Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Led by the Spirit

Luke 4:1-3: “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. 3 And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."

The role of the wilderness was instrumental in the life and ministry of Jesus. As we see the wilderness was not an accident or a whim, it was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit. For Jesus the wilderness was a time of preparation for the next step into His ministry. Everything that would follow would be built on the foundation of the wilderness experience. The long forty days of fasting and temptation showed satan and his demons that Jesus was not here for Himself, but rather for the people. It showed the world that He was tempted in all ways, and yet He did not sin; that the person who has trusted in Jesus can have victory over satan through Jesus. The forty days in the wilderness marked the next step in Jesus’ ministry; this season of growth accentuates Jesus as being a servant leader.

We as Christ followers need to recognize that God will lead us into periods of spiritual growth. During these seasons we will find ourselves in the midst of the wilderness. However, it is during these times that we must fully rely on God’s provisions in order to grow. The wilderness of temptation that Jesus was led into was the preparation into His earthly ministry. Very often, we find ourselves in times of wilderness wanderings, and unlike the children of Israel, we should not wander aimlessly. The purpose of the wilderness is for preparation. So if you are in the wilderness, get ready because God is preparing you for something wonderful and special.

The crucible of the wilderness is meant to focus our attention. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness in solitude. He was focused and on mission for God. We should not take for granted the training grounds that God puts us into. These are necessary rights of passage for the Christ follower. Those who suffer, end up doing big things for God. The wilderness is the training grounds for the mighty men and women of God.

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