Making It Through Your Wilderness
Sermon by Jennifer
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Jennifer Nicole McGill now serves as an Associate
Minister at Wayland Baptist
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
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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