Are you in a wilderness? The wilderness is happy to have you.
Isaiah 35:1 (KJV) “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.”
I want to talk to you about coming out of your wilderness experience. Jeremiah 31:2 talks about a people who found grace in the wilderness. The wilderness speaks of many things. It is a place where cattle are driven for pasturing. It is a solitary place. It symbolizes a life that is barren, dry and lonely. It symbolizes a wasted life, fruitless and death-oriented. The wilderness also speaks of a place of testing and of proving. The wilderness determines whether God or the flesh is going to rule your life. God wants to know what is in your heart. The wilderness is a place for training and teaching. “Will I, or will I not, hear and obey the voice of the Lord?”
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 teaches, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” (KJV) It was God who led them there, not the devil. Luke 4:1-14 teaches that Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus overcame the devil and returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Ghost. The wilderness made the difference. Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 10:5that many were overthrown in the wilderness for lack of faith. Jesus overcame the wilderness temptations by His faith in God’s word.
Luke 1:80 teaches that John the Baptist grew and waxed strong in spirit by his stay in the wilderness until the day of his showing in Israel. John’s wilderness lasted for many years. When God showed him, John came in the power and in the spirit of Elijah. The Holy Spirit is training many today through wilderness experiences, because there is a “day for their showing.” There is a day for your showing. Many people have been chosen for a special calling. They are frustrated, eager to get going. They cannot understand the “why” of their wilderness experience, but God is proving them and testing their faith and loyalty. The wilderness is their preparation time. Jesus said to the disciples in Mark 6:31-35, “Come ye apart into a desert place and rest a while.” (KJV)
Isaiah 35 teaches about “coming out of the wilderness.” This chapter teaches that Jesus has the ability to re-activate your life. He can turn your life around again. The first thing He gives you is a promise.
Isaiah 35:1 (KJV) “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” God is saying, “You can bounce back.” The wilderness is glad for you. Why? Because it is full of God’s grace. Life abounds in the wilderness. Psalm 84 talks about the valley of Baca and a man who had to go through it to reach what was destined for him. This was desert country. It was hard going. He found mulberry trees full of nourishing fruit. The trees represented inspiration. The Psalmist was saying there is inspiration all around you in the wilderness. The Lord also sends rain, used here as “teaching.” The wilderness is a place of learning. The Holy Spirit is your teacher. A word by the Spirit will refresh you. Are you in a wilderness? The wilderness is glad to have you, because when it gets through with you, you will blossom as the rose.
Isaiah 35:2 (KJV) “It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.” There are three things in this verse that initiates changes in your life. Psalm 29:2talks about the “voice of the Lord shaking the wilderness of Kadesh.” The word “Kadesh” means “apartness” or “set apart for a purpose.” There is a purpose for your wilderness experience. There in the wilderness you will learn to hear the voice of God. You will learn dependence upon God. You can’t live on physical strength alone. Notice the words “Lebanon” and “Carmel and Sharon” or “a country” and “a mountain and a fertile plain.” God wants to give you all three plus the excellency of God. Let’s take them separately.
The glory of Lebanon, the glory of the pureness of righteousness: God wants to give you this. Lebanon in Bible times was known for its cedars. The fragrance of the cedars filled the atmosphere. God wants to awaken in us the sense of smell. He wants to re-awaken our senses towards righteousness. One of the purposes of the wilderness is the awakening of our senses. In Song of Solomon 4:11 when the bride came out of the wilderness, the smell of her garments was like the smell of Lebanon. Exodus 15:11 asks, “Who is like unto Thee O God, glorious in holiness?” (KJV)
The excellency of Carmel (1 Kings 18:21-39): The excellency of Carmel was not God’s victory by fire. It was Israel proclaiming, “The Lord, He is God.” This is the second awakening in the wilderness that we must experience. The Holy Spirit must awaken your sense of sight or vision. At Mt. Carmel Israel was saying, “God is in first place in our lives again.” You cannot get out of the wilderness without this sense of sight being awakened. If God is not your vision, you will have only mirages in the wilderness. A mirage will lie to you, cheat you, and foil you; it leads you off into fantasy. It is His presence that saves you. Isaiah 51:1-3 teaches that God makes the desert like the garden of Eden. The environment of Eden was filled with God.
The excellency of Sharon: The plains of Sharon grew wheat, barley, and corn. Here God was awakening the sense of taste. He was showing the importance of the Word of God in your life. These three crops speak of the Word of God. You cannot live a Christian life without the Word in your life. Your survival in life depends more on what God says than on what man says. Has God given you a ministry? Hear Him. You are in the wilderness for this purpose. In the wilderness it’s you and God. There is no prophet to run to. These three things–Lebanon, Carmel, and Sharon–will reveal God’s excellency. Do you want your ministry to flourish? See God’s excellency.
Isaiah 35:3-4 (KJV) “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.” The wilderness shows up three weaknesses: weak hands, feeble knees, and fearful hearts. These three things represent people who have nothing in their hands to give, people who are unable to stand and who are timid and faint-hearted. The prophetic word here puts you in a winning frame of mind. It doesn’t take long for the wilderness to weaken your frame and sap your strength. The Spirit is saying, “I can strengthen your life.”
Isaiah 35:5-6a (KJV) “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.” The wilderness is hard on your eyes, ears, feet and mouth. These are the three areas that need protection and healing. These four things speak of vision, hearing, walking, and speaking. The wilderness reveals the weakness in these areas. These are the four things people lose if they are in the wilderness for a long period of time. These are the four major healing areas that Jesus focused on in the gospels. He healed eyes, ears, lame feet and the dumb mouths. The Arabs who live in the desert cover these four areas. Sand is deadly. If sand gets in your eyes, your vision is distorted. If sand gets into your ears, your hearing is lost. Sand causes you to walk unevenly, gives you blisters. Sand gives you a dry mouth and distorts your speech. The wilderness will test these four areas. Many people are gung-ho to start doing, but they have no vision as to what to do and where to go. They have no hearing to hear what the Spirit is saying, and they are unable to walk in righteousness and have no message. Jesus wants to heal these four areas.
Isaiah 35:6a-7 (KJV) “For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.” The first step to healing and restoration is water or moisture, water to quench the thirst and to refresh the mental and physical body. The Holy Spirit wants to prevent spiritual dehydration. One of the translations reads, “the mirage shall become a pool.” Note the order: waters break out; then a stream begins to flow and pools form. The Holy Spirit wants to break the hardness of our hearts. Waters (the Spirit) cannot break out of hard hearts (John 7:37-39). Notice also what water does: the dragons of the desert leave when the water begins to rise. The demons and devils do not like the Holy Spirit. The anointing in you breaks the devil’s yoke (hold) on you. Dragons like to harass you. They stick their tongue out at you. They hiss. They like to keep you in fear. When you live in the wilderness, there are a lot of unclean things around.
Unclean spirits look for dry saints (Luke 11:24). A Spirit-filled saint is no attraction to the devil. He is after the dry saints. A lot of folks go up front for prayer to be delivered when all they need is a Spirit-filled life. For sin problems 1John 1:7 teaches that the blood of Jesus cleanses us. For flesh problems Romans 6:6-11teaches us to crucify our flesh on the cross of Christ. We can also deal with flesh problems by walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). For demon problems Mark 16:17 teaches us to cast them out in the name of Jesus. You can’t work off a demon spirit. Medicine can’t cure you of a demon spirit. Jesus said, “Cast them out.”
Isaiah 35:8 (KJV) “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” The Lord shows you a path that leads you out of the wilderness. That path is the path of holiness. It is important that we separate ourselves from the world. Kingdom saints are not of this world. The Bible is very strong on separation. Obadiah 17-21 teaches, “But upon Mt Zion shall be deliverance and there shall be holiness.” Hebrews 11:24-27tells of Moses. He was counted as a man of faith when he forsook the pleasures of sin. Paul teaches in Galatians 2:18 that if people build into their lives the things God delivered them from, they become transgressors. Psalm 97:10 says, “ye that love the Lord, hate evil.” In Isaiah 35:8 the prophet refers to wayfaring men. These kind of men are those who after they are saved or delivered cross over into their pre-conversion life styles. Some folks think that once they are born again they can do as they please. If you have a revelation that breaks God’s moral code of righteousness, God is not the author of that revelation. Any teaching that gives a person license to sin is a false teaching.
Paul teaches in Ephesians 4:17-21 that some of the saints crossed back into their old lifestyles. He said, “If your life style now is as your pre-conversion days, you didn’t learn that from Christ.” If you learned anything from Christ, you learned about pureness, holiness, separation, and righteousness. Paul chastised Christians who crossed over into the harlot system after receiving Christ as their savior (1 Corinthians 6:9-20). The path that leads out of the wilderness is holiness. God says so.
Isaiah 35:9 (KJV) “No lion (devil) shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:” This verse makes a deliverance statement. The devil cannot walk in holiness. Ravenous beasts (demons) do not feed on holiness. Holiness is the believer’s protection. Get it into your mind. Holiness is your path and no devil can walk there. The devil can do a lot of yelling (Jeremiah 2:15), but they are unable to walk in holiness. If you get off the path of holiness you are fair game.
Isaiah 35:10 (KJV) “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” When the Lord brings you out of the wilderness, He brings you out into Eden-like places. You also come under Eden’s controls. There are controls in God’s environment, too. Eden is not a free-for-all place. There are rules to live by. It was disobedience to God’s rules of conduct that brought sorrow and sighing to Adam and Eve. God’s presence will bring rejoicing to your spirit and gladness. He will meet all your unfulfilled desires. The book of Revelation teaches in chapters 21-22 that when God brings you out of the wilderness there is no more curse, no more division, no more death, no more sorrow, no more natural light, no more night or darkness, no devil, no hunger, no antichrist, and no sickness. You may think that all of that is for heaven. Think again. It’s for the redeemed now, today.
Are you in a wilderness? The wilderness is happy to have you. When you come out, you will be a better person, fit for service in the kingdom of God. Quote: If you believe that it is right to be right with God, it is right to be right, right now. God wants you out of the wilderness. Are you coming out? “Who is this coming out of the wilderness?” (Song of Solomon 3:6-11) It could be you. Say, “It’s me, O Lord.”