“And immediately the Spirit driveth Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan;” – Mark 1:12, 13a
The time between Jesus’ baptism and the beginning of His public ministry, He spent forty days in the wilderness being tried by Satan. It was in this time slot that Jesus was proved ready to begin His ministry. His defeat of every temptation sent by Satan showed that He knew who He was (If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread); He knew His relationship with the Father was secure (If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.); and He was totally committed to pleasing the Father (All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. - Matt. 4:4-10).
In the time between our baptism and the beginning of our public ministry we too will be driven into the wilderness to be tried by Satan. Proofing may not take place in an actual desert wilderness; it may be at home among unsaved family members, or the place of employment surrounded by unscrupulous co-workers, and even more shocking, it could be the place of worship in the midst of carnal Christians. Regardless of the location, you will be tried in the same areas Christ was. You will be challenged to prove you are a Christian by stepping outside of God’s plan for your life; tempted to try God in your relationship with Him; and deceived into “selling out” to obtain what God has already promised if you seek Him first.
The length of time we spend in the wilderness depends on how long it takes us to pass the test. Forty days was all Satan could handle in his testing of Jesus because Jesus was unmovable in His person and His relationship with the Father. He knew who He was, He knew the Father’s love for Him, and He was determined to please the Father at all cost.
As Leaders in the Making we must stand firm in our belief in what God says about His acceptance of us through the blood of Jesus; rest in the truth of His word that no one can separate us from His love; and not allow anyone or anything to take His place as Lord and Savior in our life. It is then and only then can the Lord bring us to the forefront of public ministry.
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