Dealing with a Wilderness Season
Are you dealing with a wilderness season in your life? Jesus was tempted and tried too, just like us. Jesus knows what we go through and yearns to give us comfort because the forty days he spent in the wilderness was a real experience for him.
Digging Deeper: Luke 4:1-15
Key Verse: Luke 4:1-2) Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
There is so much that is covered in just these fifteen verses that will be impossible to share in this short time we will spend with each other today. I hope you will read the passage and study it out for yourself because you will internalize and learn so much more through personal study.
Today we will see how He identifies with us as sinners through being tempted but without giving into temptation.
Jesus’ Temptations in His Wilderness Season were Real
Jesus entered into the wilderness just after being baptized by John.
He first identified with us as sinners by being baptized. He had no sin and really did not have to be baptized.
Now He identifies with us as sinners through His wilderness season because he experienced temptation.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
- Jesus’ temptations were real.
- There was never a sinful pull inside of Jesus, like in us.
- In many ways, Jesus’ temptations were much more severe than what we know.
- For us, the pressure of temptation only relents when we give in.
- Jesus never gave in.
- Jesus had to withstand a much greater pressure of temptation than you or I will ever experience.
Jesus experienced temptations for an entire fourty days which was the worst possible circumstances imaginable. He was at the point of extreme hunger where He was starving to death.
1. The First Temptation (Luke 4:2-4): Transform stone into bread for personal needs
Jesus was human just like us even though He was God. He had the need to eat and would experience hunger in the same way that we do.
We all can relate to a wilderness season because we all have seasons in our life where life is coming up dry.
Jesus was out in the wilderness where there were no connections to society. He was alone with God but not away from the harassment of the devil.
The word ‘wilderness’ means “A tract or region uncultivated and uninhabited by human beings (2): an area essentially undisturbed by human activity.”
There is no food out in the wilderness and Jesus was beyond starving.
- Jesus was alone.
- Jesus was starting to starve to death and had a critical need for food.
Jesus was hungry but FULL of the SPIRIT. We are totally opposite and have FULL STOMACHS and empty Spirits.
2. The Second Temptation (Luke 4:5-8): All the world’s kingdoms in exchange for a worship moment
I don’t know how Satan ever thought that Jesus would want to worship him!
Why would Jesus want all the world’s kingdoms when ultimately they are all his?!
Satan so desperately wanted to take the place of God that he was willing to go to any extent to gain it!
This temptation was to entice Jesus to win back the world without going to the cross. Satan would simply give the whole world to the devil if Jesus would worship him.
Since Adam, Satan has been the ruler of this world (John 12:31) and the prince and power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) by popular election.
Satan is constantly tempting us to be at the top. He wants us to think it is because of what we have done instead of giving credit to the Lord.
When you are tempted:
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
3. The Third Temptation (Luke 4:9-13): testing Jesus to stand on the pinnacle of the temple
If Jesus would stand on the top of the temple and jump off, it would tempt God in a sinful way to have angels keep him from falling on the sharp rocks below. Yes, God could do this and Jesus could theoretically save Himself.
Satan knows the Scriptures inside out but the problem with his quoting scriptures is that he was twisting the Word of God.
As Jesus rejects Satan’s misquoting of the Bible, He rightly divides the Word of truth and shows how when the Bible can guide us when we understand it in context.
Applying Jesus’ Temptations to Your Wilderness Season
My sweet friend, you might be right in the middle of a wilderness season. It is only for a time and especially if you learn from this short passage how Jesus handled His temptations.
Our tendency is to think that Jesus didn’t really understand what we go through.
He was perfect, so it must have been easy for Him not to yield to temptation. He was grappling with OUR sin. OUR tendency to give in. It gave Him a feel for the experiences we have so that He could take it to the cross
It gave Him a feel for the experiences we have so that He could take it to the cross and die for all the times we give into temptation and sin.
When we are tempted:
- Jesus has compassion
- Jesus understands what we are up against
- He can give us strength to resist the devil
The verse in James 4:7 says to SUBMIT to GOD.
When you are going through your season in the wilderness, the key is to submit to God because then and only then will the devil flee from you.
What did you learn (that I didn’t share) from looking digging deeper into Luke 4:1-15 today? I didn’t include everything and I was wondering how God spoke to you through these verses.