Afterward, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the lonely wilderness in order to reveal his strength against the accuser by going through the ordeal of testing. Matthew 4:1 TPT
We’ve all read the story of Jesus going into the wilderness for 40 days and nights. If you’re unfamiliar, you can read the 11 short verses beginning with the above passage.
So many times people have asked me, why did this happen, or why did that happen. Why did he have to die? Why wasn’t I healed? Why did I have to file bankruptcy? Why did I lose my house? Why did I get fired? Why did my husband leave? The list is long and just when I think I’ve heard them all, a new one assaults my senses.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I never knew how strong I was until…..”? Because you don’t know what you’re able to withstand until you’re tested. You don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re challenged. Does that make sense?
Jesus had just been baptized in water by John the Baptizer and was the first to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He was taken into the wilderness to be tested, not to show how strong He was in and of Himself, but to know the new strength available because of the Holy Spirit in Him.
You see, it’s in the lonely wilderness where there are no distractions, that we tune into God’s voice and leading. It’s there that His Holy Spirit begins to strengthen us, give us revelation on His Word, leading us into all truth. He reveals the secrets of His covenant to those who hide themselves in Him.
Last week was a wilderness week for me. I found myself on a path I didn’t want to be on but that there was absolutely no way around it. To get where I needed to be, I had to stay on this lonely road. It was full of bumps, twists and turns, rocks that cut my feet, yet I kept my eyes on my destination and kept moving.
As I lay on my bed weeping, I felt my head hit my Fathers lap as He gently stroked my hair and whispered, “Hush now sweet daughter. I’m here. There’s nothing you need to fear, just rest with me and know that I’m taking care of it all. I’ve been working on an amazing plan for you, just trust Me.”
It was so soothing that soon my crying ceased and an amazing peace fell over me like that warm blanket I’ve spoken about before. All the cares fell away, the burden to do something, anything was replaced by a confident assurance that God is able to see what I can’t and do what I’m not able to.
Strangely it reminded me of Martha, always busy serving others, and Mary who sat at Jesus’ feet. What was it He said to Martha when she complained that Mary wasn’t helping? “Martha, my beloved Martha. Why are you upset and troubled, pulled away by all these many distractions? Are they really that important? Mary has discovered the one thing most important by choosing to sit at my feet. She is undistracted, and I won’t take this privilege from her.”
To face what I must face today, I must remain in the secret place of the only one who is able to keep me in perfect peace. The place where His strength is revealed in and through me.