Sunday, December 31, 2017

Jesus in the Wilderness

[Note: This post is Part 2 of the biblical lesson...Jesus in the Wilderness. Please see the previous post of Part 1 before reading this post.]


Jesus was initially led into the wilderness by the Spirit of God Himself in order to be tested in the wilderness. During Jesus’ wilderness experience though, He fasted the whole time. Though I have never personally fasted for 40 days and 40 nights myself, I know that the spiritual discipline of fasting strengthens every believer in Jesus Christ and every Child of God in their innermost being---their spirit man. Therefore, Jesus though He was physically hungry due to the 40-day fast, He had strengthened Himself in His spirit during that time of fasting. He was built up in His innermost being. His spirit man was heightened as a result. He was also more in tune with His Father’s voice during this time. He was more keenly and acutely aware of His Father’s purpose and plan as well as His Father’s perfect will for Him. As a result of Jesus’ fasting, He was also able to listen more closely to His Father and obey Him very well.

Jesus was already close to His Father beforehand. However, this wilderness experience drew Him even closer to His Father. As a result, Jesus learned to depend on His Father more during this experience but also afterwards.

Anytime, we go through so-called wilderness experiences, we also draw closer to our Father.

As we draw closer to God, He draws closer to us. We learn to depend on God even more but afterwards as well.

What are some of the take-aways from Jesus’ wilderness experience that can also help us in our own so-called wilderness experiences?

For one, Jesus was rooted and grounded in His true identity. He received His true identity from His Father and His relationship with Him. We also receive our true identity in Christ from our Father, His word, and our relationships with our Father. We also need to be truly rooted and grounded in our true identity in Christ.

Next, Jesus not only knew who He was---His true identity, but He also knew whose He was… Jesus knew that He was His Father’s Son. He was rooted and grounded in His relationship with His Father. We also need to be truly rooted and grounded in our relationships with our Father. We need to know that we are our Father’s sons and daughters.

Also, Jesus’ obedience came out of the love relationship with His Father. Jesus knew that He was truly loved by His Father. He knew that God wanted the best for Him. We also need to know that we are truly loved by our Father, and He only wants the best for us. Our obedience will also come out of the true love relationships with our Father.

We must know and remember that we are in Christ and He is in us.

As He is, so are we in this world.

Therefore, we can also be strong and firm in our true identity in Christ. We can be firmly and deeply rooted and grounded in our relationships with our Father. Our obedience and submission comes out of our love relationships with our Father who truly loves us just like He does His Son, Jesus. Our Father only wants the very best for us.

Knowing and remembering all of that together will help us to come out of our so-called wildernesses in a matter of days instead of not coming out at all or taking years to come out of our so-called wildernesses.

Let’s choose to come out of the wilderness and into our promised land---“a land flowing with milk and honey.”


Copyright 2017 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Jesus in the Wilderness

We do not want to be like the children of Israel who wandered around the wilderness for 40 years. What should have taken them only days took them way too many years! They also ended up dying in the wilderness, so they still did not come out of the wilderness after all of those years. (See Exodus 13:17-22; Joshua 5:6)

Whereas it took the children of Israel wandering around the wilderness for 40 years and they still did not come out of the wilderness…It only took Jesus 40 days and 40 nights to come out of the wilderness.

In this world we are like Jesus. (1 John 4:17, NIV)

Therefore, let’s now take a look at Jesus’ wilderness experience in God’s word.

Looking back in verse 3…when the devil spoke with Jesus…he said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Then in verse 6, the devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.”

Notice the way the devil said, “If…” in both of those previous verses. “If…” is not a concrete word. When someone uses the word ‘If…’ that person does not believe part or all of their own statement. That particular person doubts and does not believe that their statement is true. So is the case with the devil, he doubted and did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God. The devil also tried to make Jesus doubt His own true identity. Satan questioned Jesus’ identity by saying…”If you are the Son of God…” before each of the previous statements.

Jesus knew who He was though. He was the Son of God. Jesus also knew whose He was. He was His Father’s Son. Jesus was strong and firm in His true identity. Therefore, He did not waver in His faith during any of the devil’s temptations.

Jesus answered Satan the first time with “It is written: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (v 4)

The next time, Jesus said, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “ (v 7)

With each of these two answers from Jesus, He told the devil what His Father had told Him to tell the devil. He listened to His Father and obeyed His Father. Jesus’ obedience came from His close relationship with His Father.

With the very last temptation, the devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and the splendor. He told Jesus that He could have it all if He bowed down and worshiped him. (v 8-9)

However, Jesus resisted the devil and told him, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (v 10)

Then, the devil left Jesus and the angels came and took care of Jesus. (v 11)

Did you notice with each temptation from the devil that Jesus resisted the devil and the temptation?

At every single temptation, Jesus resisted the devil. Jesus submitted to His Father and resisted the devil each and every time.

Jesus submitted to God and resisted the devil. Submitted to God and resisted the devil. Submitted to God. Resisted the devil.

[Note: This post is only Part 1.  Please see Part 2 for the continuation of this biblical lesson...Jesus in the Wilderness]


Copyright 2017 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.