His Voice Shakes the Desert (Part 2)

At the beginning of this month, I wrote part one of a blog post explaining the wilderness season I stepped into at the end of last year. Today, I will endeavor to open my heart a little more and share additional lessons that I am learning along the way.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the Lord was leading me to a place where I would discover things I didn’t already know—things about Him … things about myself … and things about what the wilderness accomplishes in our lives. Remember, the wilderness is the place where we discover the deep things of God and it is where we discover the deep of our own souls. This was true of Jesus’ wilderness experience—which serves as not only our example, but as our university. 

This offering is not a sermon in written form; it is more of a deep song of gratitude for the tutelage of the wilderness … 

Luke 4:1—“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” 

It is our nature to circumvent any environment devoid of external comforts. 

The appetites of our flesh will never lead us into the wilderness of preparation. Even when we are aware of an area of our lives in need of alteration, we tend to allow the potential pain to prevent us from truly looking at it. But when all external stimuli are stripped away, we are left with ourselves alone … and with the quiet reflection of our inadequacies. Only the Holy Spirit can lead us into the territory of our transformation, but He does it in full confidence that He will complete any good work started in the surrendered heart. 

The test of the enemy will always include an attack on our identity and an attempt to distort our view of God based on our current circumstance.

When the enemy tempted Jesus in the wilderness, this was his first line of offense—‘if you are the Son of God’ … ‘turn these stones to bread’, ‘throw yourself down from here’, etc. In reality his tactics have not changed. The enemy’s objective is to get us to focus on ourselves and in the process change our view of God, creating our own truth. We find ourselves demanding God to reduce Himself to our image. The only way to combat this is to do what Jesus did and determine the Word of God as our compass. 

2 Corinthians 2:11 —“ … that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” 

Let’s briefly examine the enemy’s ‘designs’ in the wilderness so that we might crucify our flesh and yield to the wisdom of God in our own lives …

‘If you are the Son of God, turn these stones to bread’ 

The indulgence of our flesh is to command every hard place (stone) to become soft (bread). The enemy was saying, ‘Command every arduous place to go away, every difficulty to be gone, and every obstacle to be removed.’ But this is not what we live on. We live on every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth, especially in the hard places. 

‘If you will worship me {the devil}, all the kingdoms of the world will be yours.’ 

The indulgence of our flesh is to demand what we believe belongs to us, not waiting on God to give it (in His time). The enemy was saying, ‘Why be given to these people? Why serve them? Instead, rule over them.’ But we are to build God’s kingdom, not ours. 

‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.’ 

The indulgence of our flesh is to make God prove that He is God. The enemy is saying, ‘Throw yourself down and see if God will catch you.’ But we must be given to the purposes of God, not our own. 

Luke 4:13-21 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.  He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 

Jesus came out of the wilderness, and He came out with a message. It was a message that God foreknew, and it was a message that the desert prepared Him for. May this same message be set on repeat in our hearts and may it be the declaration of our lives—

• I didn’t come for myself.

• The Spirit of God is not upon me to give me ease in this life.

• The Spirit of God is not upon me (and the Word of God is not in my

mouth) to satisfy my own desires.

• My best life is not about me.

• My best life is with Him, and in Him, and for Him.

Even so, Lord Jesus, come!

Evan Gladstone3 Comments