I truly believe there is no replacement, no counterfeit, for a man or woman removing himself from civilization and into the creation of Gods hand, the wilderness, for a time of renewal and focus. This is where prophets have always gone to pour out themselves and download God’s will for their lives.
The Scriptures are replete with conspicuous examples of spiritual leaders withdrawing themselves into the wilderness to tune themselves to the voice of God.
Enoch took walks with God.
Abraham climbed mountains and there received his inheritance.
Moses was not in palaces of the pharaoh when his mission came to him, but tending sheep in the wilderness of Midian. It was in the mountains where he withdrew to receive the Law and to intercede for the people.
David spent years as the king of the wilderness (The entirety of the book of I Samuel) while waiting for king Saul to be removed from power. Much of the Psalms reverberate the inspiration he gleaned from that wilderness time.
Elijah was often removed to the wilderness and even once sustained there by food from ravens.
Daniel received his vision while on a three week fast on the banks of the River Hiddekel.
John the Baptist was a prophet that chose the wilderness to be his ministry platform, rather than the temple at Jerusalem; fulfilling the words of the prophet Isaiah,
The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God.
What was the first thing Christ did when He began His ministry? You guessed it. He was led by the Holy Spirit to the wilderness to be tried! Jesus removed himself unto natural settings when the press of the people wore on Him to pray, as he did on the Mount of Transfiguration. Even within His final hours in the Metropolitan Jewish capital of Jerusalem, Christ found a garden where he could pray.
The list could be much longer but I pray you have gotten the point.
Why to the wilderness? Did they not have their closets within which to pray? If seclusion was all that was required, their inner chambers would have sufficed. Could they not just lock themselves away within their lodging for the needed solitude? Why did they not just go to the temple for their enlightenments? Those who ask these questions miss the entire point. Solitude can be acquired in a hotel, in a city apartment, behind the locked doors of a study, but solitude alone will not achieve a wilderness experience! One must remove himself from the trappings of man and into the handiwork of God.
Look about the space you are in right now. If you are blessed you may have a view from your chair onto a natural setting through a weather tight window. Perhaps you have the window seat on the plane. Regardless of your view you are most likely in a space built by man. Man formed the seat upon which you rest. The walls that encompass you were the craft of some carpenter. The temperature in the room is controlled by an invention of man. It is even very unlikely that you know the man that framed the glass you are looking out of, but one thing is clear to your subconscious and your spirit: You are comfortably situated within the trappings of mankind.
Now imagine that you sit on a forested hillside far out of eye sight of anything man has builded. The earth has been your bed throughout the night. The moon and stars have served your need for light throughout the night. You are chilled and now sit on a moss covered chair that God built waiting on the breaking forth of the sun. The breath of God blows pine needles from the trees above you. The birds are already visiting the brook beneath you. You look at the walls that encompass you; the walls of mountain and trees that God has built. While your eyes absorb these things you notice a warmth on your skin as the rays of the sun burst forth. The temperature in this space is controlled by God!
In our daily environment we are reminded of mans achievements. In the wilderness scene I described above we cannot help but think of God. His work surrounds us. He forms our seat and sets our thermostat. I pray your eyes are opening right now to the place a wilderness experience should have in your life.
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; And the birds of the heavens, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; And the fishes of the sea shall declare unto the. Who knoweth not in all these, That the hand of Jehovah hath wrought this, In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? Job 12:7-10