And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. – Mark 1:4
If we live long enough, we will experience some significant shift in our life. Some of them are simply part of growing up; starting school, graduation, marriage, children, a new job. Some are more startling, like the loss of a job or the loss of a loved one. And sometimes a “shift” is more of an awakening.
In Mark’s Gospel, the world was on the verge of a major shift; an awakening. They were about to experience something they had never known before. And, at the on set of this shift, there would first be a wilderness experience.
There are very few significant shifts in life that take place without a wilderness experience. I’m not sure if it is possible to have a shift or awakening without a wilderness experience. Yet, we work hard at avoiding the wilderness at all cost.
Many people have asked me for prayer over the years. And one of the longest categories is people asking me to pray for God to remove them from the “wilderness” experience. I am faithful to pray for them, but, I confess, I rarely ask God to take them out of the wilderness. Instead, I ask God to take the wilderness out of them. Our wilderness experiences are the most significant parts of our lives. They shape us, prepare us, and make us the people God wants us to be.
Sunday we begin a new series called SHIFT. I hope you will come ready for a new awakening. And I hope you will come prepared to walk through the wilderness experience. September is a season of new beginnings. Spend some time this week in prayer and fasting. Ask God to prepare your heart for a new awakening and come ready to SHIFT your perspective.