Very often the things that we must go through, in order for us to grow, require suffering and hardship. Alone time and separation. In a place, a dry place, albeit, we consider the wilderness. Immediately after Jesus was baptized of John and God declared “This is My beloved Son,” the Bible says in Matthew 4:1, “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”
Many have the idea, just as Job’s friends, that when someone is in the wilderness or when they are going through, it’s because they have done something wrong and God is punishing them. Or as some have said, they are reaping what they have sown. Not so. Go back and read that Scripture again. The Scripture says, it was the Spirit that led Jesus into the wilderness. It was the Spirit of God that directed Him there. The Spirit of God ordered His very steps right into suffering.
And suffering He did. After Jesus was in the wilderness and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights... here came the devil. To tempt Jesus. To make Him suffer. Three times, the enemy plagued Jesus with what He might have wanted to fulfill His need, but definitely not what He needed. The enemy does the same to us too you know. Troubling us, plagueing us, torturing us with thoughts and desires, that if we were not alone, we would never even consider.
But if God leads you to the wilderness, God has a purpose behind it. He has a reason for doing it. And we do God an injustice when we believe otherwise. Myself included. Certainly God has a plan. The Word says it’s a good plan, a plan to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. Just as He did with Jesus.
What we fail to understand though sometimes is, somehow we believe that if God led us into the wilderness, He is calling us to rest and since He led us there He won’t let anything trouble us. Not so... again. For it was not until AFTER the Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness, the attacks came. And for some of us, the attacks still come.
God separates us. He calls us apart. He brings us onto the mountaintop for a time. He brings us into the wilderness for a time. Those are periods of testing. Periods of refreshing. Times to grow and stretch our faith. But we are not and will not be immune to attacks from the enemy. His whole purpose is to kill, steal and destroy no matter who you are, where you are and regardless if God brought you there.
And even in those times where we are fasting and praying, it does not mean that we will be protected through it or that nothing is going on, or going to happen. During these times we are being tested the most, for whose strength will you lean on? In your own strength, even while you fast, you will fall, every single time.
But in God’s strength, and in the power of His Word, you will be able to stand. In God’s strength, you will be refreshed through your wilderness journey and for that moment that you need it, be given the sufficient grace to get through it.
Thanks be unto God, who always causes us to triumph IN Christ Jesus.