Luke 4:1 (NKJV)
Satan Tempts Jesus
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness
The Holy Spirit took Jesus out into the wilderness for the first time after his baptism to fast and pray and whilst he had incredible temptation, he also was ministered to by angels and scripture points out it was where he received power from the Spirit (Luke 4:14). This was 6 weeks off total supernatural fasting however we know that Jesus often took himself into the wilderness.
Luke 5:15-16 (NKJV)
However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
Here in the wilderness away from food and where water was difficult to come by, away from distractions, company, work and ministry he retreated. One has to assume these times were sometimes just a few hours but mostly for a few days if not longer, travelling on foot out into the desert. He taught his disciples to join him on some occasions and others went alone.
He was not like John the Baptist only remaining there. He also feasted, had fun, lived well, taught from practical knowledge of normal everyday life. He had both the ability to live an accessible, warm, welcoming, joy filled life and turn away and seek his Father in the wilderness. He found a joy that was birthed from the desert.
We live in a society dominated by excess, indulgence, comforting of self, with noise and people crowding every turn. The wilderness is our foreign forgotten secret that Satan has successfully hidden. Our power is lost and prayer is weak because we refuse to follow Jesus into the wilderness. David wrote his song of pursuit from a wilderness time in his journey with The Lord.
Joy in the Fellowship of God
A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
Jesus lived through times in the wilderness led by the Spirit that were short and others much longer. We are frightened of the wilderness – a place of hunger, thirst, questions, loneliness. Lies are perpetuated that it should be avoided. We create a myth that periods of life in the wilderness means we have lost track in our walk with God. Far from it! Jesus is often found in the wilderness and the Spirit leads us to Him. I, for one, am following him there.
Isaiah 40:3 (NKJV)
The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
I want to be a voice that prepares for the return of King Jesus. You will hear my cry join with others from the wilderness.