The Greek word for wilderness is “eremos,” which means solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited. When used to describe places, it means a desert or deserted/lonely place.
Unlike a town or city, the wilderness doesn’t have a huge population, buildings, traffic, and noise. In the wilderness, there is little to no human population, bits of vegetation, a stream, river, or lake (if you’re lucky), a couple of trails or paths, and most likely, a mountain nearby.
I have experienced the stillness, fresh air, and silence while roaming in the wild hiking.
In Exodus 13:17, “the word of the Lord came to pass when Pharaoh let the people go.” On the night the Israelites left Egypt, the Lord orchestrated a great wealth transfer where they plundered their enslavers as a form of recompense (Exodus 13:35-36). Immediately the children of Israel left Egypt; they found themselves trekking through the wilderness towards the Red Sea.
In Matthew 3:13-16, we read the account of Jesus’ baptism in the river Jordan. Immediately after John baptized Jesus, the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God descended on Jesus like a dove settling on him. It is directly after His baptism that Jesus went into the wilderness.
From both how the Israelites’ and Jesus’ found themselves in the wilderness, we see that no sooner does a word from the Lord (i.e., prophecy or a promise) come to pass in your life than you’re automatically listed on ‘the wilderness detour’ roster and subsequently set on its path.
To be transparent, I’ve been trekking through the scenic route of my wilderness detour for some time now. So when did I get the memo notifying me that I was on the schedule? Well, as soon as the word of the Lord concerning me entering into a season of transition came to pass, this activated another word where He said He was getting ready to pour into me.
Translation, I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME YOU TO THE WILDERNESS DETOUR OFFICIALLY.
I’ve come to learn a few things on the wilderness journey, and by sharing these, I pray they’ll prove helpful to you.
1. GOD LEADS AND GOES AHEAD OF YOU.
On the night the Israelites left Egypt, the Lord led them through the wilderness towards the Red Sea. When they camped at Etham, He went ahead of them, guiding them by a pillar of cloud by day and providing light at night with a pillar of fire (Exodus 13: 18 & 20-22).
When the Lord pours into you, it means that His hand is upon your life, and He:
• Fills you with the Holy Spirit, who will teach and guide you as you go along. When Jesus was in the wilderness, the Holy Spirit was there with Him (Matthew 4:1). The Holy Spirit will teach you all things, bring to your remembrance the Lord’s promises concerning your life and keep your mind and heart in perfect peace (John 14:26-27).
• Lights your path since He goes ahead of you, ordering your steps (Psalms 37:23-24). When you are on the way to a new mall or city, you use and trust Google Maps to give you accurate directions to your destination. As you walk through the wilderness detour, the Lord will provide instructions or blueprints, which will be your Google Maps. Now the tricky part is that He gives you the same incrementally, so the instructions or blueprints may appear sketchy or bizarre. This is how you learn to fully surrender to and trust Him because He will neither let you stumble nor fall.
2. THE LORD CARES FOR YOU ALONG THE WAY, JUST AS A FATHER CARES FOR HIS CHILD.
• There is a provision that the Lord has arranged to meet you in the wilderness. For the 40 years the Israelites were in the wilderness of Sinai, the Lord provided for them. He blessed them in everything they did, and they lacked for nothing (Deuteronomy 2:7). He fed them with manna, quail, and water (Exodus 16&17) whilst ensuring that their clothes and sandals did not wear out (Deuteronomy 29:5). Though the wilderness might seem desolate, there is actual beauty in it and God will indeed ensure that He gives you the best. Therefore, he found the best places for the Israelites to camp in the Wilderness of Sinai (Deuteronomy 1:29-30).
"I got to camp beside this beautiful lake in the wilderness of Mt. Kenya"
3. THE LORD ASSIGNS ASSISTANCE TO YOU AND PROTECTS YOU
• Angelic assistance is assigned to you in the wilderness (Mark 1:12-13).
• People, i.e., destiny helpers, are assigned to you to help you in the wilderness just as Aaron and Hur were to Moses when they held up his hands as Joshua battled the army of Amalek (Exodus 17:10-13)
• When you’re in the wilderness, provided you are obedient, the Lord will fight your battles, and the sure result is that you will emerge victorious because His hand is on you (Deuteronomy 1:41-45). The part that makes the wilderness seem so “ghetto” is when the Lord allows certain hardships, trials, and temptations to occur. Instead of complaining and allowing yourself to be overwhelmed, remember that you will not be tested or tempted beyond your ability, and in the end, all things will work together for your good.
4. CONSECRATION HAPPENS WHILE IN THE WILDERNESS.
God will call you to a season of intimate prayer and fasting (Exodus 19 & Matthew 4:1-2). While in the wilderness, God will prune and teach you how to align with His perfect will for you.
5. YOU MEET GOD IN THE WILDERNESS
The wilderness detour is very important because it is where you will learn how to recognize/know and accurately distinguish the voice of God. God will teach you how to hear Him. Part of the curriculum involves Him teaching you how to be intimate with Him. He will visit you in the night in your dreams and give you an unction.
The Children of Israel met God on the third day when He came down upon Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-20).
6. THE WILDERNESS IS A TEMPORARY PLACE
The wilderness detour is usually on the way to your promised land. i.e., before you see the promotion, elevation, or acceleration. You are not going to be here forever!
I encourage you to hold your peace, don’t sweat the small things because God has your back. Posture yourself to step in faith, and the Lord will provide you with more vision about your promised land.