At the moment, we are deep in the middle of the time of lent. If you don’t know what that is, it is when many Christians sacrifice an aspect of their life or a nasty habit for 40 days because they believe it may be holding them back from living with God, which is the same amount of time Jesus spent out in the desert in which He was tested a lot by the Devil. This time of sacrifice or fasting allows us to be refined by God and in those times that we crave to have that certain thing, we instead use that time for God and to get deeper into His word or presence.
If you are currently fasting something, keep going!! I bet you’re killing it and God is so proud of you for putting Him first.
Matthew 4:1 [NIV]
“Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil”
When Jesus went into the desert, He KNEW He was going to be tempted and pushed to the limits of His human form. In Matthew 4:1 it literally says He was sent there ‘TO BE TEMPTED BY THE DEVIL’. Jesus was being led there to purposefully be refined and push through those barriers of temptation that His fleshly body had. There is such an important lesson to be learnt in that, because sometimes God may send us into the wilderness knowing full well that it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be painful, that we will come so close to just giving it all up to the enemy and we will wonder why such a loving God would put us in that position and test us. But we need to remember that Jesus went through the exact same thing, and that once we get through to the other side of it, we will be an entirely different person and equipped for what God has for us in that season.
I’ve always found such comfort in the times when I’ve really struggled with temptation, or letting a certain part of my life go because it was holding me back from what God had planned for me, that Jesus went through the EXACT same feelings as us, He could relate to us in every feeling we experience because He went through it too whilst He lived on Earth, and that if He could push through those temptations and sins with all the world and fleshly desires pushing back, then we can too because God is as much on our side as He was Jesus’.
We need to recognise that at points in our lives, we will be led into the desert, into a time that we feel under attack, or that God isn’t doing anything in us during that season, but really, God is working on us internally and spiritually, He’s embedding discipline and perseverance and all those little nitty gritty traits that seem unimportant to do God’s work, but are actually the core of our calling for the next season, the trait that sets us apart from the others, that allows us to pursue and succeed in the EXACT thing God is calling us to.
Whatever season you’re in, keep pressing in! If you feel like you’re currently in, or being called into the wilderness, run in with confidence because God is on your side, and He’s about to transform you into someone more amazing than you could ever imagine.