I don’t mind saying that with all the snow and cold that we’ve been getting in my part of the country, I’m ready for spring! Then I can start one of my favorite pastimes again. I’m talking about spending time in the woods hiking, praying, and meditating on the Word.
It’s always a lift to my spiritual life. I believe that every Christian who’s physically able should try it.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Since I’ve started hiking I have a new respect for the Lord’s physical condition. Being able to survive in the wilderness for forty days, living on only water is quite a physical challenge.
At one point I tried a two-day fast while hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail. I remember barely making it. The hunger was intense. I felt weak. It got to the point where it hurt just to put one leg in front of the other.
I promised myself I would never do that again. I can only imagine what Jesus felt like after 40 days.
There is a hunger, however, that I want to hike with. That’s a hunger of the spirit. If we can go into the wilderness with a hunger for the presence of the Lord, then we’ll come back from our journeys a changed person.
If we can see the outdoors as a meeting-place between God and us, we’ll take our wilderness activities to a whole new level.
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Once you decide to use the wilderness to achieve spiritual goals, it will transform your whole experience. The outdoors will become a place where you must sometimes face your own personal demons. In Jesus’ case it was from the outside. In our case it’s usually from within.
The wilderness gives God a chance to confront us on His terms. There’s nothing to fall back on; no distractions to hide our thoughts. God can throw a light on all the issues we’ve been sweeping under the rug for so long.
What I’ve found is that there’s no place to hide. I can’t “remember” that phone call I need to place. There is no TV program that I have to watch right now. God can have my undivided attention.
It’s an awesome thing to go into the wilderness to hear from God.
Be prepared. It’s not always what we expect. He’ll set the agenda, and there’s no way out. Change will happen in our lives, if we give the Lord an opportunity.
Think about spending some time in a wilderness setting with the Lord. I guarantee that it will be life-changing.
Questions: Have you ever spend time praying in the woods? What did you take away from that time?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014