“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” (Luke 4:1)
Wil•der•ness /wildərnəs/ (noun): “a region uncultivated and uninhabited by humans; an area essentially undisturbed by human activity.” This might sound like fun if you’re talking about a controlled wilderness adventure, hiking and camping through the wild. But what IF you need to brave the wilderness within you?
Dark mountain ranges of depression. Murky pools of painful memories. Dry barren spaces of loneliness and fear. Traumas you’ve sustained over the years like gaping craters in the earth. The air is thick with shame, and the only other life to be seen are the wild animals that bring flashes of anger or anxiety at every turn.
And what if God leads you into this wilderness?
This has been my story. The internal landscape for most of my life has been a dark and mountainous terrain marked by shame, fear, trauma, and pain. Many of the ways I learned to cope with this reality created even more damage in myself and in my relationships. To survive I disconnected from my body and lived a disintegrated life where the soul, mind, body, and spirit didn’t mingle with one another. Yes, even as a Christian.
I spent time in and out of counseling, (which I highly recommend for anyone). I was dealing with the impact of childhood sexual abuse which I had attempted to put band-aids on for many years. I was deeply depressed. My marriage was damaged and struggling. I was healing from wounds sustained while in full-time pastoral ministry. My identity was broken. I knew God loved me and I was trying to have hope. I was working to do the next right thing, but I was stuck in mud I couldn’t define, and spinning my wheels was only splattering the mess around.
But there’s always the second part to a good wilderness story.
In August of 2017 at a Rev on the Road event, God met me at the edge of my wilderness where I had been wandering and took my hand to lead me in. To be clear, I’ve known God since childhood, and have experienced much healing over the years. I’ve been a pastor and a worship leader, and God has ALWAYS been faithful, even in the midst of my brokenness. But all of the theology I knew, all of the counseling I received, all of the prayers I could pray, and all the scriptures I could quote were falling short. I didn’t know how to be whole. It was time for more. While moving my body that day, and hearing Truth while laying on the mat, I started to actually BE in my body for the first time in decades. The Light of Freedom started to break into the wilderness I had been carrying and hiding within.
See, movement and fitness aren’t just for our bodies, and faith isn’t just for our spirits. We were created by our Loving Creator to move in love and to be WHOLE in our spirit, soul, mind, and body – fully integrated, fully alive, fully free! As Paul said to the Thessalonians, “May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 MSG). This is why I pressed in more deeply to wholeness, and ultimately why I became a Revelation Wellness Instructor: God has called me to freedom, and has called me to help others get free too.
Is it possible that the very wilderness where you’ve been feeling alone or stuck is the very place where God wants to meet you and set you free? Are you willing to brave the wilderness within? Will you let God reach you there, lead you in, and shine His healing Light across all that you are?
Braving this wilderness may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but it can also become an epic adventure of freedom that Heaven will sing about forever, to the praise of God’s glorious grace!
Brian East is a husband, dad to four teenagers, worship leader, and Star Wars fan! He and his wife Tracy are both Revelation Wellness Instructors. You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook at @RevelationWellnessRaleigh.
Thank you for reading along on the Revelation Wellness Blog this week! This month, we are learning what it means to #bravethewilderness in God’s presence and love. Feel free to drop us a note about your wilderness story, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your testimony brings God glory!
Have you seen the new “Freebies” page on the Revelation Wellness Website? You will find all our new free downloads, resources created for you to help you live healthy, whole, and free!
Workout with us in this #wednesdayworkout! For more workouts like this, visit RevWellTV! For a minimum of $10/month, you can partner with Revelation Wellness to use fitness as a tool to spread the gospel!
CHIVONNE’S UPPER BODY TABATA – “WHAT DO YOU KNOW?”
This is an authentic, high intensity, Tabata training workout. You will cycle between 20 seconds of all out, the highest intensity you can give of a specific move, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Don’t count yourself out! You will do YOUR best effort for 20 seconds, not the instructors. 4 minutes of true Tabata training has been scientifically proven to be equal to 30-40 minutes of steady state work. Talk about a high return on your investment! WARNING: Only do in the Spirit of Grace! No flesh allowed. (INT/ADV) (ZEPHANIAH 3:17; LOOP BANDS & HAND WEIGHTS)