“At once the Spirit sent Him out into the wilderness, and He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended Him. After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ He said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!'” (Mark 1:12-15).
I wonder if Jesus was stunned?
He received John’s baptism and the voice of His Father announcing blessed affirmations that He was pleased with His beloved Son. Then . . . the Spirit led Him into the desert–and satan and hunger and thirst and temptations unto weakness ensued.
Satan took that opportunity to tempt Him. Yet filled with the Spirit, He did not lose the spiritual strength to come against him with the Word of God. This does not diminish that it was hard. He modeled how I am to come against temptations during my own wilderness times.
Jesus walked out of that first wilderness victorious even though He walked into other settings with tempters and tormentors. A one time victory does not mean temptations to feel defeat will not come calling again.
He knew the importance of spending time “set apart with His Father,” gaining focus for the other times that would come to challenge Him.
Because of all He experienced–the temptations overcome, sin overcome after the horrendous suffering on the cross–His indwelling Holy Spirit was sent to help me along this journey I am making.
I can proclaim Him and His overcoming victory whatever my circumstances. Rather than proclaim the pain, the temptations, the wild beasts that lurk around (though not negating them), I have the choice to proclaim God’s strength and His ever faithful presence.
Others may or may not see the beasts we fight–but the One who helps us to fight them does.
He proclaims over each of us: “My beloved son/daughter, in you I am pleased. I trust You to go where I lead and proclaim what I share.”
I know that is a goal I seek to fulfill–even when I am ill, weary-worn, and set apart.
Prayer: When I get so fatigued and wonder if one more step is possible, I remember the steps and the torments You endured for me all the way to the cross. As Your Holy Spirit ignites my trust, help me to proclaim You wherever I am. Amen.
About the Author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. Since 1983, she has lived with vestibular dysfunction: constant dizziness, sessions of vertigo and related side effects of nausea, balance problems, neck and back pain, visual tracking and eye fatigue. She is a breast cancer survivor having gone through surgery and chemotherapy treatments in 1987-88. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. Do visit her blog at http://lynn-severance.blogspot.com
In what ways do you see your chronic illness as a wilderness experience? What are the main temptations that satan uses to try and wear you down? How does God come alongside of you and help you to persevere?
Lynn was working on this devotionals when a friend sent her a video of Jared Anderson singing “Where I am Right Now” and she was eager to share it with you. Lynn says “Where each of us dwells right now may be full of challenges but we are not alone. God never forsakes us and is ready to encourage and uplift us. May this upbeat song lift your spirits. It is a message of our commitment to keep going as we trust that God understands all we are going through and walks with us to help us keep moving!” God bless you. -Lisa