The value of the wilderness
Some people enjoy being out in the wilderness. The wilderness is a vacation destination for some. Hiking, skiing, hunting, and mountain climbing are examples of wilderness activities people pay good money to participate in. People even purposefully subject themselves to survival situations just for the challenge. Some people in the Bible found that an important part of their spiritual journey involved time in the wilderness. Abraham spent his entire spiritual journey in a tent in the wilderness (Hebrews 11:8-16). Jacob saw a ladder connecting where he was in the wilderness to heaven (Genesis 28:10-22). Moses spent 40 years there in preparation for his calling. It was there he saw the burning bush and heard the voice of God (Exodus 3). It was there he received the law that not only taught Israel how to live, but is the foundation of the New Testament and even our civil laws. It was there God taught Israel to depend on Him (Deuteronomy 8:3, Hebrews 3-4). David spent several years there fleeing for his life as God was preparing him to be the king He already told him he was going to be. John the baptizer lived, preached, and baptized there (Mark 1:3-4, Luke 1:80). The Holy Ghost led Jesus there, and He spent 40 days fasting and was tempted of the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). He returned in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14). When Paul was converted, he spent some time in Arabia (Galatians 1:17). We must be led like all of these by God. If we choose our own path, not only do we not have Jesus Christ as our Lord, but we cannot become who we are meant to be. The path He chooses for us will undoubtedly be different than what we would choose; but God knows all things and operates from an eternal perspective. We do not. We need to learn to trust Him. We need to trust that He loves us and is in control. The end result will be much better if God does it than if we do.