“The Wilderness Test comes in the form of a drought or dry season and will prove your potential to make the changes necessary to enter the next level of prosperity in your life.”
There are few experiences that are more powerful than the moment when you, for the first time, gain clarity of God’s call on your life. Maybe you’ve experienced it too. Your heart rate quickens, palms all sweaty, your knees start to buckle—you almost feel like you’re getting saved again . . . or like you’re in junior high and that person walks in the room who you “LIKE, like,” and you don’t know what to say or why you even feel the way you do. Yeah, you know the feeling.
For me, that moment of calling came at a youth conference. I had been involved in church for a couple of years, but hadn’t felt any kind of specific call on my life—let alone a call to ministry, which is exactly what I suddenly felt. That feeling turned into passion and that passion turned into action. I changed my post-high school plans and enrolled in a two year Bible college. I spent those next two years of my life doing everything I could to prepare myself for a life in ministry, and deep down in my heart I believed that my dreams would come true.
But then, quickly and suddenly, it all went away. Due to some unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, it seemed that everything I had worked towards, everything I had experienced—the calling at the youth camp, the two years in Bible college, countless moments of growth and inspiration along the way—were all gone. All of the dreams in my heart faded to black and left a void—one that would be filled by bitterness, doubt, and depression. My time in the wilderness had begun.
One of the most difficult parts of passing The Wilderness Test is coming to the realization that it’s only a test. No, God hasn’t abandoned you. Yes, there is still a reason to keep going. These realizations seem so simple, but when you’re in the wilderness they are easily forgotten. Once I made the decision to turn to God in the midst of The Wilderness Test, I realized that while He may not have loved my circumstances any more than I did, He still wanted me to learn something. Specifically, I came to realize that I had been more faithful to my sense of calling than I had been to developing and maintaining a relationship with Him. In a way, I needed the drought, the dry season, and even the desperation to realize that my life was disordered. God showed me that if I was going to move forward in life, I needed to make significant changes in my priorities and how I loved Him and related to Him.
The wilderness didn’t leave me quickly. It was a long and difficult test, but now on the other side, I can say with full confidence that I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. My faithfulness through The Wilderness Test helped to prove my potential. Now, due in large part to passing the test, I am living out the dream that God dropped in my heart over a decade ago at a youth camp.
Passing the test once doesn’t mean I won’t go through it again. But when the day comes, I know that I will be well equipped to pass with flying colors. Even when I may not see it, I can be anchored by this unwavering belief that God is with me, God is for me, and He is working all things together for good.