An Open HeavenSomehow, you ended up under an open heaven. You received. Great revelation, a powerful anointing, a new burst of faith, energy and purpose. And now, just as suddenly, you find yourself in a huge wilderness! If you’re human, you’re questioning God’s love for you, and the validity of the experience you had before the wilderness.

When all hell breaks loose after the reception of a powerful move and word of God, it is not an act of divine hatred. It is a fulfillment of divine promise. Jesus said persecution and affliction, pursuit and pressure, would arise because of the word. The clouds have rolled in and the supply has dwindled because the enemy is after that word. He wants to snatch it away before it goes from your heart to your mouth and begins to produce change in your life and environment. He comes only to steal, kill, & destroy. When ferocious fire & tribulation follow a powerful word from God, ask yourself, ‘What is the enemy trying to steal, kill, & destroy in my life?’

The wilderness is always a test. All that happens in it is a test. Do your best to pass every wilderness test, not by how you feel, but by what you believe. Let your faith guide everything you do and say in the wilderness.

Wilderness tests are usually tests of offense. i.e. the Devil wants to get you into a place of offense, where you begin to harbor resentment against God. Once you’re off-ended (knocked off your end), it takes longer to get back on track and finish your wilderness course. Some people never get back on track and die in the wilderness. That was the fate of the Israelites who died in the wilderness. They got offended at God (and Moses) because they thought He brought them out of Egypt to kill them in the wilderness. To accomplish this, Satan will always remind you of what you don’t have, what you’ve lost, and what you don’t have access to in the wilderness. All three wilderness temptations of Jesus were about lack (food, power/protection, material wealth), with the goal being to get Jesus to turn against God and supply his own needs.

TemptationThe best way to pass a wilderness test is to refuse to complain so you won’t get detained. Deal with it the way Jesus would and did–remember that he was despised, underappreciated, and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief as a result of losing so much in his life! You have to be acquainted with loss to be acquainted with grief! Yet, he opened not his mouth! (Is 53:7) He did not complain! When you are feeling loss, shut up. Just be quiet. Tell your natural man to retreat. Don’t give Satan a chance to steal your victory through a poor choice of words or a fleshly expression. Don’t even say anything to your closest confidante on earth. Instead, cry out to the Lord in the spirit, and rejoice!

The only reason we complain is because we think our complaint will somehow get God’s attention faster than our praise, stop the pain, and change our circumstances. It is when we realize that complaining only makes things worse for us by delaying our exit from the wilderness until we pass the test, praising God through the adversity, that we will stop complaining and keep our mouths shut, like jesus (who did not complain because he knew he was supposed to be going through what he was going through). Israel was detained 40 years because they complained. Let’s make a better choice.