Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Where The Spirit Leads
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil" (Matt 4:1-2). Would our heavenly Father ever allow one of His children to be tempted by the Evil One? After Jesus experienced John's baptism he was lead by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness, for the purpose of being tempted by the Devil. Jesus was being tempted as a man, not as God. Jesus came to earth as a man to live His life with the same limitations that you and I have. Satan tempted Jesus to use His divine power as God to satisfy His human hunger. This seems to be Jesus' first real test as a human being. Some people think God would never lead His people into the desert to be tested. Some would even say this is the devil's doing. The fact is, both statements are true. God actually uses Satan to test His servants to help develop patience and obedience in their lives. One purpose of the testing was for Jesus to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit, just like we must do in order to have victory over temptation. This would be true for the rest of His life. Every miracle He performed was done by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus said we would do even greater (in number) works than He did because we are indwelt with the same Holy Spirit and we have the same access through prayer to the Father as He did. God led the people of Israel into the desert to learn something about themselves. They learned about their level of obedience when life became difficult. "Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands" (Deut 8:2). When God leads you into the desert, He is allowing you to learn something about yourself. We all need to learn how we will respond to temptations in our lives. As we draw closer to God during these times the roots of our faith are forced deeper and deeper into the soil of His grace. Jesus went into the Desert, in the fullness of the Spirit, He came out of the Desert in the Power of the Spirit. Do not fear being led into the desert. The desert can be a real faith builder. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.