Monday, January 21, 2019

Braving the Wilderness of the Soul

When we embark on a journey of the soul to salvation there is always going to be those first few miles we find incredibly thrilling as we discover new things and venture out into new and unexplored terrain. Then time passes, and we find ourselves traversing through the vast and barren wilderness and that novelty that initially excited us into this grand adventure begins to fade. The heat begins to boil our tempers. We may find ourselves hungry and thirsty. Long dark and cold nights leave us lonely, and the prolong solitude feels to erode our soul.

We realize that the strait and narrow path we entered into is not a straight and easy shot to heaven. It seems too difficult to brave the wilderness of our soul that even the shackles of slavery and carnal security of the city walls we left behind begin to entice to us, but its deep in the heart of the wilderness where we will find God, and so we must learn to be true to our wild heart if we are to brave the wilderness of our soul.  

The Midbar- Johnathan Cahn, The Book of Mysteries

He took me out in the desert to an immense valley surrounded by reddish mountains, which turned increasingly purple and blue as they extended out into the far distance.
"What words come to your mind," said the teacher, "when you look at the desert wilderness?"
"Dry ...barren ...austere ...severe ...hard ...forbidding ..."
"And when people go through hard times - times of loss, crisis, tragedy, loneliness, conflict, hardship, problems, separation, tears - they speak of going through the wilderness. And yet the wilderness is a holy place. It was in a desert wilderness that God gave His Law, His Word, and where He revealed His presence. The wilderness is holy."
"So the hard times in our lives are holy?"
"For those who are His children, yes."
"How so?"
"In Hebrew, the wilderness is called the midbar. Midbar comes from the root ward dabar. And dabar means to speak. What is the wilderness? It is the midbar. And what is the midbar? It is the place of God's speaking, the place of His voice. It's where God especially talks to us. Why did He bring His people into the wilderness, into the midbar? So He could speak to them. He brought Moses into the midbar to speak to him in a still, small voice. So too He brings us into the wilderness that He might speak to us."
"What is it about the wilderness that makes it the place of God's speaking?"
"Look around you," he said. "What do you see?"
"Rock, sand, mountains - not much."
"That's why," said the teacher. "God speaks, but we don't hear. We have too many distractions. But in the wilderness the distractions are gone. So God brings us to the wilderness that we might hear His voice. Therefore, do not fear or despise the wilderness of your life, and don't despise His removing of the distractions. Rather embrace it. Draw closer to Him. And listen to what He is saying. Seek to hear His voice, and you will hear Him. For the wilderness in your life is not just a wilderness. It is holy ground ...the midbar ...the place of His voice."


  1. Hi Khaden,

    You really hit the nail on the head. I've never posted here (or mostly anywhere) before, but yours is one of the blogs I follow. I truly appreciate your insights, so thank you.

    It's been years since my wilderness journey began. But it was just as you explained here. In fact, one of my favorite movie scenes is Charlton Heston crawling through the desert after leaving Egypt, and just as he's about done, DeMille narrating says something to the effect that after his soul and his will, and his mind, body and spirit, are completely wrung out, "...a prophet is born". That's the 50's Ten Commandments movie of course. I remember, after having suffered some period of my own wilderness, I saw that scene again and it hit my like a ton of bricks! I thought, "how the heck does DeMille know about that?" I figured my journey was extremely rare. I'd never met anybody who'd been where I was. All around me I just saw complacent "saints". And of course I was appalled at all of them. I judged them pretty hard in those days.

    Anyway, it's been so refreshing these last few years with the internet, to see that I'm not alone. Again, leaving "the city", the excitement of the new discoveries and realizations, then the loneliness, the anger - at the sudden new treatment, and even the confusion, the mistakes on a whole new level, and the hanging on anyway for some damn reason, and much more, perfectly describes the experience.

    Thanks again,

    Rex Patterson

    1. Thank you, Rex, for sharing your experience. I'm happy to hear that you and others are braving the wilderness. May we both hold true to our wild hearts that we may find God out here :)