Have you ever questioned why you don’t feel God? Or why you’ve felt “nothing” for weeks no matter how often or how long you pray or attend church? This is called a spiritual wilderness; it’s where our feelings fade, emotions evaporate, doubts surface, and senses fail. The wilderness can’t be avoided, even for Spirit-filled people. Jesus faced the wilderness after His powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit. In the same way, the righteous live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
40 Days Or 40 Years?
I want you to notice the difference between these 2 wilderness seasons:
The Bible says that after being filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit. It was a period of forty days. It was a time of temptation. It’s almost like the Holy Spirit led Jesus somewhere and then abandoned Him.
Israel also had a wilderness season after their spiritual encounters in Egypt. In contrast to Jesus’ wilderness, the people of Israel spent forty years there. It wasn’t God’s goal for them to spend so much time in the dry place. The difference between Jesus and the children of Israel was their reaction in the wilderness:
● Jesus quoted the Scriptures; Israel quoted their feelings.
● Jesus confessed God’s word; Israel complained.
● Jesus trusted what God said about Him; Israel doubted God’s presence with them.
Our response determines the length of our wilderness. If we complain, we extend it, and if we confess what we believe instead of what we see and feel, we will pass through it faster and onto the other side. If the Holy Spirit led you to the wilderness, trust the Holy Scriptures to get you through it.If the Holy Spirit led you to the wilderness, trust the Holy Scriptures to get you through it. Click To Tweet
Where Is The Holy Spirit During This?
In the wilderness, the Holy Spirit hides in the Holy Scriptures. That’s why Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). Bread represents what you see, what you feel—your senses. The bread speaks of the physical evidence that God is with you. Bread is good, but in the wilderness, there is no bread and spiritual highs don’t last. Therefore, you must rely on God’s Word when you can’t feel anything.
How To Shorten Your Spiritual Wilderness
When you don’t feel the Holy Spirit, feed on the Holy Scriptures. The Spirit is hiding in them. Feed yourself on God’s Word and feast on His faithfulness. Jesus didn’t succumb to doubt. He didn’t depend on His feelings but spoke back God’s Word to the devil. Jesus is God. He could have simply told the devil to shut up; however, He was modeling for us how the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit and how to use it in spiritual warfare on an evil day.
The Holy Spirit hides in the Scriptures, which is His sword. If you can’t feel Him, feed on His Word. The Spirit is in the sword just as His power and presence are hidden in the Scriptures. The wilderness is a time designed by Him to build dependence on Him—not on our feelings, but on God’s Word. Remember, God didn’t lead you to the wilderness to kill you, but to equip you.
Maybe you have come upon a very difficult time in your family or ministry, or perhaps following the Lord has made your situation very challenging financially. Fear not, the Holy Spirit brought you to this; He will bring you through it. Speak God’s Word, praise His name, and remember His promises to you. Don’t make this difficult time longer by giving in to your feelings, instead feed yourself with God’s truth.