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The Wilderness: A Place of Preparation

Lent - February 20

Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13

The Wilderness: A Place of Preparation

I have a hard time reading that Jesus was led into the wilderness for 40 days by the Holy Spirit. It just seems cruel. This story occurred directly after Jesus’ baptism, where the Father loudly declared His pleasure in Jesus. Why would the Holy Spirit then lead Him into isolation and loneliness directly after that? Then He faced temptation from the Devil.\

It seems like leaving a desert season would be the worst possible time to face the enemy and fight temptation. But Jesus demonstrated to us that the desert season was His greatest weapon in fighting temptation. He wasn’t going into that experience without spending extensive time with the Father.

In Jesus’ life, we find Him constantly sneaking away to be with the Father, to pray, seek solitude, and rest. This rhythm has caused me to radically shift how I think about desert seasons. Instead of seeing them as something that knocks me down, leaving me weary and tired, I can see them as my most potent weapon. It is a sweet gift to have a Father who wants to help us live from a place of victory, strength, and relationship.

Questions for Reflection:

Think: How do you think the Father prepared Jesus for temptation during His 40 days in the wilderness? How has the Holy Spirit worked in similar ways in your own life?

Pray: Allow desert seasons you’ve experienced to come to mind. Let yourself feel those emotions again. Then, share those emotions with God. Ask God to show you what He was doing in your life during those seasons. What was He preparing you for? How was He with you in the wilderness?

Respond: What’s one thing you can do this week to get away and spend some time with the Father who loves you, even if it’s just for a short time?

With thanks to B4Church

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