The Life of Christ - Prepared for Wilderness Testing - Friday, January 12th
(Starting this week and on through Easter our Devotionals will come from the Gospel of Mark and will be coordinated with Pastor Ben’s series on the Life of Christ from the Gospel of Mark)
Immediately the Spirit impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him. Mark 1:12-13
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
In Tuesday’s prayer response the following words were offered to God, “I want your involvement in my life to be about you and what my life can bring to you rather than it being about me and what your life can bring to me.” It is difficult for us to get to the spot where we offer such words to God as a genuine expression of our heart. It is even more difficult to go forward living it out. The difficulty comes from our orientation toward experiences that are pleasant, enjoyable, comfortable, easy, and uplifting. Picture yourself coming up out of the waters of baptism, the Holy Spirit descending upon you like a dove, and your Heavenly Father saying, “you are my beloved child, in you I am well-pleased.” What an uplifting and enjoyable experience that would be. A real spiritual high. When Jesus experienced these things it was probably an exalted moment for him.
Today’s passage tells us that immediately after this, the Spirit impelled him to go out into the wilderness. Jesus spent forty days there being tempted by Satan (check out Luke 4:1-13 for more detail). His time in the wilderness was literally no picnic. “Immediately after” are our key words for today. Perhaps Jesus knew he would go right from the Jordan river to the wilderness or maybe he didn’t. Regardless, he was ready for whatever his Heavenly father had next for him. The test for us is all about being prepared for what comes next, particularly when what comes next is difficult and it follows immediately after an uplifting experience. It is in such moments (the wilderness) that our true orientation is revealed. Is our life really given over to God for whatever he wants? Are we really willing and ready for whatever comes next no matter how difficult and challenging? We will be, if we have chosen to have our life be about God and not us and we are confident that God is in charge, he knows what he is doing, and will only allow what is truly best for us and the advancement of his kingdom
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen!
Be sure to check out the special posts for this coming Saturday and Sunday.
Posted on Fri, January 12, 2018
by Ken Hart