God is the only One who prunes and purifies a life- John 15:2, Malachi 3:3. He sees what is up ahead and we are divinely directed. God prepares perfectly because He sees perfectly. For us, hindsight is 20/20. But for God who created sight, vision is life-changing.
As I sit here reading through the book of Mark, Mark again delivers depth of detail in few words. He provides two verses for Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness:
“Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.”
Mark 1:12-13 NKJV
After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist- Mark 1:9-11, the Holy Spirit immediately drove Him into the wilderness. This was divinely directed by God. God does not tempt anyone- James 1:13, however, there may be difficult situations He allows in a life that will ultimately glorify Him. I’m reminded of Job. Satan had to ask God’s permission to test Job- Job 1:9-12. Satan claimed that the only reason why Job worshipped and feared God was because God had placed a hedge of protection around him and blessed the work of his hands. Satan proceeded to challenge Job’s loyalty to God; he argued that if God took everything away, Job would curse Him to His face. And yet we are told, “in all of this Job did not sin with his lips”- Job 2:10. Job did not know the conversation taking place in heaven. Another reminder that we are ignorant of the details of the spiritual battle waging behind the scenes. We don’t “see” the spiritual battle, though we “feel” the war. How are we going to respond?
Satan is constantly trying to defeat people and separate them from God. He is a deceiver, the father of lies. “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it”- John 8:44 NKJV. Satan is a liar. Jesus Christ is truth- John 14:6. Satan is so deceptive, he will mix truth with a lie to make it appealing. He deceived Eve in the garden when he questioned the exact words of God- Genesis 3:1. And here we see, in the wilderness, Satan trying to deceive Jesus by not sharing the exact words of God; mixing truth with a lie- Matthew 4:6. However, Jesus answered with the exact words of God, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God'”- Matthew 4:7, Deuteronomy 6:16. And in this we see the power in God’s truth; His exact words. For “truth stands the test of time, lies are soon exposed”- Proverbs 12:19 NLT. God’s word is not a hypothesis needing a test to be proven valid; His word is absolute truth proven by historical fact. We just need His Word to defeat the enemy; for that is where the power is, God’s voice. Lies of the enemy keep people wandering in the wilderness; while the truth of God’s word sets people free.
Jesus suffered and was tempted just like us- Hebrews 2:18. He is a merciful and faithful High Priest who understands what we are going through- Hebrews 2:17. He faced temptation when He was weak; yet He resisted with the Word of God.
Will you pray with me?
Abba! Thank You for sending Your Son who understands our weaknesses, and who gives us what we need to resist temptation. Your word is the foundation to our life. You have given us everything we need to walk victoriously in this life, and we thank You for that. Lord, today, many are in a wilderness wandering, believing a lie from the enemy. We are asking that You would set them free today with the truth of Your Word. Thank You for meeting people right where they are at! Thank You for answering prayer at the perfect moment. Thank You Lord for giving us exactly what we need, when we walk through the wildernesses in life; Your presence, and Your promises. We pray this all in Jesus’ precious name, Amen.