“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the desert to be tempted.” Matthew 4:1
Does it say that the Spirit of God led Jesus to this dry, uncomfortable place? Let me get my glasses. Yes, it does!
Most of the time pain comes into our lives because of our own sinful choices and/or because of the negligent choices of other people. But, it is clear in scripture that God sometimes allows and even leads us to go into desert seasons. Paul, Elijah, the Israelite people leaving Egypt, and even Joseph and Mary were led into the desert.
All of them were led by God there.
I just read an article by Pastor Larry Stockstill, called Lessons From the Desert. You can read his full article at larrystockstill.com. After reading his article, I asked, “Why desert seasons?” If today you find yourself in a desperate place, could it be that God has led you there?
What can we learn from Jesus’s testing time in the desert? Read Matthew 4
1. God led him there to prepare Him and test Him.
2. The enemy came to taunt and tempt Jesus when he was weak.
3. We stand by speaking the Word to combat Satan’s lies knowing that the dry time WILL come to an end.
The temptations came when there was a genuine need:
Physical…Would God provide food?
Emotional…Would God protect?
Psychological…Would God rule His life?
Are we not tested in those same areas as well? When we are in desert times the question always is, CAN WE TRUST GOD? The temptation is to believe that God has abandoned us and for us to go make things happen on our own or self-soothe our pain instead of praying, trusting, quoting the Word, and waiting for Him to deliver us.
When I have been in desert times, it sincerely feels like I may not come out of “it”. Although He was Jesus, I don't know if the Father let Jesus in on what He was doing during that desert test. The Bible says, "He was led" there and may have even wondered if He was going to die in the desert. This was the test before being released into His ministry. The test is to determine if God can trust us and if our hearts are purely His. Can we believe even when we “don’t see?”
So, why desert seasons?
1. Desert seasons reveal what is in us. (Pride, Trust in God or flesh, Strength in the Word)
2. Desert seasons refine our character, perseverance, and maturity. (Can we persevere when things are uncomfortable and not what we expected? What do we do when we don’t get our way?)
3. Desert seasons test, then release us into God’s purpose for our lives. Let’s pass the test! God's people wandered around in the desert in Exodus grumbling and complaining postponing what should have happened sooner.
If you are in a desert season, I encourage you to search your heart. See if there are any areas that you need to repent of and get right. Sometimes we are in pain because of sin that is separating us from God. Repent, worship, receive God’s love for you, stand against the enemy’s lies bombarding you with the Word. Speak it out of your mouth! God even sends “manna and streams in the desert" because He is a good, loving Father.
John 4:11 “Then the devil left him and angels came and attended to him.”
If you are in a desert season and would like for me to pray for you, leave your request in the comment area and I promise I will pray for you.