A well-known television minister said: “Complain and Remain or Praise and Be Raised.” Essentially what she is saying is that the more you complain about your circumstances, what you have and don’t have and why God hasn’t moved or done anything is that the longer you will remain stuck in the same position.
However difficult it may be, it is imperative if we call ourselves Christians, that we learn how to guard our mouth and our attitudes while we are waiting on God .We must learn how to maintain an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving by receiving better understanding of the purpose during this season so that we will praise God in the middle of it and our deliverance comes quicker.
Our God is a performing and perfecting God. He performs all things for us (Ps 57.4) . He perfects the things that concern us (Ps. 138:8). All things are possible with him. (Matt 19:26). He is just simply not in a hurry. God waits for order to be established in our current circumstances before He allows the next development. He allows things to happen in the fullness of time and in due season. He knows exactly what he is doing and He has a higher understanding of your situation than you do therefore He will answer and come through for you in a way that is higher than what you thought if you just believe Him.
While you are waiting in the wilderness, it is better to praise and worship God as well as seek understanding and learn the lessons that the wilderness has to offer. The wilderness is the time between leaving the bondage of your past and entering the Promised Land. The time frames of the wilderness are Step 1) Bondage, Step 2) Wilderness, and Step 3) the Promise Land.
There is no escaping the in-between, transitional season of the Step 2. You cannot get to the Promised Land without going through something called The Wilderness. The Wilderness gets the junk out of you from the bondage while at the same time preparing you to fully enjoy the promises of what you prayed for. You can’t just jump from being a slave to being a free person without going through some changes. A person who moves from the ghetto to living in a mansion within 24 hours still has ghetto ways in them. An athlete who goes from being a nobody to a multi-millionaire overnight, without proper guidance and maturity of character can lose it all in a very short time by lack of self-control or self-mastery.
In Exodus 17:1 AMP it reads “All the congregation of the Israelites moved on from the Wilderness of Sin by stages…” The Israelites were a nation of slaves who went from having masters and being ordered what to do to being a free people roaming about in the Wilderness. They had to be delivered from the slave mentality little by little, bit by bit and they prolonged the process because of their complaining, fear and unbelief. It was more comfortable to be a slave than it was to be free.
The wilderness process of the soul is very crucial to character development. It is a purging and pruning process where the things inside of you that will hurt you in your future destiny are taken away (painful) and the good things that God has placed in you are refined and clarified (painful). John 15: 2 says “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit”
The wilderness experience tends to expose the weakness in your character that you didn’t know about or were hiding from yourself. The wilderness experience also makes you stronger and reveals your gifts and talents as well. This is what God is after so that He can trust that you will give Him the glory when you enter the Promised Land and not yourself. As Christians, some type of suffering is inevitable. Christ suffered and if we claim the name of Christ we too will suffer. No matter how much prosperity, health and wealth, name it and claim it teaching you hear, you cannot get around the necessary soul suffering that it takes to draw you closer to God. Jesus suffered so that he could feel what we feel therefore we suffer so that we too can have compassion and understanding towards others who suffer and not get haughty, judgmental and hard-hearted.
Frankly, your character is what God is more interested in developing while you are in the wilderness than responding to your every cry the minute you suffer while you are going through. By the time you leave the wilderness, you are truly not the same person as you were when you came in. When you entered the wilderness, you thought you had it all together and knew what you were doing. But shortly thereafter, you began to see that you don’t know what you thought you knew and that there are problems, issues, circumstances that are just beyond your limited capacity. None of your schemes, fleshly ideas and cleverness seem to work. Now is the time to really lean and depend on God. This is what is learned in the wilderness experience. Some things you learn in the wilderness you will never learn anywhere else.
In order to truly experience the benefits of the wilderness, learn patience. There is no getting around it. You must learn how to wait on God.
In Isaiah 30: 15 – 18 AMP it reads: “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning [to me] and resting [in me] shall ye be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. And you said No; for we will speed [our own course] on horses! Therefore you will speed [in flight from your enemies]! You said, We will ride upon swift steeds [doing our own way]!… And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you… Blessed are all those who wait for him.
If we are ever going to have any semblance of real peace in our lives, we must learn to rest, lean and wait on God. The other alternative, as shown further in this passage is what we do — we keep forging on in our on strength with our own ideas, going from pillar to post, ripping and running putting out fires here and there never returning to truly rest and wait on God and we get burned and busted every time.
Further down in these verses we see that the Lord is just looking, longing waiting to be gracious to us but just like the Israelites who wanted water and meat and couldn’t wait because their flesh was screaming, we refuse his grace because we gotta have this problem fixed right now. We needed the money yesterday. We need to be healed now. God is just too slow. So the devil uses our lack of self-discipline and patience to beat us down every time.
Secondly, worshiping while in the wilderness is no easy feat. You know it is easy to praise God and smile when all of your bills are paid and you have some change left over. That does not require any faith at all. However, it is extremely difficult to worship God when all hell seems to be breaking loose in your life. It is difficult to go to work and do all you can to keep smiling, doing right and being right when all the wrong things are happening to you and still have the audacity to get up go to church and praise God anyhow. That is an entirely different level of faith and mindset. The natural tendency of the human mind wants to wonder to and fro trying to figure out how to solve a problem all the time. To break this mental habit requires a dedicated effort to focus on God daily in worship, prayer, praise, and bible reading and confessions. This is how you rest in God and obtain that peace that passes all understanding. This is how you break unnatural demonic fears and strongholds in your mind. This is where the true battles of the wilderness are fought. This is true Worship In the Wilderness.