In the Wilderness
by Joanne Ellison

This morning I want to share with you today’s entry from my Drawing Near to God 365-day devotional.  This entry is about the times when we wander into the “wilderness” of complaining, self-pity or feeling separated from God. But God never forsakes us! If you’re interested in reading more entries from this devotional book, you can read them online or even sign up to have the sent directly to your email inbox every morning.

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.
Joshua 5:9

Wilderness Christians are often unable to display God’s power because they are self-reliant and not God-reliant. When the Israelites left Egypt, the Egyptians saw God’s power displayed as He brought about their release. For forty years, however, the Israelites lived in the desert, lacking faith and power, complaining, and longing to return to Egypt. When the Israelites finally crossed the Jordan River, God once more displayed His power. The Amorite and Canaanite kings along the coast, who had been skeptical of the power of God, now saw God’s power displayed as the Israelites crossed the Jordan River. The reproach (disgrace, discredit) was removed as the Israelites finally left the desert and moved into the Promised Land.

There have been times when I wandered in the wilderness because of my disobedience to the Lord. I had a sense that the Lord was calling me to a place of obedience, and it either wasn’t convenient or I did not bother to obey. At these times, I find myself wandering in a dry place, feeling separated from God but unwilling to seek Him. Those are the times where I find myself complaining and grumbling, wondering why God has abandoned me. The truth was that I had abandoned Him! God’s Word says that He never forsakes us.

Are you in a “wilderness place”? Have you seen God intervene in your life like the Israelites, and yet you are wandering in a dry place having forgotten His display of power in your life? The Lord seeks to remove the disgrace that has kept you in that place and move in powerful ways in your life. Be willing to step out in faith and cross your personal “Jordan.” He will part the sea of your circumstances and take you into the place of His promise.

Heavenly Father,
I am tired of feeling defeated. I have seen You work in my life in the past but do not see evidence of You at work now. I am in a wilderness full of self-pity and complaining. Forgive me, Lord, and lead me over the Jordan into agreement with Your promises for my life. -In Jesus’ name, Amen



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  1. Antoinette

    Ciao Joanne
    God must have put me in your heart today…Thanks for putting my feet on solid ground and lifting me out of the wilderness.

    • joanneellison

      So delighted that this post blessed you today! You are a blessing to so many others:)


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