And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 3:17–4:1
The story paints the scene when Jesus had just been baptized by his cousin John the Baptist and the audible voice of God validates to everyone who he was. I don’t know about you but that would be reason enough for me to be emboldened and put a spring in my steps, but obviously I am not Jesus. The scripture tells us a very interesting event that followed; He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and tempted. (Matthew 4:1) In the natural, this might seem very strange and even contradictory but it actually makes a lot of sense. There is a principle hidden here: Nothing substitutes process.
There are times in our lives that we just don’t understand. I mean we receive all the green lights, the approvals and even the support of those dear to us, but then after the euphoria and the emotional high fades, we find ourselves walking alone in a desert place. It is a place that grieves us and antagonizes us constantly and it seems not to end. We don’t understand why if everything seemed right, felt right and looked right we are in a place that is barren and inhospitable.
But if you subscribe to the idea that there are no substitutes for process, you will understand something else also:The wilderness is a prerequisite for the calling. Head knowledge alone does not qualify you, experience does. And even when things look a little dicey right now, this might be the place that will prepare you for your next assignment.
But even if you don’t concur with my beliefs, the principle works in every area of life. Nothing substitutes process. And when you make peace with this, you will see life from a different lens. The question will no longer be why, but what? What is the reason I am going through this? What is it that I have to learn about myself that I cannot discover any other way? What traits in my personality is changing, pruned, modified, strengthen? What is it that I am lacking that this situation is testing me for? Your wilderness situation has the potential to unveil your potential, and that is always a great place to be in.
So even when it might be a hurtful, confusing or dark season of your life, maybe, just maybe this could be the greatest moment for you. Just as the 40 days of testing and temptation that followed, the time in the wilderness became the foundation from which Jesus’s ministry would sprung from.
It is your decision. You can either wither and dry, or you can blossom if the middle of this real or even apparent dry place, it really doesn’t matter which one it is. The wilderness is really a fine-tuning place.
“BREATHE expectantly, LIVE confidently and MOVE Boldly”
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© Copyright Danny Maldonado, 2013
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: Today’s New International Version. 2005. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.