4 Ways to Win in our Wilderness

4 Ways to Win in our Wilderness

As I leaned back on the couch in my counselor’s office, I posed a question. The question originated out of the circumstances of the last four days. Personally, my heart bottomed out when a extremely high water bill disclosed we had some leaks. But that paled in comparison, to the overwhelmingly scary situations some dear friends found themselves in.

My question to him was, “When circumstances for me or loved ones are overwhelming, how can I lean into their pain but learn not to turn to food for an escape afterward.”

Though he seemed a bit uneasy learning I was a pastor’s wife, in his wise counsel he kept coming back to this word “trust”.

As he was talking I was thinking he was really meaning “faith” but just not willing to say it. However, as I was processing the conversation with the Lord, I sensed his Spirit say, “No, I mean trust.”

And like a lightbulb switching on, I realized his answer connected to our question for today.

How do we win in our wilderness?

Trust.

Trust what?

Well, let’s go back. If you are just joining our conversation this post is a response to last week’s blog on 5 Ways Satan Works in our Wilderness. Both posts originate out of Jesus’ journey thru the wilderness and his testing as described in Luke 4:1-13.

What I didn’t mention however last week is that Satan uses our tests, or our wilderness, to invalidate our light for Christ.

But God uses our tests to illuminate our light for Christ. 

Let me say that again.

Satan uses our tests to invalidate our light for Christ. 

But God intends our tests to illuminate our light for Christ. 

God wants to illuminate our story, our faith, our testimony and use us to encourage others in their relationship with Him. Heck. Some might even come to faith because of how God has worked, provided, loved, or seen us through a difficult season.

So we have a choice. If we are going to win in our wilderness, we need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

And choose to trust.

  1. Trust God’s Word.
  2. Trust God’s Will.
  3. Trust God’s Ways.
  4. Trust God’s Watch.

In the wilderness Jesus used the Word of God to thwart the attack and lies of the enemy. We need to trust God’s Word. To trust it, we need to know it. And not just in our minds, but it needs to be engraved deep in our souls. That happens as we cling to his Truth in our darkest days and clear our schedules to dig in it on our brightest.

A wise woman in my life once shared, that she laid in bed every night with her bible on her chest and her arms wrapped around it. Her heart’s cry as she closed her eyes inspires mine.

We win when we trust God’s will, his plan, his end game for us. Jesus knew his calling, his mandate from the Father. He trusted it despite Satan’s attempts to challenge it. We need to trust the purpose God has for us and we also need to trust the pathway he desires to use to get us there.

We need to trust God’s ways. Satan tried to get Jesus to take a short cut and use his power outside of the ways of God. Yet…

“Jesus choses the hard road into the kingdom: the road of humble service, self-giving love, and sacrificial suffering. The way of Jesus is the way of the cross. Empowered and led by the Holy Spirit, and resolute in his sense of calling as the Messiah, Jesus is ready to begin his mission given to him by the Father.” 

-Craig G. Bartholomew & Michael W. Goheen, The Drama of Scripture

That says it all. We need to trust the ways of God in our life. Then as the power of the Holy Spirit shows up in our under-resourced, over-whelmed, inexperience, we shine and illuminate the glory of God.

Lastly, to win in our wilderness, we need to trust God’s watch, his timing. I’m not great at waiting on the Lord. Anyone else? This one is really hard of me. I want to start to take control of things rather than wait on the Lord to bring healing or help, wisdom or the right words. I feel I need to bust down the door instead of taking a seat and waiting for it to open.

Plain and simple, Jesus trusted God’s timing.

Jesus trusted.

God’s Word. God’s will. God’s ways. And God’s watch.

Why?

Because he was his Dad.

And he is ours too.

“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.

2 Corinthians 6:18

The heart of the Father is trustworthy despite whatever wilderness you are walking through.

I am praying for you.

About Erin Nicole Thompson

Erin Nicole Thompson is a fun-loving and authentic momma to 4 littles, wife of a ruggedly handsome Pastor, and as she likes to think, the CEO of her home operations. She delights in worship, cooking with good music, the sweet faces of her sleeping children, adult conversations, and some quiet time at Starbucks. She loves to serve alongside, encourage, and equip young and seasoned women. Erin is grateful to be part of what God is doing at The Chapel, a multi-campus church in Northern Chicago-land where her husband, Dave, pastors the Lake Zurich Campus. Presently, she lives to dream and follow God as he writes her story.