The wilderness areas of our lives often make us question things. They refine what we believe and challenge preconceived notions of how we think things “should be”.
In the meditation section we mentioned that, it is tempting when you are in the wilderness to think that it is a place void of God. We tend to view the wilderness as a penalty and not part of a process. It is important to note that Jesus was moved to the wilderness not because of sin, but because of the Spirit. It was not a passing visit, but he was there for a season. The quick day hike turns into a period of settlement, again not because of sin, but because of the Spirit.
In the first chapter of Mark we see that God led Jesus to the wilderness. The wilderness was part of the process that the Spirit led Christ through. However I so often view the wilderness as a consequence of my performance. I make the wilderness about me instead of about God. In this chapter we see that it is God would led Jesus here. It is God who is refining. It is God who is challenging.
Do these passages challenge the view of the wilderness / trial seasons of your life? Is your tendency to view the wilderness as a penalty or a process?
READ THE MOMENT:
As you reflect on your life, what are the areas you would identify as a “wilderness area or season”? What are some of the things that you learned/are learning in the midst of those times?
REFLECT ON THE MOMENT:
Are you willing to go where the Spirit leads? Do you have the tendency to view the wilderness areas of lives as a punishment or part of the process?
RESPOND TO THE MOMENT:
Take some time to pause and look at your life.
Where is God leading? How has God led?
In what areas of your life is He asking you to trust and follow?
Week 1 - Take some time to once again think about the wilderness areas of your life. How did God lead your through? If you are struggling to identify a wilderness area in your own life, look at the lives of some fellow believers around you. How did God lead them through? On a card or sheet of paper, write the ways God provided down. Post the paper somewhere that you will see it each day and it may serve as a reminder of how God provides for us.
Week 2 - Are you willing to follow? No matter where God is leading? Take some time to send an encouraging note to someone you know that is in a wilderness season of life.
Week 3 - When you are in hard times, what are some of the first things you start to doubt about God? Why those specific things? Take some time to write down some Biblical truths that correspond with these doubts.
Week 4 - How can you look for God’s provision in the wilderness instead of trusting in your own abilities to lead you through? How can you remind yourself to trust in Him this week?
SETTING THE TABLE
Opener : What comes to mind when you hear the word wilderness? Describe it a bit.
Discuss : What have been some seasons of wilderness that you have witnessed whether in your life or the life of another?
Closer : How can we encourage each other in season of wilderness? How can we remember and cultivate truth during these times to counter the lies we may be tempted to believe?