The Wilderness Test

on Sunday 20, February 2011

Before Jesus began to minister, he was baptized in water by John and then at once sent by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness -- without food -- to be tested by Satan for 40 days.  Have you ever wondered why this was necessary?  Was it because the Father needed to prove him?  Was it for Jesus’ sake to establish his authority?  Or, was it for our sake to teach us how to handle our own wilderness experience? Every spiritual journey includes some time in a desert place.  Why?

The nation of Israel journeyed for 40 years in the wilderness.  If you trace their wanderings on a map, they actually went in circles.  We know it was because of their failure to believe God, so we see that unbelief can trap us in an arid place.  But Deuteronomy 8 gives us a pretty clear picture of God’s purpose.  It says, “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these 40 years to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart.”

God knows the heart of a man, but often we do not know what is in our own hearts until we have a wilderness test.  Do we allow it to make us bitter or better?  Do we become victimized or humbled?  Do we become offended or do we learn how to lean on our beloved. (Song of Solomon 8:5)  We really do have a choice.  Therefore, choose LIFE!