Thieves of Peace #2- The Wilderness
Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil, Matt. 4:1.
Are you in a dry, hard place today? Does it feel like your prayers are hitting iron gray skies? Maybe you’re there because of someone else’s sin, or your own. What did Jesus do wrong that caused the Holy Spirit to lead him into the wilderness? Nothing. It’s possible that the Holy Spirit will lead you or me into the wilds to discipline us but just as often, it’s to teach us deeper truths.
Whatever circumstances landed you in a wilderness, understanding how to behave in one is as important as understanding how you got there.
We can choose between two attitudes. We can lean into self-pity, self-centeredness, anger, and other negative emotions. All of them will steal our peace. Being in a desert is hard enough without carrying extra baggage along. The better option is to see a wilderness the way Jesus saw his.
Jesus chose to respond, not react.
He chose to stay in peace.
Jesus understood that his wilderness was an opportunity.
An opportunity to be in deep conversation with his Father interrupted only slightly by Satan and his unsuccessful temptations.
An opportunity to see how Satan rolls here on earth.
An opportunity to use the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
An opportunity to test his character under fire.
Even if your current gray sky and lonely landscape is of your own making, don’t waste this time. Whether it’s an illness that’s keeping you out of the mainstream of life or a set of circumstances that’s changed your everything, take this opportunity to go deeper with God.
Use the Word of God as a sword to cut down negative thoughts and emotions. (Hebrews 4:12)
Observe what comes out of your heart and mouth. Character is revealed under stress. (Matthew 12:34)
Spend time in listening prayer and learn to easily recognize God’s voice. Don’t do all the talking. (John 10:27)
Make an altar (a set aside place) of worship and worship your heart out. (Psalm 75:1)
The time we spend in the wilderness is often determined by how we behave in one. Remember, the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land was only supposed to be eleven days for the Israelites. Complaining, arguing, and disobedience earned them 40 years of hard time in the desert. Let that be a cautionary tale for us. Choose peace in your wilderness by taking thoughts and words captive to Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Father, show me what you want me to see and teach me what you want me to know in this wilderness.