Come Follow Me 2023, Come Unto Christ, Devotional

A Spiritual Wilderness

And immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness.
~ Mark 1:12, LEB ~

When we come unto Christ and follow Him, denying ourselves and taking up our cross toward a mindful and crucified Christian life, we enter into a spiritual wilderness. The Holy Spirit is what drives us into this barren place. A place where we come to know the temptations of the adversary. Where we are vulnerable to those that may prey on us. Despite the fact that we are exposed to the elements of temptations, become aware of the prevalence of worldly desires, and the sense of isolation from those who have yet to allow themselves to come unto Christ and follow Him; we are at a place where our faith in Christ and our Heavenly Father is going to be tested. We are to either choose to rely on our Heavenly Father or turn from Him and go back to that which previously brought comfort into our own lives.

It is no wonder that the Savior said that if a man is willing to lose his life for His sake that they shall find it. The Holy Spirit brings us into the spiritual wilderness because we realize how lost we are without the guidance of our Heavenly Father. We are vulnerable and afraid without the comfort and protection He is capable of providing us. This spiritual wilderness is where we find our life in Christ. A place of growth as we begin to exercise faith in Him and His promises.

All our easy crutches are stripped away when we face the raw forces or nature. The Israelites had to be tested and humbled in the wilderness before they could enter the Promised Land (Deu 8:2). Paul faced trials and difficulties in the wilderness (2 Cor 11:26). Most notably, Jesus was driven into the wilderness to be tempted (Matt 4:1-11). In these cases, the dangers of the wilderness became an outward symbol for the inner turmoil caused by the temptations of evil.

Photo by Sam Barber on Unsplash

Our Heavenly Father, therefore, gives us this day and every day where it is filled with possibilities and challenges that fulfill His will and purpose. The days of wandering through our spiritual wilderness is presented with fresh and full of promised blessings. Our time ought not to be wasted because it is our responsibility to use this time to be engaged in His services.

If we fail to comprehend the significance of our own personal spiritual wilderness – we fail to comprehend the providential care of our Heavenly Father. Through Christ, our spiritual wilderness moves from being desolate and dangerous to a place of refuge and security. He nurtures us as we grow in faith. He protects us as we continue to faithfully walk in obedience to His will. He refreshes us and gives us the necessary abundance we need to continue to grow in faithful obedience.

Another possibility as to lacking comprehension of our own spiritual wilderness may rest upon how we allow ourselves to become preoccupied with the demands of daily life. We forget to show gratitude and engage in mindful worship. Therefore, was we are driven out into our own spiritual wilderness, it presents us an opportunity to strengthen our spiritual discipline of worshiping our Heavenly Father.

Incorporating this spiritual discipline into everyday life we no longer lose perspective or fall prey to the demands of the moment. We are no longer driven by our own desires and wants. And we become worthy servants of our Heavenly Father.

Today’s Thought and Reminder

Do you sincerely desire to be a worthy servant of our Heavenly Father? Engage in developing the spiritual discipline of worshiping Him. Do not allow yourself to succumb the dangers, temptations, and the isolation of your personal spiritual wilderness. Seek Him constantly by meditating and studying the scriptures. Engage in contemplative prayer. Know that our spiritual wilderness is a place of preparation. A place where we shall be tempted and tested so that we may grow in strength and faith.

Our Heavenly Father desires for each one of us to come unto Him, through Christ, and experience the hope our heart desires. Seek to praise and worship Him as you place your trust in His will. Know that He has promised to protect you and that there is nothing to fear when we stand in resilient faith against those challenges and adversity that come into our lives. His grace being sufficient for us each day as we are filled with His love.

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