A Note from Pastor Tonya
“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness
for forty days, tempted by Satan” Mark 1:12-13a
Have you ever found yourself in the wilderness? Your prayer life hits a dry spell. Your worship seems arid and lifeless. Troubles assail you. Temptations call your name. You feel alone and forsaken. God seems so very far away. Dr. D.W. Ekstrand writes, “In a spiritual wilderness God feels far away, distant, absent, and unresponsive. . . faith feels doubtful or uncertain. . . we feel alone, vulnerable, lost and unprotected. . . there is the fear of hopelessness and the unknown. .. and it’s the place where Satan resides.” Have you ever found yourself in the wilderness?
Jesus did. He had just been baptized by his cousin, John – and heard his Heavenly Father say, “You are my Son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.” And wham! The Spirit drove him from that place of divine favor to a place of desolation. But because Jesus was open to the Spirit, God was able to use Jesus’ wilderness time to prepare him for his ministry.
Likewise, if we are open to the Spirit, God can use our wilderness times to bring us into a deeper relationship with God. It is in the wilderness that God introduces Godself to us in a deeper and more profound way. . . and where God shows us that we are thirsty and dry in our spiritual life. What better place to show us that but in a desert? As our thirst increases, we cry out to God and start searching desperately to find God. . . and that’s exactly what God wants us to do! The Lord says, “You will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
I look forward to discovering how God will use OUR wilderness times to deepen our relationship with God and prepare us for whatever ministry God has in mind for us.
– Rev. Tonya Arnesen