Dunbar Cave Campus Pastor
“1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. 3 A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight! 4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 John wore a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “One who is more powerful than I am is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
By being a Christian, you are minority in the of the world. And by being in the world, you are in the wilderness. It certainly feels that way when you turn on the news, scroll through social media, or seeing all that goes on in our world. It feels like a wilderness. But we were never made to just sit in the wilderness, complain, and pray “Jesus come back soon.” Coming back does imply rescue from the brokenness of this world, but it also implies judgment. And God’s heart is “He wishes none should perish (2 Peter 3:8-9).” So, how are we to live in the wilderness? We should take after the example of John.
John kept it simple; even in what he chose to wear. He was not materialistic like the Pharisees who at the expense of others, made themselves full in life. He lived on what God provided, used what he had, and focused on a heavenly kingdom, not an earthly kingdom. He kept it simple. He lived humbly in the wilderness. Often we focus on what we don’t have instead of thanking God for what we do have.
People were coming to John but John pointed them to Jesus. He said there is One more powerful than me. Preacher, there is another preacher more powerful than you. Businessman, there is another richer than you. Doctor, there is another Physician much greater than you. Athlete, there is another whose ability is greater than you. And we are not even worthy to undo His Nikes! Let us live life in light of the fact that there is one greater than us to whom our life belongs.
John kept it real. He was not ashamed of who he was. He was not ashamed to be identified with Jesus. He was not ashamed of his faith. And he was not afraid to call out the religious hypocrites who were not humble or dependent on God. He kept it 100 at all times. I think that is what is attractive to people about believers. People want authenticity. People want people to be real with them. We should never be ashamed of or hide our faith. Be authentic.
How should you live in the wilderness? Humbly, dependently, and authentically.