They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us (1 John 2:19 NASB).
Sometimes, we may become tempted to be disappointed when we have to walk away from people or when they leave our lives. Pastor T.D. Jakes once commented, "If people can walk away from you let them walk because your destiny was never tied to anyone who left" in his sermon The Gift of Goodbye. Often, God allows people to leave our lives because they were never meant to be a part of our journey and destiny! In the book of Genesis for example, Abraham took his nephew Lot with him as he journeyed towards the Promised Land promised to him by God. Abraham took Lot because Lot represented past familiarity. Ultimately, Abraham would have to trust God and venture out into the "unknown" to fulfill his destiny. Eventually, Abraham told his nephew Lot, "let's part company. If you go to the left, I'll go to the right; if you go to the right, I'll go to the left" (Genesis 13:9 NIV). When reading Abraham's story in the book of Genesis, it was clear that Lot was never meant to inherit the blessing God promised to Abraham by God but simply tagged along and attached himself to Abraham's faith reaping some benefits. Ultimately, Lot was not destined for Abraham's journey and purpose and had to leave. People wander in and out of our lives for a multitude of reasons. However, always remember, that you can't EVER lose what is truly part of you or destined to be with you!
I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery (Deuteronomy 5:6 NLT).
The Bible is clear that we are no longer slaves but have been made sons (Galatians 4:7 NASB). That same verse takes it a step further and states that since we are sons, then we are heirs through God. In fact, we are joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)! Often we remain in wilderness experiences longer than we should because we have not allowed God to purge us of a slave mentality in order to experience our Promised Land.
After being delivered from bondage in the land of Egypt, whenever things got tough, the Israelites sought to return to their place of bondage as they journeyed to the Promised Land. In fact, they commented, "Wouldn't it be better for us to return to Egypt" (Numbers 4:3). However, God did not want them to depend on the familiar yet dysfunctional, but wanted them to rely on Him and His grace alone! Often we spend more time in the wilderness than necessary while an unhealthy reliance on Egypt (the place of bondage) is removed and unhealthy mindsets and habits from Egypt are cleansed before we can enter and experience our Promised Land! Remember that you are no longer bound to anyone, you do not have to please anyone, and you do not have to rely on any human being. You are a son and a joint heir with the Creator of all things so simply walk into your Promised Land!
Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years (Deuteronomy 8:2 NLT).
If you are in a place of dryness or barrenness (wilderness) right now, it has not come to destroy you! The wilderness was never created to destroy us, but is a place designed for us to discover true contentment, who we are in Christ, and who God is! Paul wrote that whatever state he was in that he had learned to be content whether with little or with much (Philippians 4:11-13). It was this same Apostle Paul who spent time in the wilderness before being released into public ministry (Galatians 1:16-17). There is something about time spent alone that helps us realize who we were designed to be! Jesus also had to spend time in the wilderness before being released into public ministry. The Bible proclaims that he left His wilderness experience with power (Luke 4:14) and I am sure a greater understanding of who He was! Power is the byproduct of properly going through a wilderness experience.
Our wilderness experiences also show us who God is! When the Children of Israel left Egypt, God led them through the wilderness and provided everything that they needed (Deuteronomy 8:3-4)! Although they were not yet in the Promised Land and struggled emotionally concerning whether they would ever reach the Promised Land, God demonstrated His great love and power by providing for all of their needs! Don't despise your wilderness experiences but trust God to refine you through them so He can bring you into the Land of Promise that He has prepared for you!