Skip to main content

Wilderness School

John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.
-Luke 1:80 (NLT)

Many people have been and are in God's wilderness school right now.  I want to encourage us that God's school is the best school.  Many of the servants of God that are well known names, in the Bible, spent time in the wilderness.

The wilderness can strengthen us and make us better and godly.  Or we can get bitter and die there, without ever coming into what God has for us.  We can let our dry, barren, and seemingly empty time grow us in a good way.

John grew up and was strengthened, for what God destined for him, in the wilderness.  It is interesting that John's dad was a minister, and it would have been easy and natural for John to follow his dad into the ministry as well.  John might have had access to the best teachers in Israel, but instead, he learned on the outside, in austerity.

I believe that John's wilderness training gave him the strength of character that he was going to need.  I believe that he learned, "God first", in the wilderness.

John was at wilderness seminary until his commissioning.  His calling was more dramatic than probably anyone you will ever meet.  Remember the angel from God's throne that came to his dad, before John's birth.  After his birth, his dad had a special experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit and giving a special prophecy about John becoming a prophet.

We can only imagine what his parents said to him, as they raised him; about his call.  But calling and commissioning are two different things.  The English translations fall a little bit short here.  My NLT says, "until he began his public ministry".  That is true, but what is behind the English here is a the Greek word anadeixis that means "the appointment of a person for a specific role".

We know John was called, from before his birth; but his commissioning is different.  According to Larry Perkins, the Greek term here also means, "to lift up and show".  The same word is used in 2 Maccabees 6:8 in the Greek OT, for "restored"; in that God, "watched over and restored him (Jonah, who was in the whale) to his family.  God lifted Jonah up and displayed him, i.e. rescued him.

In Petersen's The Message paraphrase, he says it this way: "He lived out in the desert until the day he made his prophetic debut in Israel."  When we look at Luke 3, we read that, "At this time a message from God came to John son of Zachariah, who was living in the wilderness." (Luke 3:2b, NLT).  We get it here that God triggered John's commissioning.  It is implemented or inaugurated, by God.

There was a time of preparation for John.  Even with having one of the most dramatic callings, his calling was not his commissioning.  The calling tells you what you are uniquely going to do for God, in this life, it is you destiny.  We are all called in to general ministry and being part of cooperating with the kingdom coming.  But, before you are inaugurated, installed into, or before you are commissioned to, or before you special calling or destiny is implemented; there is a time of preparation.

John was called before birth, but his public ministry started after age 30.  Moses was 80, when he started.  It took about 15 years for Paul, from his call on the road to Damascus, until he could use his apostolic gift with great impact.

So, if you are in the wilderness, be encouraged.  Let God teach you.  Don't waste the time and let the wilderness make you better, not bitter.

The photo is from
The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text, by Howard Marshall
God's Commissioning, by Larry Perkins


Popular posts from this blog

The Two Disciples and The Two Donkeys

When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task.  He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anybody says anything to you, say that the Lord needs it.” He sent them off right away.  Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said,  Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.”  The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them.  They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.
-Matthew 21:1-7

On what we call Palm Sunday, Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem. But, he had two disciples get two donkeys: a mother donkey and her colt. Jesus rode the young male who had never been ridden before. In his carefulness and perhaps kindness towards these two donkeys, he had th…

Teaching vs. Indoctrination

As usual, Paul went to the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures.
-Acts 17:2

There is a difference between teaching and indoctrination.  Education is not indoctrination.  But some secular and christian education is indoctrination masquerading as education.

If you are a teacher, whether you homeschool your children, teach at the pro level or you teach in your church; it is good to know this difference between indoctrination and true teaching.  Many people are indoctrinated today, rather than taught.

What you might notice, is that when you preach, whether you preach to a crowd or a few, it is easy to be an indoctrinator rather than a true teacher.  True teachers ask people questions and expect them to challenge and debate them.


Sharing ideas and conceptsTeaching is absorbed and integrated into one's own lifeConcepts or ideas are questioned and debatedMaterial is reflected uponStudents summarize back what's being learnedStudents thin…

God's Secret, Hidden People

(The children) of Elam 1,254.  -Ezra 2:7

Do you feel hidden?

The name Elam means secret or hidden.  Do you feel like you are on the shelf, not being used by God?  Maybe you are part of God's secret agents.

God has people who are in secret.

I have this idea that God has His attention on secret people.   I believe that God has rewards for secret people coming.  You may feel on the shelf, but you are actually hidden for a special purpose.  God has you in reserve.

The number one thousand, two-hundred, and fifty-four; tells us God's plan for his hidden, secret, and in reserve children

One thousand speaks of recompense.

Recompense means that you will be compensated or made amends to, due to harm or loss you suffered. In Genesis 20:16 is the story of Abimelech recompensing Abraham and Sarah.

Two speaks of fellowship, partnership, and co-laboring (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).

There are hidden people who have felt like they are "going it alone", who are about to be joined by someone.  …