus’ wilderness experience, and have glanced at the five areas of His focus there in prayer.
What did Jesus walk away with from His wilderness experience?
The mega-question then is: What did Jesus walk away with from His wilderness experience? Luke 5:17 gives us the answer.
“Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.” Luke 5:17 – emphasis mine
When Jesus emerged from His wilderness, He:
- Was living His destiny though teaching.
- Speaking to the lost who were sitting by.
- Witnessing to the many with ears to hear who came out from every town, and
- Demonstrating miracles through the power that was flowing through Him.
Destiny + Witness + Power + Miracles…..all based upon Jesus embracing His wilderness!
No wonder He often ran into the wilderness. And so should we!
Four Questions To Answer
It’s time you embraced – even ran toward – your wilderness. As you do, here are four questions you must answer.
- Where is your wilderness – the specific location, the best place, to withdraw?
- When/how often do you need to go there?
- How long do you need to stay?
- What will / could stop you from going & what will you do about that?
Never again fear your wilderness. rather, just like Jesus, actively run into your wilderness to exit into your destiny and power for miracles!