For forty years the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness. Yet, during those forty years, there was not a single moment when God was not with them and providing their every need. They were not in the wilderness because they were living in sin. They were in the wilderness because of sin in the past. God was not ready to allow them to enter into the promised land. That time would come, but not before the forty years of wandering were finished.
There are people who have failed in their lives and they are struggling because they are wandering in the wilderness of life. They do not know what the will of God is for their life. They have not yet found their purpose. They still feel as though they are not as useful as they are supposed to be. It is easy to think that you are in the far country when in reality you are not in the far country. You are in the wilderness. There is a big difference between the two and you must understand that difference. The far country is when you are away from God. The wilderness is when God is working in your life. The far country is when you are seeking to please yourself. The wilderness is where God is preparing you to please Him. The far country is where you are sowing your wild oats. The wilderness is where God is sowing seeds to prepare us. The far country is where we are disinterested in God’s pleasure. The wilderness is where God is preparing us for His pleasure.
The danger is in becoming disenchanted with God or even believing that God has forgotten us. I wandered in the wilderness for many years. I was not living the life of the far country, but I felt as though God had no use for me. Yet God always met my needs. He always seemed to be blessing me. He never let me be destroyed; He protected me. I was not ready for the promised land or for the purpose for my life. There was a need for God to work on me. Like Mose, who spent forty years of his time as a shepherd, God was preparing me, for what He had in mind for me.
If you are experiencing a wilderness time in your life do not despair. Do not feel that God has forsaken you. God is still meeting your needs. He is leading you to a destination in his time. Be patient and trust in him. Do not believe that you are in the far country. Realize that you are in the wilderness and there is a big difference between the two.