We visited the Judean Wilderness where David hid from King Saul for many years accompanied by his growing army. The desert is bordered by the Mountains of Judea to the west and the Dead Sea to the east, so the area is dry, occupying mainly rocky cliffs and caves.
I pondered how David could survive in this arid land with a band of men and their families. I looked onto the jagged landscape and watched as David’s Spring trickled down the mountainous crevices. “Okay,” I thought. “They have a little water. But how did they all survive so many years in this desert to become one of the strongest and most amazing militaries in all of history?”
“The wilderness prepared them,” the Holy Spirit whispered.
Throughout the Bible, the wilderness plays a key role in shaping a person for his/her destiny. Abraham was called into the wilderness before he had his son (becoming the father of many nations). Joseph was called into the wilderness (slavery and prison) before he became second in command of the historically powerful nation of Egypt. The People of God were called into the wilderness before they entered their Promise Land. John the Baptist and Jesus were both called into the wilderness before they ushered in the new Era of Grace.
There is something about the wilderness that prepares us for all the greatness that God has in store for us. If David would have skipped his time in the wilderness, there is no doubt in my mind that he would have never been the king after God’s own heart that he would eventually become. The wilderness is where he wrote many psalms, where he developed his leadership skills and, most importantly, where he learned to lean on God and obey His commands.
Many Christians want to skip the wilderness of their destiny. They want to force their God-given anointing straight into their Promise Land. However, the Promise Land is ALWAYS on the other side of the wilderness. We can’t go around the wilderness; we must charge right into it.
While we wait and obey in the deserts of our promises, God is able to mold us into people after his own heart. He also prepares us for the burdens and the blessings of our destiny that could easily break or distract us. Embrace the wilderness, knowing the wealth of who you are to become will only be found in the desert places.
A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (Psalm 63.1 NIV).