“Jesus has already overcome the wilderness, so that you can live in his Victory!” – Brook Potter
Imagine that your best friend one day decided that they loved you so much, they were going to crash your car, make you lose your job and possibly bring sickness and other hardships into your life, just to test you and the bonds of your friendship. Chances are, after your friend did those things to you, you probably wouldn’t ever get close to that person again.
Of course this is exactly what we teach about God when we preach wilderness theology. That teaching actually makes people draw away from God rather than towards Him, because of fear that at any moment He may decided to drag you though hardship to prove something to you. Human beings cannot be close to a person who could do that at any moment, far less for us to be close to a God we think does that. This side of the Cross, God does not deal with us according to our Works, but according to what Christ has done for us.
The Wilderness is part of the Exodus account and is one of the identifying stories of the Children of Israel. It is also a Prophetic account of what Jesus would later accomplish first individually and later for all humanity through his finished work. In a parallel to the story, Jesus Christ was called out from Egypt (Matthew 2:15), Was Baptised in the Same Jordan that the Israelites had to cross to enter the promised land, He then spent forty (40) days and nights in the Wilderness where he was tempted of the Devil (Matthew 4:2), where he came out triumphantly and he started declaring liberty and freedom to the oppressed, bringing them into the Promised Land of the Kingdom of God.
Later, Humanity was delivered from Spiritual Egypt by the Act of the Death of Christ (Revelation 11:8) when we were slaves to sin. Where humanity has been delivered into a Spiritual Wilderness where they are no longer slaves, but rather are under the influence of darkness. As each of us has an encounter with the Light of Christ, we are awakened to the glorious Gospel and are translated out of the wilderness of Darkness and into the Promised Land of Light. (Acts 26:18).
This side of the Cross, God is not in the business of testing and Trying people. (James 1:13) God is in the same business He has been in for the last 2000 years; revealing Christ in humanity, to each of us and through us that believe. That all men everywhere can know Him and be saved. Further, God is not trying to change us, rather we have been Changed already by the Finished Work of Jesus Christ and God is trying desperately to get us to believe it.
The only wilderness that has power in your life, is the wilderness you have faith in. If you believe you are in a wilderness, Satan will accommodate your faith and bring dryness to your life. Any area of your life, that is not under the influence of God’s Grace is a wilderness until faith arises and you believe in what Christ has done for you in that area. Our goal as believers, is to renew our Minds, not to overcome wildernesses which Christ has already done. We now live in Christ’s Victory by faith.