In our Christian life we must pass through dry seasons, seasons of testing, where we pass through difficulties. You know that if Jesus went through a wilderness season, you are not going to escape one. It is ordained. Note that the bible tells us Jesus was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit. (Mark 1:12) Yes, driven by the Spirit. So stop trying to figure out what you did wrong to be going through a dry season. Stop repenting, blaming people and other such stuff. It is ordained. It is necessary to mature your character, to prove that your reliance is on God and not on anything else. It is so important for you and important to God that you realize that He is able, He is faithful. He is the one who will do it in your life and not anyone else.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
To rely on yourself or fellow humans is pure folly. See what God has to say about relying on people:
Isaiah 2:22 Stop trusting in mere humans who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?
Isaiah 8:19 When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?
While you are undergoing this wilderness period, you will go through trials where you need water to drink because in the wilderness after all there is no water. And there will be people who will come along and offer you this water (job, contract, money, child, relationship, love, respect, whatever thing you desire) but procured through questionable means, and your spirit will be troubled. You will know that this is not of God and you should not accept it. But you are so thirsty! Do you die of thirst or drink this water available here and now, though you do not know of its origins and whether or not it will kill you? Or perhaps you have to enter into certain agreements in order to obtain it. Jesus while in the wilderness was offered everything He desired by the devil with a simple proviso: that He should worship the devil.
You see, the wilderness experience and building of character is not only about listening for and doing the will of God, but also about knowing what is not the voice of God, what are not the ways of God. Psalms 1 describes to us the virtues of a righteous man. It does not start with what he does, but what he does not do. He walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, does not stand in the path of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful. (NKJV)
I am not hesitant to call myself a mature Christian now as I used to be, because I have in the last few years been going through what I can only call trial by fire, to the point I now understand what Job meant when he asked God to just avert His eyes from him for a while. Like enough already.
So being a mature Christian, I can say I have seen people in the church who do, or seem to do, all that a good Christian is supposed to do. They go to church faithfully, maybe even attend a bible study, give their money where it’s needed, etc. But at the same time when you deal with them, you come to realize they operate in very worldly and manipulative ways in their lives, trying to ensure they get where they need to, in their relationships, businesses, careers, etc. So they appear to walk in the right ways, but at the same time fail to walk not in the paths that they shouldn’t. Because if you don’t look out for yourself in this big bad world then who will, right? Going through the wilderness will really expose your life values, whether you rely on God or not.
I love this verse from Jeremiah that I feel sums up our ultimate aim in life as told by God Himself. That our ultimate aim is to get to know God. Not to obtain wealth, or even wisdom, as desirable as that may be. But to be able to say, I know God. I know His ways. This is Him here, and this here is not Him.
Jeremiah 9: 23,24 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this. That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
Jesus said that His sheep know Him and they hear His voice and another they will not follow. When you get to this point, then your life becomes simple and you can receive all the blessings that God has for you.
The wilderness also has another role in your life which is to humble you. After you have gone through difficult experiences and you had no option but to wait on God to fix these things in your life, then you know that you are not the one responsible for success in your life. Only God is. So that you may not get to the point where you say to yourself that “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.” (Deuteronomy 8:17) God says this several times to the Israelites after they have passed through the wilderness and are about to get into the promised land.
Deuteronomy 8: 2,3 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.
Isn’t it interesting that the verse that Jesus quoted while undergoing His test in the wilderness (man shall not live by bread alone) was from God’s words to the Israelites in the wilderness? The lesson is the same for the Israelites as it was for Jesus as it is for us. So do not be discouraged when going through a wilderness season. God, being the good Father that He is, is building up your character, teaching you to rely on Him, to look to Him and only Him. The tests are for your good, to do you good in the end. He is faithful and will come through for you.