Wilderness Wisdom Part 1

18 April 10


  1. Introduction:

Luk 3:22

“… the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove…”

Luk 4:1

“When Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit … was led by the holy Spirit into the wilderness”

Luk 4:14

“Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit …”

·      ‘The wilderness’ is a place of preparation for your destiny to be fulfilled

·      The Kingdom has a system of passing tests to qualify you for enlargement

·      Tests in the Kingdom are about leaning to trust God and develop character


  1. The Purpose of Wilderness Testing:

a)  Wilderness Experiences are a preparation for enlargement/fresh move of God

·      Bible examples:

Moses,  Israel,  David,  Elijah,  John the Baptist,  Jesus

·      All the great men of God had experience to prepare them for their destiny

(Word picture – a tree in water)


b)  Lessons from Israel’s Wilderness Experience:

Deut 8:2,3,16 

                                 i.         God led them into the wilderness v2

Wilderness = 4057 OT = uninhabited place; solitary, desolate

The wilderness journey was God’s idea – it was a journey not a destination

                               ii.         The wilderness experience was for preparation not destinations

                              iii.         The wilderness was a place of humility – of experiencing lack

Wilderness experiences include: pressure, lack, injustice, misunderstanding, opposition, apparent failure, temptation

                            iv.         The wilderness is a place of testing

Test = to prove or examine the quality of our relationship

                              v.         Pressure reveals what is in our heart (know = yada = to be intimate)

Bitterness, offense, pride, critical, judgmental, motivations, attitudes, soulish attachments, fears, unbelief

                            vi.         The wilderness is Tailor made by God for our enlargement and blessing

v16  “to do you good at the end”

                           vii.         The wilderness is a place of deepening intimacy and trust


3.      Jesus’ Wilderness Experience:

·      Luk 4:3-12

·      Pressure came on Jesus in 3 areas related to His identity

·      “If you are” => a challenge to His identity

·      Key issue: Who are you?  How do you define your identity?  Will you put on a mask and play a part?

i)        Performance Trap v3 “I am what I do”

·         What have you achieved? What do you do?




ii)       Possessions Trap “I am what I own”

·         What do you own? You are nothing unless possess you things


iii)     Popularity Trap “I am what other people think”

·         When you live to please people you cannot be true to who you are and your calling

·         Everyone had expectations that they tried to put on Jesus

·         Jesus lived true to himself, and his calling, identity and disappointed people constantly e.g. parents, members of his hometown, disciples, religious leaders, crowds

Note: The Word of God was the weapon He used to vanquish the accuser


4.      How to Flunk your Wilderness Test:

·         Israel flunked the test God gave them  1 Cor 10:5-6

·         Evidence of flunking  Num 14:1-4

(i)            Weeping – self-pity v1

(ii)          Complaining v2

(iii)         Blaming other v2

(iv)       Victim mindset v3

(v)         Rebelling and leaving v4

·         They flunked because the believed the negative reports instead believing God


5.      Graduating with Distinction:

Num 14:24

“My servant Caleb because he has a different spirit in him and has wholly followed me … I will bring into the land”


1 Cor 10:13

a) 4 Things to remember in your wilderness

·         Other people have experienced it too

·         God is faithful, He will stand by me

·         I have the capacity to handle this

·         God will provide strength and direction to get me through


b) 4 Things to Ask in your wilderness

·         Whet is the struggle/issue I am facing?

·         What is being revealed about/in me?

·         What do I need to let go of/change?

·         What “Word of God” do I need to hold o to/believe?


·         How are you doing in your wilderness testing?

·         What promise of God is shaping your response and destiny

·         Peter – “When you are converted, strengthen your brethren”