Devotional: ‘In the Wilderness’

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(A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.) Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. NKJV

Like many of the psalms, this particular portion of Scripture comes with an introduction. (A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.) It has been said that many of God’s choicest servants spent time in the wilderness. Moses did and so did David. John the Baptist spent time in the wilderness and so did the Apostle Paul and even our Savior. Many of you have also had wilderness experiences. Sickness can be like a wilderness and so can the death of a loved one. Those who lose their jobs sometimes feel like they are in the wilderness and so do couples who struggle in their marriages or parents who have trouble with their kids. Why does God allow His children to be in the wilderness?

It is in the wilderness that WE BECOME MORE DESPERATE OF OUR NEED FOR GOD

David said, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.” (Psalm 63:1-2 NKJV) Though the wilderness experience was painful for him, it was also profitable. It was while in the wilderness that all the superficial things of David’s life were stripped away and the one thing that mattered the most to him was his relationship with God.

Secondly, it is often in the wilderness that WE BECOME MORE DISPOSED TO EXPERIENCE GOD. Consider what happened to Elijah when he was in the wilderness.

1 Kings 19:1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And when he saw that he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness…

1 Kings 19:9 And there he went into a cave and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” 11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. NKJV

God spoke to Elijah, but it was not in an earthquake or a raging wind. God spoke to Elijah in a ‘still small voice.’ Some translations say, “a gentle whisper.” If Elijah had still been in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the things of this world might have drowned out the voice of God. It took being alone in the wilderness for him to be able to hear God speak. Perhaps today you feel like you are in a wilderness. If so, realize that this is an opportunity for you to draw closer to God and to experience His presence. Talk to God and listen carefully for His gentle whisper.

God bless you brethren.

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