A Word from the Wilderness
By Dot Bowen
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days He was temptedby the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them He was hungry. Luke 4:1-2 (NIV)
When Jesus was baptized, he had an amazing experience with the Father and the Holy Spirit. After his baptism, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. And although Satan immediately jumped in and took the opportunity to tempt and irritate, clearly it was the Spirit that initially led Jesus into the wilderness.
After forty days in the wilderness with no food or drink, scripture tells us that Jesus became hungry. I wonder, did He not feel hungry until day forty? Was Jesus praying and seeking the Father in such a way that He did not think about food until day forty? We are not told exactly what Jesus did for those forty days, but we do know that He was tempted. As soon as scripture mentions that Jesus was hungry, Satan is front and center. He enters the story with the one thing Jesus wanted—food! However, Jesus did not allow Satan to satisfy His need for food.
Do you find it interesting that Satan knows exactly where and when to push our buttons? He knows what we need and what we want. He offers a way to meet our needs and tries to distract us from allowing Jesus to meet those needs for us. He tempts us to bypass difficult situations by convincing us that we need to solve our problems ourselves. He often draws our attention towards just wanting a way out of a difficult situation and away from waiting on God. It may seem to be human nature to not want difficulties and to try to meet our own needs, but is that what we should do?
Jesus began His ministry AFTER His wilderness experience. Could the message He taught possibly have come out of His time in the wilderness? It seems that perhaps He used the wilderness to prepare Him for what lay ahead. Through the difficulties He endured in the wilderness, through the hunger and the temptation, Jesus emerged ready to be the sinless redeemer of mankind.
I believe that the story of our hearts and lives often comes out of our difficulties, out of our own wilderness experiences. As we submit to being led into the wilderness, not only will we get a fresh message from God, we will experience the power of God. I encourage you to not fight against the wilderness experiences that come into your life. Ask God what He is trying to teach you. Ask Jesus to show you who He is in the midst of your wilderness. Become hungry to know Him and He will meet your needs. He alone will satisfy you!
Further Reading Joshua 1:9