Fast Forward Through The Wilderness

Wilderness Seasons

We are going to look at the story of Jesus fasting in the wilderness.

Matthew 4:1-11 NLT, “Then Jesus led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights He fasted and became very hungry. During that time, the devil came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No” The scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took Him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the temple, and said, “If You are the Son of God, jump off! For the scriptures say, ‘He will order His angels to protect you. And they will hold you with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’ Next, the devil took Him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “If You will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, satan,” Jesus told him. “For the scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.”

Every person including our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has to go through a wilderness in life. Wilderness is not avoidable. If we are to go anywhere in life, we have to pass through a wilderness. Wilderness is a transitional season. A wilderness was not a place meant for you and I to live in.

A wilderness is a great divider between the past and a promise, your purpose and promotion. Share on X

Every time you are going to transition in life, you will go through a wilderness season. That season is a time of uncertainty and change. It is when you have left the comfortable and certain but have not yet arrived at the purpose.

Let us look at two examples of those who went through a wilderness season so that we may not get stuck in the wilderness.

People Of Israel

The Israelites, just like our Lord Jesus Christ, were led by the Spirit of God out of their past into the promise of God. Jesus was led into the wilderness because there was a purpose and calling on the other side. One went relatively quickly through the desert while the others died in their wilderness without entering their promised land. Both were tempted in the wilderness. The way they went about their temptation determined the length of the wilderness season. Our wilderness season gets prolonged not because it is how God predetermined it but because we keep failing the tests and fail to embrace the purpose of our lives.

The difference between the two was when Jesus recognized it was a time of wilderness, He began to fast. When the Israelites entered the wilderness, they complained about the situation. This was not a time of feasting but fasting to seek the will of God and get through the wilderness into the promised land.

There are three areas which are the fundamental blocks of life in which we are all tested. Some of us are stuck in the wilderness in one of these areas and are unsure how to get out. The three areas I believe every person needs and will be tested in are provision, protection and purpose.


Every person needs to feel provided for. When a person doesn’t feel provided for, they grow dysfunctional. When a person does not feel protected or that they have a purpose, they live without satisfaction and meaning. If we are not careful, our lives can become guided by these needs instead of the voice and Spirit of God. People who allow their need to drive their lives oftentimes find themselves in the wilderness with a broken life. You cannot allow your needs to dictate the direction of your life. The Spirit of God must lead you in every area in your life.

Fasting helps to control our needs and desires. Fasting helps us to submit our desires and needs to the Word of God. Share on X

The first test the Israelites faced in their wilderness was provision: they had no food. Instead of for them to humbly come to Moses, they complained and failed the test of trusting God for provision over and over again. They did not pass the test and ultimately, that generation died in the wilderness.

In Exodus 15:22-24, they complain about the water at Marah. Later in Exodus 16, they complained about no food and God gave them manna. God tested them again with manna, telling them to collect 6 days a week and on the sixth day collect for the seventh. They failed each part of the test because their need for provision was driving them instead of the voice of God. Instead of trusting God, they whine and complain about lack.

When we don’t submit our needs and desires to God, they begin to drive us instead of God’s Word. When needs drive us and we lack in our substance, we either murmur and complain, or we do things which are not the will of God for our lives, acting out of character without integrity and honesty.

On the other hand, when Jesus was in the wilderness, we don’t hear Him complaining, even when He was hungry. Even when He was tempted, He did not complain but quoted the promises of God. Jesus was tempted to be self-sufficient. Jesus did not yield to the temptation to compromise His integrity when told to turn stones into bread.

The way you get out of the financial wilderness in your life is to hear the voice of God and have trust in God to lead you out. Many people fail in the area of finances because they don’t hear God’s voice and follow it. When Elijah’s brook dried up, God spoke to him and guided him to the widow. Sometimes, we get stuck in a place where God used to provide and instead of trusting God to help us into the new season, we are too comfortable with holding on to the past job, place or things. We don’t make a transition through the unknown to the promise on the other side. This is where people’s finances start to dry up.

We must learn to trust God in the area of finances so that we can be led by the Spirit of God from one season to the next. It takes us to submit our desires and not be driven by need or fear.


The moment the Israelites left Egypt, Pharaoh started pursuing them with his armies. People begin to panic and give in to fear. But when the devil tempted Jesus to fear for His protection, Jesus passed the test and was unwavering in His integrity and trust.

God is a protector. Most Christians believe that God is a protector but not all trust Him to protect. There is a difference. Similarly, many believe God is almighty, He is the Healer but we don’t act like it and live life like we are orphans, not sons. We must trust God to protect our families, finances, and possessions.

Do not be afraid when you start doing the will of God. You are not like the seven sons of Sceva; they did not know Jesus; they had no relationship with God. When you have relationship with God, you are in covenant with Him for His protection.

In Exodus 4:22, the Lord said this about Israel before they went into the wilderness: “Then say to Pharaoh, “this is what the Lord says: Israel is My firstborn son.” When Jesus was about to go into the wilderness, He also heard a voice from Heaven say “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Both parties heard the declaration of God’s favor and sonship. One embraces the revelation of sonship, the others still acted like slaves and orphans. Jesus never even addressed the issue of identity with the devil because He knew He is the Son of God.

During this coming time of fasting, humbling ourselves and seeking the Lord Jesus, let His identity be found in you – the identity of a son and daughter of God. That will cure your drive to be self-sustaining and self-protecting. We are children of God, not orphans.

Ephesians 6:16 tells us to take up the shield of faith. Faith is simple trust in God; trust God for your protection and provision. Entrust your children to Him. Trust His protection of everything that has to do with you.



The people of Israel and the Lord Jesus were also tested in the wilderness over their purpose (Exodus 4:23). Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness with worship. He answered, we must worship the Lord our God and Him only shall we worship. Many get stuck in life in their callings, feeling dry and they have no meaning because they have abandoned their purpose; they fail the test of purpose.

The scripture tells us that our purpose is twofold: to worship God and serve Him. We are all called to worship and cultivate an intimate relationship with God. Share on X

There are two extremes of this in Christianity. The first extreme is what I call the soakers. They claim to soak so much in God’s presence but when something gets soaked, it gets soggy and useless. If you ask them what they have done for the Lord to influence the world for the Kingdom of God, they have no answer. Then there is the other extreme, commonly labelled as the Martha’s of the church. They are all about serving and doing things. Their lives are performance based. Jesus’ word to all Martha’s was that they had neglected the better things. Martha was doing good things but she neglected worship.

Our purpose in life is to worship God and serve Him. So many people are like the nation of Israel, whom when Moses went up the mountain to talk to God for 40 days, they created and worshipped their own gods. God saved them from Egypt, cleaned up their lives and delivered them but they still lives for themselves. Their families, marriages, jobs and children became their idols.

We will remain in the wilderness and our lives will never reach their true potential if we exchange our worship. Apostle Paul warns strictly against those who knew God as God but didn’t worship Him as God (Romans 1:26-32). Our worship and service to God is tightly connected. We must do both; do not abandon your fellowship with Jesus and our heart to please God but at the same time, we must do God’s will. This is why Jesus is our standard because He did both.

Fasting is one of the quickest ways for you to receive your call and refocus on your purpose. Share on X
Acts 13:2, “One day as these men were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Appoint Barnabas and Saul for the special work to which I have called them.”

I believe that during this fast, many of you will find your calling and those who have abandoned their call will take it back up. Many of you who have lost passion to serve God and lost God’s vision for your life will have it rekindled during this fast. You will remove those idols that had taken God’s place and the Lord will reign in your life.

Fasting reveals your purpose and sharpens your focus. Share on X

Wilderness is not forever. Temptation is not forever, (Luke 4:13). If you are in one of these seasons, submit yourselves to God. One of the easiest ways to do this is through fasting. Don’t make choices in the wilderness which lead to poor decisions. In your wilderness season, seek God’s direction so the season of wilderness can come to an end.

The wilderness will soon be over but the question is how are you coming out of it. At the end of it, there is provision, angelic ministry and supernatural aid. If you handle your wilderness correctly, there is a promise, provision, protection, purpose and power on the other side.

Luke 4:14, “Jesus returned to Galilee filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Reports about Him spread quickly through the whole region.” 

When you fast, God fast forwards your life. Some people take years to build a ministry but when you fast and wait upon the Lord’s voice, it can take you just a few months to do what others do in years.

Sermon By Ilya Parkhotyuk; Blog By Edward Gardiner

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