Lessons from the Wilderness

I’ve started the new year doing a Bible reading plan by Lisa Appelo, #100dayswithChrist.  The following are thoughts that came out of the first couple of days of reading.

Who is that out in the hot, dry, rocky wilderness alone?

Is that Jesus?

He looks like he’s all alone. 

But He’s not really.

He has been led here by the Holy Spirit, who descended on Him visibly like a dove, so the Spirit is with Him.  And of course, the tempter.  And Mark 1:13 adds an interesting tidbit, that He was with the wild beasts, which Strong’s Concordance indicates, means “dangerous animals“, “venomous, wild.”  (2342 – Gk)  And Mark adds that the angels were ministering to Him, so it could be that they were protecting Him from the wild beast!?  (Psalm 91:11,12)

In Luke we read that not only did the Holy Spirit lead Jesus TO the wilderness, but He led Him around  IN the wilderness.  He led Jesus around WHILE Jesus was there!

100_2740I imagine that after 40 days of fasting Jesus is more than just a bit hungry.

There is no restaurant nearby for Him to go grab something to break His fast.

He can’t just jump into His car and drive to the nearest town.

In order to break His fast, it seems, He will have to walk out of the wilderness just like He walked in, famished or not.

I imagine that His body is demanding food NOW, and that He is feeling very weak physically.

Enter the tempter, who likes to prey on our human weaknesses. What better way to get Jesus to fail than to lure Him while He is weak?

But as hungry and weak as Jesus must feel physically, He knows not to do anything the tempter might suggest.

Even in His weakness,  Jesus does not give in, because He is spiritually strong by standing firm on God’s Word.

In Mt. 4:7 we see that Jesus knows that He is God when He says,

“On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the LORD your God to the test.'”

But, Satan is not easily deterred. It’s like he thinks he is so close to victory, like he can taste it, like he is circling around like a bird of prey, ready to swoop down on a vulnerable, unsuspecting animal.

So he has to give it one more try.

He knows that Adam gave him the dominion that rightfully belonged to mankind from the creation of the world.  And he offers to share it with Jesus in return for Jesus worshiping him.  Isn’t that nice.  (Sarcasm)

But Jesus knows Who He is!

He knows that one day all those kingdoms will be His anyway. Why would He give in to the devil for instant gratification?  He knows to wait and do things God’s way and in God’s timing.

And He knows that the tempter is just a created being, not deserving of anyone’s worship, and that God will not share His glory with another.

So, He finally tells the tempter to get out!

“For it is written: ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only.’ Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.”  Mt. 4:10

I wonder if the angel army was waiting for the signal from the Commander-in-chief?  I picture Him sitting on His royal steed with His hand raised, having commanded the angels to await His signal.  I wonder if the Father was waiting until Jesus successfully overcame, telling the tempter to leave by the authority of God’s Word?  (The reason the Spirit had led Him into the wilderness in the first place was for Jesus to be tempted.)  I wonder if the angels gave chase to the devil?

Or did they simply bring Jesus bread and water like the angel did for Elijah hundreds of years before.  But why plural “angels” if it was just to bring some bread and water?  I’m sure one angel could have handled that assignment alone.

At any rate, it appears that the devil has decided that this is no longer “an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13  NASB)

Bye Bye!  And he hightails it out of there!

So what lessons can we take away for ourselves, we who are saved and seeking to walk with God?

  1. The same Spirit who leads us into the wilderness will lead us around while we are in the wilderness.
  2. We are not really alone in our wildernesses.
  3. God will command His angels to protect us from danger.
  4. The tempter will try to get us while we are weak, but we will have victory by standing on the Word of God.  He is our Strength!
  5. We need to learn God’s Word, like Jesus, so we will know what God says ahead of time and be prepared for spiritual battles.
  6. Follow Jesus’ example by not giving in to the devil for instant gratification.
  7. Wait and do things God’s way and in His timing like Jesus did.
  8. Know who you are in Christ.  He has given you the authority over the enemy by His Word and by His Name.    See more on this subject here.

May you walk in His victory in this new year, dear one!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

(P.S.  I found some interesting pictures of what is in modern Israel called the Mount of Temptation.  You can be sure there were no cable cars in His day.)  http://www.seetheholyland.net/mount-of-temptation/#jp-carousel-4400

Linking up at:

Spiritual Sundays

Fresh Market Friday

Faith ‘n Friends

Grace & Truth

Dance with Jesus

Faith Filled Friday

Grace Moments

Chasing Community Linkup

Thought Provoking Thursday

Coffee for the Heart

Tell His Story

Unite

Testimony Tuesday

Moments of Hope

Glimpses of Beauty

Soul Survival

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28 thoughts on “Lessons from the Wilderness

  1. Such beautiful encouragement today, Ruth. Thank you so much for suggesting it to me and for sharing your thoughts. Thank you for your prayers for dear Kristen and the faithful friend you are in our battles. God is so faithful, and we are trusting in Him. Sending you much love and gratitude today. I needed this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Number 5 on your list is really big for me right now. I used to memorize Scripture regularly, but haven’t been lately
    (I’ve used being busy and tired caring for my two little ones as an excuse). I’m focusing on getting back into this.
    Thanks for the insights!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Shannon, it’s hard to juggle everything, especially when you have young children. But, when we focus on God’s Word, God uses it to guide us and help us, and I’ve found that days where I spent time with Him first usually tend to go more smoothly than when I don’t spend time in His Word.

      Like

    1. Thank you, Jessica, for your sweet visit! When the Lord gets me excited about something like this, it’s almost like I have to write it. It would be disobedient not to.
      I’m glad you liked it, and I hope that the Lord will use it mightily in your life as you follow hard after Him.
      Blessings on you and yours this new year! 🙂

      Like

  3. Visiting from Testimony Tuesday. Thank you for pulling out encouraging lessons to give us personal application. These are things we need to remember as we too are tempted in our own wildernesses. May your soul be refreshed in the hope we find in our Lord in all of life, even in the wilderness times. Sweet Blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mmm… such good news here. We are never alone. No matter how lonely or hungry or tired or dismayed. The Spirit of God stands beside, rather within us, to hold us up in the face of temptation. And it is in our weaknesses that our faith in Him is tested and proved. Thanks for your words today! Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how you painted this important scene and the valuable lessons you laid out for us to pray about and impart in our own faith walk. Thank you- this was nourishing to me and gave me some direction in building up my own faith so I can truly abide in Him when I’m in the wilderness and tempted! (Visiting from CFMH link up. ❤ )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Chris, for these encouraging words. It is comments like yours that make it so worth it to write for God and publish these writings for people like yourself to read. You don’t know how happy it makes me to hear that God has used me to help you in some way. 🙂
      God bless you as you continue to seek Him.

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  6. Learning how to wait has been a huge lesson for the last 8 years! I love the message that even though it looks like we’re alone and feels like we’re alone – we’re not. God’s right there with us. At one point, I could hear the leather from the saddle creaking as God released his angels to minister to his son! Shalom

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooh, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’d wanted to do this study as well, but didn’t feel I had the margin in my life to add another thing right now. Good to read your thoughts. 🙂 And, neat pictures. 🙂 Thanks for sharing at #ChasingCommunity today! ((hug))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, June, you’re right. The servant is not greater than his master, and He left us an example that we should follow in His steps. If anyone wants to know “What would Jesus do” in the wilderness, we have some great Scripture to go to in order to find out! And yes, I’m so glad He’s always with us! 🙂

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    1. I think most people just are not aware of the angels. We get so bogged down in the earthly that we lose sight of the heavenly. If our wildernesses are places where we become more aware of God and “things above” (Colossians 3:2), then they are worth it in spite of the difficulties we may face.
      Thank you for your encouraging comment!
      May the Lord bless you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I think it is amazing how we can spend time reading His Word over and over and apply them so specifically in our own lives. And additionally, how we can come to the same section of scripture again and again and come out with something new and significant. Like the walking in and out of the wilderness… I ‘knew’ that of course, but I never thought about it like that. 🙂 Thanks for sharing another look into such an important lesson on faith.
    Thanks for linking up at the #GraceMoments Link Up!
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    Liked by 1 person

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