Today, let’s answer the question – Is it possible to THRIVE in your wilderness?

To do this, we need to dive into how we can operate effectively in the wilderness, transforming our trials into a foundation for growth and divine fulfilment.

1. Embrace Solitude as a Source of Strength

In the wilderness, isolation becomes a powerful tool for self-discovery and spiritual deepening. Use this time to:

– Cultivate a deeper prayer life: Let solitude turn into solace with God. Use this quietness to deepen your communication with God, letting His words guide and comfort you, but don’t forget to listen.

– Journaling: Write down your thoughts, prayers, and revelations. Journaling can be a therapeutic way to process your emotions and record insights you receive during this time. It invites more of your senses to also pay attention.

2. Lean into Faith with Intentionality

Wilderness seasons test our faith like no other. Here’s how to lean in:

– Daily affirmations of faith: Start your day by affirming God’s promises over your life. Declare your trust in His plan and your openness to the lessons He is teaching you.

– Seek wisdom in Scripture: The Bible is filled with individuals and communities who have walked through their wilderness and come out stronger. Let their journeys inspire and guide you and remind you of God’s unfailing and nurturing nature.

3. Seek Purposeful Growth

The stirring for change you feel is a call to evolve. To navigate this:

– Identify areas for personal growth: Use this time to assess areas in your life where growth is necessary. Is it in patience, perseverance, faith, or perhaps in letting go of and adapting certain habits or beliefs?

– Take small, consistent steps: Growth is a process. Identify small actions you can take daily or weekly that align with the change you seek. Celebrate these steps, no matter how small.

4. Build a Community of Support

While the wilderness may require an element of solitude you can also use this time to build intentional support systems. Not all wilderness moments are meant to be solo journeys. 

Some are to call you to action. 

– Reach out to mentors or coaches who can guide you in the directions you are being directed to go. God will put people in your path and this may be where you take Him at his word and invest in yourself to take the next step in your journey.

– Join or form a support group: Connecting with others in similar seasons can provide mutual encouragement and insight. Consider virtual meetings if physical gatherings aren’t possible.

5. Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude

Gratitude can transform how you view your wilderness. Go back to the initial question. Do you think it’s possible to THRIVE in the wilderness?

What might THRIVING in the wilderness look like?

– Daily gratitude practice: Each day, identify and write down three things you’re grateful for. This practice can shift your focus from what you lack to the abundance present in your life, even in the wilderness.

– Focus on what you hear, take note of instructions and directions received and reflect on forward movement that takes you out of the fog – even those short glimpses of clarity are worthy to give thanks for. 

– Crazy Praise: You know that when you praise God in the wilderness you confuse the enemy who is sitting beside you, celebrating when you perpetuate the spirit of negative thinking in your mind. Celebrate the victory that is already won while you wait for time to catch up with what God has in store for you. Give God some crazy praise.

The Answer:

The wilderness, while challenging, is not devoid of God’s presence or provision. It’s a place where one can indeed thrive—not by worldly standards of success but through spiritual growth, deeper reliance on God, and clarity of purpose.

 Joseph: Thriving in the Wilderness with God's Presence

The Wilderness of Slavery and Imprisonment:

Joseph’s journey through his own wilderness began when he was sold into slavery by his brothers and later unjustly imprisoned in Egypt. Despite these circumstances, which could metaphorically be considered his “wilderness,” Joseph thrived because of his unwavering faith in God and his ability to listen to God’s voice.

“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” (Genesis 39:21)

This scripture highlights that even in the depths of his wilderness—enslaved and imprisoned—God’s presence was with Joseph, granting him favor and success in all he did.

Listening for God and Finding Purpose:

Just as I experienced a call to listen more attentively to God, Joseph demonstrated the importance of being attuned to God’s guidance. His ability to interpret dreams, first for the Pharaoh’s officials and later for Pharaoh himself, was a direct result of his deep connection and listening to God.

“And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ Joseph answered Pharaoh, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.'” (Genesis 41:15-16)

Joseph’s acknowledgment that his gift came from God is a testament to his humility and reliance on divine wisdom, not his own strength.

Emerging from the Wilderness:

Joseph’s time in the wilderness wasn’t in vain. It prepared him for a significant role in Egypt, eventually leading to his appointment as the second most powerful man in the country, directly under Pharaoh. This position allowed him to save countless lives during a famine, including those of his own family who had wronged him.

“And Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?’ But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence. So Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come near to me, please.’ And they came near. And he said, ‘I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.'” (Genesis 45:3-5)

 Thriving in My Wilderness

I hope this serves as a powerful illustration that thriving in the wilderness is indeed possible with God’s presence. It emphasises the transformation that can occur when we listen for God’s guidance, remain faithful amidst trials, and trust in God’s larger plan for our lives.

The wilderness is not just a place of trial but also a profound opportunity for growth, realignment with God’s will, and preparation for the tasks God has for us on the other side. The wilderness seasons teach us resilience, deepen our faith, and prepare us for the purpose God has ordained for us, just as it did for Joseph.

Reflection and Action:

If you are in your wilderness right now, what is one small action you can take today to embrace solitude, lean into your faith, pursue growth, build your community, or practice gratitude? 

Blessings and strength on your journey,

JJ

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