I am one who believes in signs. I also believe that signs are different for each individual. I have heard some say that they have a particular sign if a loved one who has passed on is communicating with them, or if they are needing the presence of Angels. For me a lot of times it has to do with numbers. Having studied numerology, and read several books on the subject, one of the books resonated with me and listed certain numbers and what those particular numbers represented.
For the past several days I kept seeing the numbers 333. They would show up as the time on the clock, the odometer reading, the total of a customer's order, my change as I paid at the grocery store, or how many calories I had burned while on the treadmill. To me the numbers 333 mean that it is time to connect with the Ascended Masters. This could be Jesus, or Buddha, or a number of other highly evolved Beings with whom I regularly connect. It was a couple of days before I had time to really get still and get into meditation and see who was requesting an audience with me. When I did I realized that it was Jesus calling me.
For the last week or so I had been going through a bit of a challenge. My work schedule had taken its toll upon me and by the time I got home I had no energy left for connecting or doing the multiple other tasks required of me to get ready for teaching a class or meeting with a client. I had seriously thought about "quitting."
Jesus told me I was going through my wilderness experience. He wanted me to share this with others as He said that this was something many others were experiencing as well. It was something He experienced in his life on earth, too. In the Bible, it was recounted as the time when He went in the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Now I am not sure at this point in my ongoing evolution of my belief system whether or not I believe there is a devil. I am inclined to say that the devil was an invented energy, given the task of scaring people into line so that parishioners were afraid to not follow the rules. After many years when so many people believe in something, its energy becomes manifest. I do believe that there is a force of dark energy, but it is few and far between when I actually come into contact with this energy. But this is a different blog. This story is about the wilderness.
Jesus at this time was contemplating how to take his message to the world. The "devil" (or could it be his own thoughts battling against the Higher Thoughts?.. after all, He was human) had tempted him to throw himself off a cliff, arguing that if God raised him from the dead, it would grant him credibility and an audience. Jesus told me that thinking about quitting is essentially the same thing: spiritual suicide. However, my motivation was not that I would gain an audience. My motivation was I was just plain tired.
There were two other temptations. One was to turn stones into bread. The other was that the devil would give him all the nations of the world if he would only bow down to worship him. The symbolism to me was easily recognizable in the temptation to gain the world by giving away our souls. Some start out genuine, really wanting to help others, and then somewhere along the line they start to get recognized and they feel compelled to continually come up with new "stuff" to market themselves and at some point prostitute their own souls. I think Jesus was warning of the temptation to say what people want to hear just to gain recognition. He was telling me to always say what was in my heart, and don't make things up just to get noticed. Also I think it speaks of those who claim some sort of special status because they have studied for years with some big name or important teacher.
The stones turning into bread was a bit more difficult to decifer. Jesus' reply to this temptation was that man will not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. This tells me to always say the words that are given to me by Spirit, and not to rely on anything I might come up with on my own. When we rely on our own knowledge or our own thoughts, it is like trying to eat rocks. Not very tasty or beneficial.
Sometimes I shy away from teaching lessons based on Bible stories, maybe because I was brought up in the church and don't want to be stereotyped, or maybe because I still have issues with the things that I experienced while in that belief system, but I still talk to Jesus and when He gives me a message, I am going to share it. This was for me, but I am sure there are others out there who can benefit from the message.
If you feel like you are going through your wilderness experience, Jesus said that it would eventually be over and after you have passed the test, that's when the good stuff starts to happen. Jesus came out of his wilderness experience and began to teach and gain an audience just because of the message and his own integrity. No one had to endorse him. The message spoke for itself. When the message is pure, it will speak for itself.
Take heart. Go through your wilderness with the confidence that within the wilderness there are lessons to learn, and when you come out, you will be better than before. Just keep on going. Jesus said so.