The Bible and Church history is awash with stories of men and women whom God used and the majority of them went through the SCHOOL OF THE WILDERNESS. In some cases it was a literal wilderness and in other cases it was figurative i.e. to represent times of trials, tribulations and temptations in the life of a believer. The concept of going to a literal wilderness became popularised in Church history, hence Ascetic Spirituality leading to its domestication in Monasteries. Ascetics were individuals who were not satisfied with the emptiness of the ritualistic form of Christianity. In protest to the status quo, they went to live in the desert where they focused on prayer and punishing of the body thus free it from all desire. In non-desert areas like Africa south of the Sahara, Ascetic Spirituality manifests itself through praying in mountains hence glamorisation of those high places. These ascetics found solace in biblical figures like Moses, David, Abraham, Hagar, Elijah, John the Baptist, the Israelites, Paul, Jesus and many others who encountered God while quarantined in the wilderness. Could it be that in a world that is too busy chasing for this and that, God created the School of the Wilderness where he enrols us for spiritual refresher courses so that we align ourselves with His purpose in our lives? Another name for a wilderness or desert is SAHARA hence the Sahara Desert in North Africa. The book of Deuteronomy says that the purpose of the SAHARA EXPERIENCE is there to test and humble us in order for God to know what is in our hearts. In other words the Sahara experience can either make you BITTER OR BETTER. May all the Sahara situations you go through in life make you BETTER.
THE SAHARA EXPERIENCE (Deuteronomy 8:2-4)