When Your Wilderness Is of God's Design
1. Luke, chapter four, is a passage familiar to all of us--the temptation of Jesus by the Devil. Jesus had just experienced one of the most spiritually-significant events in his life, His public induction into the ministry, signified by His baptism in the Jordon River. The Bible says the Holy Spirit descended on Him in the form of a Dove, and the Father spoke from heaven; ''Thou art my beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased'' (Luke 3:22).
2. Immediately following Jesus' baptism, the Bible says He ''...was led by the Spirit into the wilderness'' (4:1b), and in (vs. 2), we are told that for forty days He was tempted by the Devil.
a. This is important--I don't want you to miss it. Sometimes God leads us into the wilderness. Sometimes our trouble and our difficulties are of divine origin. We tend to blame everything on the devil: ''I wouldn't be in this mess if it wasn't for the devil,'' or ''The devil must be behind this.'' Sometimes we give the devil too much credit for the things that happen in our lives.
1) Let me be quick to add; God did not tempt Jesus, the devil did. The Bible says, ''Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man'' (James 1:13).
b. A second thing is this: Sometimes we will have a wilderness experience immediately following a mountaintop experience.
1) Jesus had just been baptized...He had publicly declared His ministry...and in (4:1), it says he was ''full of the Holy Ghost.'' But it doesn't stop there--read on: ''And (He) was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.''
3. Let me give you two points:
I. Experiencing the Wilderness
II. Enduring the Wilderness
I. EXPERIENCING THE WILDERNESS
The wilderness can be a frightening and intimidating place, filled with dangers and the unexpected. It's not a place to be by yourself. There are many hazards unique to the ...
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