A Walk in the Wilderness

I hope you all are following along on my journey through the book of Luke. I refuse to call this a series because, for some reason, every time I attempt to do a series I fizzle out about week three. It’s just too much pressure. But, having said that, if you would like to read my posts from this non-series, just click on the Look at Luke category and catch up. I’m only on chapter 4, so it’s not too late!

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There is something about a wilderness that just seems heavy. Even the word itself seems to carry with it loneliness and IMG_0192struggle. If someone mentions a wilderness experience, it is normally not a pleasant time in his or her life. Often, if we are the ones finding ourselves wandering in the wilderness, we begin to ask two questions.

  • What did I do wrong?

We think wilderness equals punishment.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness… – Luke 4:1

Jesus did nothing wrong. Not only did he do nothing wrong, he had done everything right. He had just returned from Jordan. What had taken place at Jordan?

Jesus also had been baptized and was praying…a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased. – Luke 3:21-22

Jesus was obedient, prayerful, full of the Spirit and God was pleased with him. My point is that, sometimes, the answer to the question, “What did I do wrong?” is “Absolutely nothing.” Life is hard, folks. There is no way around it. Trials and heartache will come. Disappointments and broken dreams will show up. There is, however, some good news. Mercy, aren’t you glad?

  • God, where are you?

Let’s look at that first verse, again.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness… – Luke 4:1

Jesus did not go into the wilderness alone. We are told that he was full of the Holy Spirit. That word translated here as “full” means completely filled up and thoroughly permeated with the Holy Spirit. God was all over him, y’all! But that isn’t even the best part! Are you ready?

all i knowWhen Scripture says that the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, that word translated as “led” means so much more than you think. The Greek word is agō and it means to lead by laying hold of or to attach to one’s self as an attendant.

God did not just point the way and wish him luck. Jesus was going into the wilderness but, by golly, God had his hand on him. I do not even let my children walk across the parking lot at the grocery store without having my hand on them. We are quite the sight – one mama with five children all trying to hold a hand or an elbow or a pocket. But that is the only way we are all going to make it safely through.

God knows that this world is a lot more dangerous and scary than the parking lot at Kroger. Do you think, even for a moment, that he would let you wander through a wilderness without laying his hands on you? Oh, no.

If you are navigating difficult territory or find yourself wandering in a wilderness, know two things.

One, wilderness is not always a punishment. {Yes, I know. Sometimes, it is. But, sometimes, it’s not.}

And, two, you do not have to wonder where God is during your wilderness experience. He has completely attached himself to you. When the enemy seems too close and the pain seems too much – God is all over you. 

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