STRAYING INTO THE WILDERNESS
In previous devotions this month you have learned many reasons for desert experiences in your spiritual life, noting that they are always for divine purpose. Sometimes, however, you may enter a desert experience because you are not walking in God's way. This, too, is for divine purpose. To bring you back to the right path.
The Bible compares us to sheep, saying "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).
Jesus is compared to a good shepherd:
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep...I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:14-15)
Jesus Christ is the Shepherd of your soul. He leaves the flock to search for one lost lamb that has strayed:
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep , and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep , than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:11-14)
If you have strayed into the wilderness because of your sin, it is not God's will for you to remain there. The Shepherd of your soul comes seeking you today. Cry out to Him and He will tenderly rescue you from the barren land into which you have strayed. You will not die there. He is not willing that you should perish.
Follow the paths of the good Shepherd, and your every need will be met. As the psalmist declared:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (Psalm23:1-6)