This past weekend, we began our sermon series, IN THE WILD, looking at how to survive the dry and difficult places in which we find ourselves. We began by exploring this theme of wilderness, learning about how it is a place of lacking, dryness, difficulty, challenge, temptation, and testing. We also saw how it can be a place of provision, revelation, and direction.
We then explored Matthew 4, and the passage in which Jesus was tempted. From that passage, we discovered three main ideas…
IDEA #1: Sometimes God leads us into the wilderness.
God cares more about our transformation and growth, than about our comfort and security. It’s in the wilderness and wild that our lives deepen, grow, and mature. So, the first thing that we learned is that God can, and does, lead us into the wilderness.
IDEA #2: The wilderness is necessary for faith to grow, mature, and deepen.
If we want to grow to be like Christ – to follow God and reach our Promised Land – the path always goes through the wilderness. The wilderness is necessary to reach maturity and the place that God has for us.
IDEA #3: In the wilderness, the enemy seeks to tempt us to believe a lie about God.
Satan doesn’t necessarily seek to have us abandon our belief in God. Instead, he tempts us to accept a lie about God – that He doesn’t care, that He isn’t with us, that He has forgotten us, and that provision and protection aren’t coming.
But, the beautiful thing is that Jesus does leave the wilderness to start the ministry that God has given Him. The wilderness isn’t a destination, but rather a transition space toward the place God has for us.
So, we ended with the following Main Point and Challenge…
MAIN POINT: The wilderness isn’t something to be feared; it is something to be faced.
1. If you are in the wilderness, name it and share it. Share with someone about where you are struggling – your marriage, career, finances, parenting, or whatever it looks like for you. Just get it out there with someone you can trust.
2. If you aren’t in the wilderness, reach out to someone who is. Simply be that safe space for someone as they face their struggle. Don’t seek to fix it, but rather listen with grace and presence.
And, now that we know what the wilderness is, please join us next week as we begin to learn how to make it through the wild together.