Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
– Matthew 4:1-3 –
Jesus was the Son of God. He was perfect and blameless. Yet he was still tempted. He was still attacked and disturbed by the tempter and accuser. Otherwise known as Satan the devil. Although Jesus was God himself in human form, he was not excused from living like a human. And that includes feeling every emotion we as humans feel.
As I meditated on these verses, I asked myself, why did the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness? The wilderness sounds bad. I think about isolation and loneliness. Why would God lead Jesus to such a place? As I continued to read along, my question was answered. Jesus was led to the wilderness not only to be left alone. He was led there for the purpose of being tempted by the devil! Seriously?
I mean being led to the wilderness was already scary. But being tormented by the devil while being there is just too much to bear. Don’t you think? To top it all off, Jesus was in a very vulnerable state. After fasting forty days and forty nights, Jesus was hungry. It was in that moment of weakness and vulnerability when the Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness.
Why? Why not lead him when he was strong enough to resist the devil? Perhaps after he had eaten. I’m sure you too have asked questions similar to these pertaining your life or someone else’s life. Why would God allow me to go through this? Why now when I’m not feeling my best? What did I do to deserve this?
Friend, you are not the problem and never have been. We have a real enemy who is out to steal, kill and destroy us (John 10:10). This is Satan’s purpose and desire. He strategically plans to target and aim at our weak and vulnerable places of our lives. He did this with Jesus. He used Jesus’ vulnerability as an opportunity to steal His identity by persuading him to do something that was against God’s will for him.
Jesus could have turned the stones to bread because he was God himself in human form. However, Jesus’ purpose was not to obey the devil or do as he willed. Jesus’ purpose in the wilderness was to do the will of the Father. And in that moment the will of God was for Jesus to stand strong and firm against the lies and schemes of Satan.
Satan has not changed his strategy of deception. He still manipulates the situation to make us give into temptation and fall into sin. I have personally experienced temptation from Satan. Not once, or twice, but multiple times. He tempted me by asking, “If you are the daughter of God, why hasn’t He come through for you?”
The devil was trying to destroy everything I had believed about God since I was a little girl. I had a choice to make in that wilderness of mine. Choose to listen and give in ultimately giving up on God and His promises. Or choose to rebuke and declare God’s goodness and faithfulness despite my wilderness.
Like Jesus, we are sons and daughters of God! The reality is, we will never be exempt from temptation. Don’t believe the lie that once you turn to Christ life will be easy. The difference between knowing and not knowing Christ is that we as His followers are given the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is our advocate (John 14:16). He is our comforter and encourager. The Holy Spirit is a powerful person on our side, working for and with us.
Don’t be surprised next time you find yourself in a dark and scary place. Be prepared and ready to rebuke the lies of Satan. Often times the Spirit of God will lead us into wildernesses to reassure us of our purpose. To let us know that although we are weak, He is strong and stronger than anything around us.
Lord, I desire to know you more intimately. Help me draw close to you so I can be filled with your truth and be ready to rebuke any lie the enemy has formed against me. No matter my circumstances, I will choose to believe your promises over my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Embrace Your Journey,