"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Matthew 4:1
Ever been in a "wilderness"? So many Christians think that the "wilderness" is something the devil does to them. That is not the case. He tempts you "in" the wilderness. "And when the tempter came to him." (Mt. 4:3a) But the wilderness is often God's doing. Who led the Israelites out of Egypt into the wilderness? According to this morning's verse, Jesus was led "by the Spirit" into the wilderness. The wilderness is God's plan on occasion for our lives.
For years I didn't know that. Once I learned that, it helped me look at these times in my life in a different way. If God led me there it was ultimately for my good and intended to accomplish His purpose in my life. I began to view the wilderness as "not such a bad place" any longer. This past week I was reading this verse and saw something I never paid attention to before- it was such a revelation. It says that the Spirit led Jesus "up" into the wilderness.
"Jesus was led 'up' into the wilderness". We have got to completely change our view of the wilderness. The wilderness is "up". Jesus had to go "up" to get to the wilderness. The wilderness takes you higher. It's not a "low" area that brings you down. It accomplishes a higher plan of God for your life. It takes you to a new level- a higher level. After Jesus came out of the wilderness He came out with power. After the wilderness is when His ministry started. After the wilderness He went about doing good. After the wilderness He chose His disciples. After the wilderness He began to preach the kingdom of heaven, He began to heal the sick, walk the shores of Galilee, taught the sermon on the mount, etc.
We have to change our perspective of the wilderness. No, it's not a pleasant place- it's exactly what its name implies-- wilderness. But the wilderness is "up", it's on a higher level and it takes us to a higher level spiritually. So when the Spirit leads you into the wilderness, don't go in with dread, don't go in with fear and trembling, don't go in murmuring and complaining, kicking and screaming. Just follow the Spirit and go in with joy, knowing that its purpose is to take you to a higher plain, and let it.
Have a great day. Always remember that the wilderness is intended to take you "up".