Wilderness Survival Kit

Have you ever been in a place where you didn’t know how you would survive? The facts weren’t appealing. The odds were not looking good for you. The job you had, that wasn’t paying, was gone. That friend you could always count on had left. That faith you had worked for years to build seemed to be slowly fading away.

Does that sound like you? If not, you’re blessed, but be prepared. Wilderness always comes. For the Israelites, they had been slaves for years. They held on to hope that they could get out, but once freedom was there, they forgot how desperate they had been. I don’t know about you, but I’ve also been there a time or two. Being free of that thing that held you captive is always liberating, but it can sometimes cause us to release the desperate need for God we had when we were in the middle of captivity.

The Israelites were originally taken through the wilderness, not as a shortcut to the prosperity, but as a way less likely to come in contact with prominent adversaries. I find that funny though, God has a way of getting us to see ourselves, and tries to make us our best self before we reap the full harvest of the blessings that going through the last season has to offer. The wilderness was a path to travel to the destination without the distraction of the potential of war against physical adversaries. The Israelites wandered however, due to the mental adversary they allowed to overtake them.

So here we are, you’ve been in a situation for days, months, years, and you’re praying, believing, fasting, worshipping, waiting patiently on God to bring the deliverance you desperately want to experience, knowing it will give you a praise like none other. You’ve even practiced and thought about how your shout will look when that day comes, when the news is delivered. The deliverance part is the easiest, because that’s all God. It’s what’s between the deliverance and the destiny that can trip you up.

The wilderness.

What’s in the wilderness? Nothing. Which is the point. There is nothing appealing in the wilderness, nothing to look at and admire. Nothing but you, your mind, and SOMETIMES God. I say sometimes not because God isn’t with you, but because in the wilderness your view can become distorted and you can’t see God, feel God, or even hear God. The wilderness consists of nothing but you, and your thoughts, and those little cracks that gives the enemy just enough wiggle room to sneak in. The wilderness is where you see those last minute flaws that need to be taken care of before you get to this next level of destiny. It’s always uncomfortable. More uncomfortable that the very season you were just delivered from.

How do you maintain sanity and sanctity in the wilderness?:

Prayer: Be in constant conversation with God. Whether you hear Him or not. Whether you feel Him or not. Don’t close the door to the avenue that God uses to get information to you. Be open, honest, and 100% real with the Lord Almighty. Because He’s just that. Almighty. He can handle your frustrations, your doubts, your cries, better than anybody else. Be strategic in it though. Don’t just babble and complain, pray in a way that let’s God, and Satan know, that you’re sticking it out. You may not feel like a winner, but you’re not giving up. You may not feel like you have anything to lose or gain, but you’re going to keep going. Ensure that during the time that you are the weakest, you don’t allow the enemy the opportunity to take what you’ve put in the work to receive. Stephen and Alex Kendrick have a book entitled “The Battle Plan for Prayer”. It’s a great book to help you become more strategic in your prayer life to fight off the enemy, and call Heaven forth on your behalf.

 

Understand the Battlefield: Now that you have a strategic plan in your prayer life, you have the understand where this plan will be most effective. The battlefield in which you are fighting this battle is not going to be in your home, on your job, at the school, or church. It will be in your mind. The doubt, confusion, anger, jealousy, all will take place in the secret dwellings of your own mind. Know what the Word says about you, and lean and depend on the written Word of God, and the whispers you’ve heard from God all along about the plan He has for you and the place He is taking you to. Joyce Meyer’s book “Battlefield of the Mind” provides insight on the mind and it’s importance in this battle.

Believe in Your Own Power: You’ve made it this far! You know and trust God, you believe you are His child, and you know God has given you authority to call things as though they were, and speak to your own mountains. Trust that the same power you used in faith and prayer before the deliverance has not left you before you reached the destination of destiny. You have more power than the enemy, you just have to be self-controlled and disciplined long enough to acknowledge the tricks of the enemy and defeat them before they have the opportunity to manifest against you. John Osteen’s book “Power Over the Enemy” goes over Jesus’s wilderness experience and how He dealt with it, the ability to acknowledge the tricks of the enemy, as well as living Victoriously! This is another great tool to help you during those wilderness moments!

 

You can make it through the wilderness! Don’t allow the enemy, or yourself to keep you there for years. You have a Destination of Destiny to get to.

Locked: Do You Still Have The Message?

In high school, not very long ago mind you, there weren’t many smart phones out. In the area I grew up in, your parents were doing pretty well if you had one. Instead, the bulk of us had those cheap, prepaid flip phones. You know the ones you got at Walmart. They were blue, the more expensive ones were silver. About 96% of us, who had phones, had one of these.

What I remember most about these phones is something that I don’t even think my iPhone 8 has the ability to do. In the text messages of these flip phones, there was the capability to “lock” a text. Locking a text ensured that that text couldn’t be easily deleted, and it would stay on your phone until you decided you wanted to unlock, and delete it. This was probably the equivalent to what we call today a “screenshot”. Locking the text enabled you to always have that text for your records.

When you’re in troubled, struggling, depressed, mad, exhausted, do you have records? In the text thread of your own understanding have you locked away valuable verses that you can read or say?

For me, text messages can do a lot. I try to use this positively. I like to savor things. Especially those sweet, caring text that my boyfriend sends. Or those meaningful conversations I have with him, a friend, or a family member. Being realistic, when I am discouraged, or confused, I can easily look at a screenshot of a message my boyfriend has sent that encourages me, or makes me feel better about what I’m doing. Maybe its a girl thing. Maybe its a me thing. I’m not sure, but  hopefully you get my point.

So when you need that something extra, and God’s voice isn’t becoming apparent quick enough, or you don’t have that experience of feeling of His presence quickly enough, what do you do? Keeping a mental note of scriptures that pertain to the thing you go through is important. In those times, that’s where you find your encouragement. That’s where you pull your arsenal from to fight the enemy when he thinks he is catching you off guard. Write things down as God speaks to you. I keep a notebook that I use when I pray, so when God speaks, I’m ready to write it down. So when the enemy throws something my way I remember “no, God you said this was going to happen and I know Your Word won’t return to you void.”

Take the time as you begin to form the habit of reading and praying more, try to retain as much as possible. Be aware of the voice of God, and “lock in” those revelations He shares with you, this is how you will be able to encourage yourself when it “feels” like God is far away.