The nation of Israel had been wandering through the wilderness for the last forty years, and they were now about to come into the promise land. The Lord revealed to His people the reason why He took them through the wilderness. For one thing, it was to humble them.
God will often use circumstances in our lives to bring us to the place of humility before Him. To help us realize that apart from Him we can do nothing. To get us to see that we don't have what it takes in and of ourselves. The Lord then declares that He used the wilderness to test them.
It was a test to cause them to know what was in their own hearts. Would they walk in obedience to the Lord in this season of wilderness life? There are always tests in the areas of obedience, and when those test occur the condition of my heart is exposed. When we are in the midst of one of life's tests we find out what's inside of us. The truth is I do not like everything that I see there. I see things that need to change and be altered. Thankfully the Lord begins to change my heart as I yield to the work of His Holy Spirit.
Perhaps today you are in the midst of what you would consider a "wilderness wandering", and your asking the Lord what is the purpose of this season in my life? The Lord is humbling us, refining us, teaching us. The great news about the wilderness is that it doesn't last forever. Its a season that prepares us for the promise land. May God grant us His grace and the power of His Spirit as we are refined and prepared to cross over the Jordan.