Hungry. Tired. Lonely.
Maybe these aren’t words we usually associate with the King of Kings, but His divinity was wrapped in the same flesh we wear….
So imagine yourself there, alone in the desert for forty days.
Worn out by the weather. Desperate for comfortable rest. Aching for sustenance.
This is where the Spirit of God led Jesus after His baptism, after that wonderful moment when God’s voice spoke out of Heaven and said ‘This is My Son and with Him I am well pleased.”
From a moment of confirmation and peace to long, trying days that test us…it seems like that is the way it often goes.
Most of us haven’t spent forty days alone in a physical desert, but we all travel through emotional and spiritual deserts. Times when we feel stranded in the wilderness, with hollow hearts needing to be filled…these are the deserted spaces of tired motivations, fears, worn-out hope, loneliness.
And just as Jesus was tested by satan during His desert-days (Matthew 4), so are we often plagued with doubts and fears while we make our way through the day with a desert-heart. Satan will take advantage of what he sees as weakness.
What he doesn’t take into account is that when we are at our weakest, God has more room to work on our behalf.
Satan presented Jesus with half-truths and shiny, pretty offers of food, power, and authority. Maybe, since Jesus was in need of every human comfort, satan thought He could be persuaded to take the easy road.
But Jesus responded with the power of God’s Word. It didn’t matter how tired He was. The Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God!) does not grow weary or faint. God is sovereign no matter how we feel.
So in His exhaustion, with the power of God, Jesus told satan to get lost. And he did.
You see, even in the most desolate of dry lands, the Living Water bubbles up and over and mightily moves…ask the Holy Spirit to so deeply plant His truth in your heart that it will spring forth when you need it most. No matter the circumstance, no matter the test, no matter the storm…His Words are our lifeline. In His power and authority, we can tell satan to get lost when he presents us with solutions of compromise, false promises, and opportunities he lines with gasoline and a live wire.
Once Jesus left that desert, tried and unshaken in His purpose, He began His ministry. As hard as it can be to see when you’re in the middle of nowhere, God has a purpose in allowing you to walk the land you’re traveling. When we surrender our journey to Him, He will bring good out of it. He will teach us, strengthen us, and use us to help others…our trials can become stepping stones in His kingdom…
So wait on the Lord to guide you through your wilderness and your heart will be nourished by the only One who truly satisfies…if you are in a time of desert days, stay faithful. He has been there, too. And He is there with you now, every step of the way.
“Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what.” (from Hebrews 13)