We all have time when we experience “the desert.” Where we feel alone. Where we feel as if the good things God has promised us are a long way off. We know there is a Promise Land but all we can see is miles of sand. Even Jesus needed the desert experience to fully step into his ministry. Jesus faced the three “archetype” temptations before coming out of the desert full of the Holy Spirit. The Desert is a chance to be emptied of the power of false promises and of the temptations that say they can fill us and never do.
The desert tests our desire for sustenance. It makes us question what will fill us because, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.” The desert removes our capacity to escape and medicate so we can be emptied for the future filling of the Spirit. — Have you ever had your need for security stripped away to where you became more dependent on God? Have you ever experienced loosing what you had depended on only to realize it had strengthened you and made you more open to receive what God had?
The desert tests our need for significance and how it is truly attained. It tests our desire to take shortcuts to accomplishing the God dreams on our hearts. The desert tests our resolve to walk in the Spirit and not bow down to the temptation to rush through methods God doesn’t approve of. This is the test where we choose to do it God’s way or our way. The only solution is to, “Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” The heart of “Yes Lord” is the only path to true significance. Obedience is the only path to God’s call fulfilled in God’s way. — Have you ever experienced the purification of your desires through worshiping God? Have you experienced finally succeeding where you previously failed when you surrendered to God’s way?
The desert is a place of loneliness where we loose the comfort of depending on others for our sense of worth. This speaks to our deep need for the affirmation and approval of others which can get us off track from following the voice of God fully in obedience. We face the temptation of proving ourselves for the approval of others just as Jesus was. He responded to that desire to have his position and worth proven with, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” — Have you experienced getting rooted in your identity by God speaking his approval over you? Have you been through a process that diminished your need for the approval of others?