Into the Desert

by Ray Reuter on February 25, 2016

Jesus in Desert

The picture you see above is worth more than thousand words. It moves me. It is Jesus in the desert. Jesus intentionally went into the desert to seek solitude, to fast, to pray, to allow himself to be tempted, to gain clarity, to prepare for his mission. For me, it shows the humanness of Jesus. Preparation, fasting, resisting temptation, choosing God’s will over our will is hard, exhausting work!

Yet Jesus relied on God’s word and found strength in doing his Father’s will. It should be no surprise that Satan is going to tempt us and try his darn best to get us to choose our will over God’s will. If he can’t make us renounce our faith or sin straight up, he will turn to tactics to get us to make choices that will lead us, little by little, away from what God wants for us. It is hard work, moment-by-moment, to resist and overcome temptation.

Jesus models the way for us. He was tempted like us and he overcame sin not by his own human effort but by the grace and strength which his Father gave to him. He intentionally renounced … not my will, but the will of my Father! He succeeded because he put his Father first and trusted that his Father would give him the strength to overcome the obstacles and weaknesses that hindered the way. When facing temptation and hardship Jesus relied on the power of the Holy Spirit rather than attempting to fight and resist solely on his own human strength.

We each have our own journeys into the desert and we each have that same Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness and to be our guide and partner in times of temptation and testing. The Lord promises grace to those who humbly acknowledge their dependence on him. God wants us to “fight the good fight of the faith” with the power and strength which comes from the Holy Spirit. Don’t go into the desert without it.

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