Deuteronomy 8:2 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.
As the next generation prepared to go into the promise land, Moses revealed some of the reasons for the wilderness wanderings. He pointed out that it was through the wilderness that the Lord allowed the nation of Israel to be humbled. On more than one occasion, Israel had been referred to as a "stiff necked" people. Being stiff necked does not mean you slept on your pillow wrong, it refers to a stubbornness in the heart. It is a picture of one who is unwilling to bow their head in submission. It is an illustration of one who is proud. Yet it was in the wilderness that the people were brought to a place of humility. They had to be completely dependent upon God for everything. They looked to God for direction. They looked to God for protection from their enemies. They looked to God for daily provision. All of these experiences were humbling.
Moses went on to say that the wilderness also allowed the people to be tested. The wilderness would reveal what was truly in their hearts. It was a one question test they were about to take. The question was, "would they obey the word of the Lord or not?" Now, God knows everything. He knew whether they would choose to obey or not. He knew what was in their hearts. However the nation didn't know what was in their heart, until they went into the wilderness. And all that was inside them began to come out of them. A time of revelation occurred in the wilderness.
In many ways the wilderness represents a time of testing and humbling in the life of Christian. It is a season we enter into that shows us what we are really made of. The wilderness provides many opportunities to learn to trust God. It offers many lessons in humility, as well as countless revelations of what is in our hearts. We do not always know what is in our hearts until we are tested. Then what is inside comes out and we see the changes that need to be made. We see the pride that we had overlooked. We observe a lack of faith that we were unaware of. This revelation in turn drives us to Jesus and to the work of His Holy Spirit in our lives. Our prayer in the wilderness becomes, "Okay Lord, do what you must do. Have your way in me Lord. Teach me what I need to know." Although the wilderness is not always looked upon as something favorable, it is a season that is necessary. It is through the wilderness that we learn, "man shall not live by bread alone but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Father when you allow us to enter into a time of testing, a time of refining, help us to keep our eyes upon You. If the things in our hearts need to be repented of, we repent. We choose to humble ourselves before You. Thank You for Your faithfulness in every season of life. In Jesus name.. AMEN