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It is the wilderness that God trains us for battle. It is in the wilderness

that we learn how to pray. It is in the wilderness that we learn to rebuke

devils. It is in the wilderness that we learn to cast out devils.

It is in the wilderness that we learn to cast down vain imaginations.

It is in the wilderness that God pulls off our covers and

reveals to us who we really are.



Making It Through Your Wilderness

Sermon by Jennifer McGill

Based on Luke 4:1-13


I have two uncles who are commercial vehicle operators. We everyday people call them truck drivers. Their responsibility is to ensure the safe arrival of a company's goods and /or property. If you have ever been on the road inside of a truck, you would find very quickly that there is a different world on the road. I hear stories about drama, hate, love, and the ridiculous--all from my uncles who like to share their stories of being on the road.

Many of these stories are from fellow truck drivers sharing their lives over a little box known as a CB. As a child this machine fascinated me. You could meet so many people at one time and just talk. It is the predecessor of our cell phones today. The CB is a way of communication, to make others aware of problems, accidents, to provide warnings. It is also a source of entertainment.

If you lose radio accessibility, you have lost contact with the other drivers. You are then driving solos. It's dangerous driving solo. There is no one to give your direction or warning. You have no one to keep you company. You are out there all by yourself. Having access to your CB could save your life.

There are times in our lives we get to certain places and all of a sudden we are at a stand still. We are driving solo. We try to radio God. But it seems as though He does not hear us at all. Has there ever been a time in your life when you have been alone? Has there ever been a time in your life when you had no one to turn to, no place to go? You look for words of encouragement, words of comfort and direction. There is no one there to help you through. You call your best friend. They are not answering the phone. You call your mother, but she is not at home. Your father is out on business. Your boyfriend is tripping out on you and your girlfriend has no time to talk.

If you have been in these places, if you had such an experience, then you have been in the wilderness.

What is this wilderness? Wilderness, eremia in Aramaic, is an uninhabited place. There is nothing there, nobody is there. There is no vegetation, no water to quench your thirst. It is like being a traveler in a vast desert. It is like being lost in that place out West they call Death Valley.

But the wilderness goes beyond a physical place. Your wilderness may not be a desert. It may be not having a mate. Your wilderness may be not having any money. Your wilderness may be bad business decisions. Your wilderness may be a child that won't do right. The wilderness is that time in life when everything is one color. But the wilderness can be a blessing. God wants us alone, sometimes, and thus puts us in the wilderness to cut away the junk. The wilderness can be a hot, desert that God uses to burn away the gross that are our sins.

The  wilderness is a time when you are alone, wandering, wondering, asking the question where am I? Who am I? No one can do anything for you. You've prayed, rebuked devils, fasted. Yet you still find yourself in a barren place.

But do not despair unto death. The wilderness comes right before the fulfillment of the promise God makes to all his children. Even Jesus, the Word fulfilled in the flesh, our God, received the promise. And he too wandered in the wilderness.

Here is a revelation for you who hear me. God uses us and we must go through the wilderness to get to the other side of milk and honey. It is unavoidable. God wants to know He can trust. he already knows what we will do. He puts us to the test. He wants us to rise to the ethical challenge of the wilderness.

It is the wilderness that God trains us for battle. It is in the wilderness that we learn how to pray. It is in the wilderness that we learn to rebuke devils. It is in the wilderness that we learn to cast out devils. It is in the wilderness that we learn to cast down vain imaginations. It is in the wilderness that God pulls off our covers and reveals to us who we really are. It is in the wilderness that God does surgery and cuts away our our sins--selfishness, greed, lying, fornication, adultery. It is in the wilderness that we learn to stand boldly for our God. How else will you trust Him, how else will you learn patience? To make a way in the wilderness, how else will you learn to seek Him?

Abraham had to go through the wilderness when God told him to leave his country, his people, and his father's house. That was the only way that Abraham could become great.

God chose Joseph to be a leader. But before that, long before that, Joseph was cast down in a pit. He was then sold into slavery by his own brothers. Keeping God's law, he was tossed into prison for a crime that he did not do.

David was the promised king of Israel. In his wilderness King Saul tried to kill him.

Moses was in the wilderness because of the children of Israel. Sometimes we are in the wilderness to help others get through it. God promised Israel a promised land but there was a wilderness before the promise.

Jesus, the promised Messiah, had to go through the wilderness. he experienced hunger and temptation. Before the fulfillment of your promise you will have a wilderness experience

.If you are in the wilderness, do not lose hope because Jesus gives a plan to make it through, even in the midst of temptation.

Live by every Word of God, not just some of the Word, but every Word of God, not just living but also feeling the Word in your very being. You may be stressed out. But the Word of God says "God will not put more on you than you can bear." When angry, "the joy of the Lord is your strength." Lonely, God's holy word says, "I will be with you always even until the end of the world." If sad, recall the words, "lift up your head, Oh yea gates, be lifted ye everlasting doors, and the king of glory shall come in."

Find yourself anxious, rest is on the way. The Word says, "Be anxious for nothing but everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." If frustrated in finding your way, the Lord says, "we are more than conquerors." If fear creeps under your doors of peace, be still knowing that "no weapon formed against you shall prosper."

Put Satan in his place. God has given us power and authority to put Satan in his place. And his place is either behind you or under your feet. We must be bold and rebuke him. He has no place in your life and he has no right to be in your face. We were not made in Satan's image, but in God's image. And He God has given us power to tread on the enemy, the Serpent.

Worship the Lord and serve Him. God does no place you in the wilderness without the means of getting through it. For He makes a way in the wilderness. Don't complain. Worship Him with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. I am here to tell you will get through. You will conquer the pain and the hurt. Just worship Him. Serve Him. He is the Lord and He is able to deliver.

Thou shalt not tempt the Lord -- "Do not put the Lord your God to the test." In the wilderness sometimes we do some desperate things. Do not tempt/test God by doing something crazy and then expecting Him to get you out.

Something extraordinary happens after you have gone though the wilderness -- God gives you power! Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit. When you are going through and you think that you can't make it and then God brings you out. Your life is now a testimony of the goodness of God -- He has given us power.

Jesus did not keep the power to Himself. He taught, healed, cast out demons, cured the blind and fed the hungry with the power that He had.

It is our responsibility to teach people how God brought us out. Other people are going through the same wilderness that God just delivered you from. Your testimony will strengthen somebody. How can you help somebody if you don't tell them where you've been?

In Isaiah 43:19, God promised that He would make a way in the wilderness. Invite him into your life, and the joy you seek you shall find.

You must trust God in what He is doing in your life, and especially in the wilderness.

Don't die in wilderness.

Your wilderness is just before promise. Knowing Jesus and believing in Him is the only way to make it.

If you don't know Jesus and you want to know Him, tell Him that ylou want to know Him. It is that easy.

He's my best friend. he's everything that I need Him to be.

He's the only one that I know that died and rose for me.

When I was in court, He was my lawyer.

When I was sick, He was my doctor.

When I needed someone to talk to, He was right there.

When I needed money in my pocket, He gave me what I needed.

Right now I am going through the wilderness and jesus is right here with me, in my highs and lows.

I know Him and I want you to know Him too.

Choose Jesus today -- don't wait.

He will help you though the wilderness.

You will go through the wilderness but you will never be alone.

Jesus will help you through. If you want Him to help you through the wilderness

make Him your Savior and come to the altar.

The doors of the church are open.


Minister Jennifer Nicole McGill  now serves as an Associate Minister at Wayland Baptist Church, preaching the Gospel, teaching the Word, and serving as Spiritual Advisor to Wayland's Women's Ministry are some of Minister McGill's current responsibilities. Her assistance in Church Ministry is also exercised in Richmond, VA, where she teaches Sunday School and assists in Sunday worship at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

For Minister Jennifer McGill, home is where the heart is. Home is Baltimore, Maryland, where she was educated in Catholic and Public School systems. She attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, in Baltimore, Maryland, and continued higher education at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees. This vessel of God has traveled south on Interstate 95 to pursue her Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education. She hopes to one day research the relationship between art and religion in doctoral studies.

Minister McGill believes that study that study is useless until it is applied. Her plan is to use art, scripture, service, and love to help broken people piece their lives together and be liberated in and through Christ Jesus.

"If I can help somebody establish a relationship with God then my living is not in vain."

*   *   *   *   *

Luke 4:1-13 Jesus Temptation

1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit

2 for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days, ane when the were ended, he was hungry.

3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."

4. And Jesus answered him. "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone."

5. And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,

6 and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will."

7 if you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours."

8 And Jesus answered him, "It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve."

9 And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here;

10 for it is written, He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you,"

11 and On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone."

12 And Jesus answered him, "It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord your God."

13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from hum until an opportune time.

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