Monday, December 24, 2012

The Wilderness Is Part of God's Plan

"And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil." — Luke 4:1

Did you know that the wilderness is part of God's plan for every person who desires to be a follower of Jesus? It is so easy for us, when we go into times spiritually that are difficult or when God seems far away, or when temptation seems stronger than normal, to automatically think that there is something wrong in our lives where we are not pleasing Jesus. Now, I will admit that there are times that this may be the case, but not necessarily all of the time.

Notice what the verse says in Luke's Gospel:

1). Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit.
There was no break in fellowship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Rather, right after Jesus's baptism, he was full of the Holy Spirit.

2). He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Jesus did not go into the wilderness on his own. Rather, he was led there by the Spirit. Jesus experiencing temptation, and that by the devil, was the will of God for him. He did not fall into this, or walk away from God's will, resulting in his wilderness experience. Rather, this was God's will for him to go through.

3). It was not a short amount of time.
Jesus was tempted by the devil for forty days. It did not last a few moments. It did not last a couple of days. Rather, Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness while at his weakest because he ate nothing in his time there. We have to be prepared for the fact that our wilderness experience most probably will not be for a few short moments but rather for as long as it takes for God to accomplish his will in our lives.

If you find yourself right now in the wilderness, ask God to convict you if there is something to be confessed. But if there is not, then first, rely. We as Christians are invited by God to completely rely on him. At no point is he expecting us to be able to face this life alone. Rather, he invites us to rely on him. But second, endure. Every time that Jesus was tempted he used Scripture to combat the temptation. We must be people of the Bible. We must know what it says so that we can stand against the temptation of the enemy. And in due, the enemy will leave us.

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