“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.”Matthew 4:1 NLT.
You’re going to have times in the wilderness. Unpleasant, painful, lonely times. And sometimes, you might not even realize you’re in the wilderness.
Things come at you from everywhere. All sorts of attacks on your body and your mind. Your finances take a hit.
You feel squeezed and discouraged beyond anything you can bear.
But the worst part? You turn around and realize you’re alone. You spin around again. There is no one there to help lighten the load, to help with the burden. You crumble inward as your thoughts get jumbled. You can’t see the way out of this awful place. It seems there is no hope.
You sink even lower as shadows fall over you.
Suddenly, you start to remember things. How you failed someone. How you let down a group of people who were counting on you. How you completely messed up a situation. You piece it all together and think, “No wonder I’m alone.”
You consider giving up. Giving up everything. It’s all too hard. Too painful. It’s all just too much to handle, and you wonder why God is being silent now, of all times.
Oh, precious soul. Don’t despair! Remember Jesus was LED by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. His disciples couldn’t go with Him. He had to go “alone” and rely on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word when the devil tempted Him.
When the Holy Spirit leads you into the wilderness, He doesn’t send you alone and unprepared – He goes with you! He’s teaching you to rely solely on the Lord your God, to not be overcome by circumstances or what you SEE.
Yes, the devil waits for you in the wilderness, where he can attack and tempt you. He wants you to quit. He wants to discourage you by reminding you of your past failures. And if you won’t give up, he wants you to go BACK through a fog of confusion – he will lie and tell you God failed you. Satan wants to control things, control YOU, and if He can call the shots in your life, you’re done.
And so, what’s coming next will be done too.
You see, something is coming. Something good. Think about it. Jesus was led into the wilderness AFTER He was baptized with the Holy Spirit and BEFORE He began His ministry. The wilderness was the middle ground, the testing range.
You’re going to be tested in the wilderness.
Will you rely on God when He’s quiet? Will you trust Him when things SEEM to be hopeless? Is He enough for you? Is He really all you need?
Oh, brave soul. When the Holy Spirit leads you into the wilderness, you’re not being punished. God has NOT failed you. And you’re not alone.
God is preparing you for what’s coming next. A new ministry of sorts. A new start. Perhaps the door to a life-long dream is going to open, and God wants to prepare you to handle the blessing – to make sure YOU remember HE is the One behind the blessing.
Something wonderful, bright, and powerful is on the horizon. Don’t let the enemy trick you into focusing on the dirt at your feet, the weeds that trip you, or the stench and the chill of his breath as he lies to you. Don’t give in to his temptations, which will steer you away from God and His will for your life.
Look up and follow Jesus THROUGH the wilderness. Rely on the Holy Spirit and His Word. Don’t debate or try to reason with the enemy. Simply repeat Jesus’ words to the devil, “Away from me, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10.)
And get ready to step into your calling, your purpose, and the abundant life God has waiting for you on the other side of the wilderness.