Wilderness is a place where trials, temptations, difficulties and testing come and we all have our own unique wilderness seasons in our lives. Even Jesus Christ, the Son of God was brought to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit.
We can say that every child of God has to enter the wilderness at some point in our lives. What is God’s purpose for it and why take us to such a place or season?
We know that God won’t do anything to harm us or do something that’s not in the context of love. Everything He does is for our sake for He alone can see what is best for us.
Studying Matthew chapter 4 verses 1-11, I learned these 7 things the Holy Spirit teaches us when we go through the wilderness season:
1. To strengthen our identity and authority in Christ
The Holy Spirit leads us to the wilderness to strengthen who we are as children of God and to make us realize that we have authority in Christ over every trials and temptations.
Just as the Son of God was tempted by the devil, it isn’t enough for us to simply know who we are but we must put into practice our authority as sons and daughters of God just as Jesus Christ did against the enemy.
2. To empty ourselves from the cravings of the flesh and to strengthen our inner man.
Matthew chapter 4 verse 2 shows us that Jesus went to fast upon entering the wilderness. He fasted from the cravings of the flesh such as food which people depend upon for physical strength.
But wilderness is not a place for the physically strong but must be overcome mentally and spiritually. The Holy Spirit leads us to the wilderness that we may empty ourselves from the cravings of our body and strengthen our spirit’s connection with God and His Word.
3. To let us know that the devil will come to attack our identity in Christ and to test our knowledge and understanding of His Word.
Matthew chapter 4 verse 3 says, “Then the Devil came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God…”
In our present context the enemy comes to ask us in the wilderness “If you are truly a child of God” which is similar strategy he used towards Eve in the Garden of Eden by asking, “Did God really say…?”
We see how the devil works when we begin to empty ourselves to strengthen our commune with God. He comes to make us doubt and attacks who we are in Christ Jesus. But the Holy Spirit is always there to help us and guide us through this season.
4. To feed our spirit with the Word of God instead of feeding our flesh when we are under attack.
Matthew chapter 4 verse 4 says that the devil tempted Jesus to turn the stones into bread if He really is the Son of God in attempt to feed on his flesh but Jesus’ weapon against this scheme is the Scriptures.
In the place of wilderness where trials and difficulties arise, the Word of God is our strength and hope. We must spend more time in His Word all the more when we are experiencing difficulties rather than running towards things that feed on our flesh.
5. The Holy Spirit is always there to reveal the truths of God.
Matthew chapter 4 verses 5-7 says that the enemy brought Jesus to the highest point of the temple and twisted the meaning of the Scriptures by making Jesus jump since the angels would catch him.
In the wilderness season of our lives, if the enemy fails to feed our flesh, he comes to input wrong mindsets by twisting the truth we know but the Holy Spirit is always there to reveal to us the truths of God just as He did in Christ Jesus.
6. To strengthen our devotion, convictions, and worship of God alone
In Matthew 4 verses 8-10 where the devil showed Jesus the glory of the world and its riches, but Jesus Christ rebuked him, the Holy Spirit teaches us that if the enemy can’t penetrate our mindset. He comes to offer us something that will surely make us sin by worshipping, serving or bowing down to an idol instead of God.
When the temptation and trials are strong, we rebuke the devil and his work in Jesus’ name, and all the more worship God, magnify Him and confess that He alone is worthy to be praised.
7. Glory comes when we pass the trials and temptations in the wilderness
Matthew 4 chapter 11 says, “Then the Devil went away, and angels came and cared for Jesus.” The angels came to attend to Jesus’ needs right after such a battle. We know that God is always faithful to reveal to us His glory and it cannot be compared to the things we are going through in life.
It is important that in all seasons of our lives, the Word of God is burning in our hearts, our ears attentive and our feet obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then we can truly walk in the victory of Christ Jesus every day.
Lovely Lao is a Sunday school teacher and is involved in children’s ministry at a local church. She is a passionate lover of God and people, especially children. Jesus is her ultimate joy and excitement in life and she is hungry to know and learn more about him. She is also married to a youth pastor who is a man after God’s heart.
Lovely Lao’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/lovely-salcedo.html