Truth About the Wilderness Every Believer Needs to Know

Inside: Maybe God has allowed this time so you can learn His ways? Perhaps the wilderness is preceding a new phase of your calling? Knowing the truth will set you free!

Today’s post is by a new friend of mine, Kelly R. Baker. Kelly’s blog is about “Staying Nourished and Thriving,” and she delivers that in each of her writings. When I read her blog posts, it’s always what my heart needs to hear. Enjoy her post here and then check out her site!

*Disclosure: Post may contain affiliate links. See our full disclosure here.

Being Tempted? Knowing the Truth will Set you Free. Maybe God has allowed this time so you can learn His ways? Perhaps the wilderness is preceding a new phase of your calling? Knowing the truth will set you free! #resistingtemptation #Bible #lesson #God #temptationofJesus

I’ve been to the wilderness enough times that I seem to own a summer home there. Except it’s more of a Sahara shack. It’s definitely not a prestigious home. Why? Because no amount of living in the wilderness is comfortable; I don’t plan on staying any longer than is absolutely necessary.

In the natural, the wilderness is a bleak place deficient of the resources to provide the basic needs of life, rendering one into a state of desolation. The dreariness creeps in emotionally…and spiritually.

My goal is to determine why I’m there, let God have His way, and then make a rapid exit.

Maybe God has allowed this time so I can learn His ways? Perhaps this dry season is preceding a new phase of my calling? Or did I take the Exit to Murmuring and go off the route to the Promised Land like the Israelites?

Truth About the Wilderness Every Believer Needs to Know. Maybe God has allowed this time so I can learn His ways? Perhaps this dry season is preceding a new phase of my calling? My faith and trust are in God alone. #faith #wilderness #trust

 

 

How to Respond Like Jesus Did in the Wilderness

Prior to beginning His ministry, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1, ESV).

Despite God’s purpose for us in the wilderness season, we might be tempted in the following three ways, too.

Temptation #1: dependence on sustenance

And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:2-4, ESV).

Jesus was hungry from His 40 day fast. I don’t know about you, but I think I would be lying in the fetal position, crying. I like food. I honestly need to eat six times a day to avoid becoming weak. Yet the response needs to be:

My nourishment comes from the life-giving Word of God.

 

 Temptation #2: identity questioned/misuse the power of God

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him,

“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:5-7, ESV).

Notice the devil repeated Doubt Talk 101 and said, “IF you are the Son of God.” Jesus knew He was God’s son, and we know we are God’s children. That doesn’t stop the enemy from testing us with classic doubt tactics. Even if I’m unwavering in knowing who and Whose I am, the devil comes to twist. He will try to talk Scripture, and get me to foolishly misuse the power of God. Nevertheless, the response needs to be:

My faith and trust is in God alone; I don’t tell God to “prove himself to me.” Click To Tweet

Truth About the Wilderness Every Believer Needs to Know. Maybe God has allowed this time so I can learn His ways? Perhaps this dry season is preceding a new phase of my calling? My faith and trust are in God alone. #faith #wilderness #trust

 Temptation #3: derailing from the Kingdom of God

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God
 and him only shall you serve.’” (Matthew 4:8-10, ESV).

The devil likes to make the things of this world look friendly. But I have to resist that “friendship with the world” (James 4:4) because even a subtle desensitization yields my heart to the wrong lord. I have to remember the kingdom, power, and glory is God’s (Matthew 6:13).

The Truth Will Set You Free

Undoubtedly the response needs to be:

My homage is unto God only. His kingdom is where I serve with my life.

We could say that the first temptation attacked thoughts in the physical arena, the second attacked an emotional mindset, and the third a spiritual focus. Satan doesn’t care if we’re feeling dismal in the dusty desert, already grappling with our stay in a spiritual Sahara. He’s going to hit us with everything he’s got.

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him. (Matthew 4:11, ESV).

But here’s the 4-1-1 (Did you notice that last location in Matthew?). After we use the Word against the devil, he leaves. God ministers to us in return, and faithfully takes care of us even in the wilderness. Because His Word never fails.

When I’m grappling with my stay in a spiritual Sahara, I can become equipped to wield God’s Word in the wilderness.

Truth About the Wilderness Every Believer Needs to Know. Kelly R Baker

Kelly R. Baker writes to motivate believers to stay spiritually nourished and thriving, and enjoy the fruit that comes from a life yielded to God. She is a HelloMornings Bible study writer, and a contributor for Blessed Transgressions and Kingdom Keys magazines. When not keeping her crew of four on the family routine, you will probably find her sneaking a bite (or more) of dark chocolate. She would love for you to connect with her at kellyrbaker.com.
instagram.com/kellyrbakergrams

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36 thoughts on “Truth About the Wilderness Every Believer Needs to Know

  1. “My faith and trust is in God alone; I don’t tell God to “prove himself to me.” Ouch! I am guilty. Kelly, I often ask God to reveal his hand or show himself. I need reassurance that he is in the midst of the circumstance. I have never taken into consideration that I’m not showing my trust in God alone. Umm! Food for thought. Thank you for following God in your writing. He has spoken to me through you. Blessings!

    1. Trusting God is usually not easy in circumstances, however, we need to discern if the devil is tempting us or twisting God’s Word. When Jesus replied, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test,” that word “test” there in the Greek means “to put to proof God’s character and power.” He was responding to both tactics the devil threw at Him.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking God to reveal His working during a circumstance. At least no scripture comes to mind at the moment. 😉 I’m glad it was helpful. Blessings to you, too!

  2. I love how you’ve walked us through Christ’s temptations and given us “handles” for how we can respond in our own wilderness experiences, Kelly. Very inspiring and helpful! Thanks also to Julie for introducing us to you today!

  3. Okay, so I’m the only guy commenting so far. So what? I say. Thanks for sharing. I happen to be smack dab in the middle of a spiritual Sahara right now. I’m going to take what you say to heart. I needed to hear this today, Kelly, as I usually due when I read you. I’m praying that God will show me why He has me here. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get this nasty sand out of my eyes and mouth soon.

    1. Good to have you here, Steve! I’m so glad this was helpful to you, and I’ll be praying that your stay in the spiritual Sahara you’re in now will be as short as possible.

  4. “I don’t need to tell God to prove Himself” Ouch! That was a little convicting to me. Sometimes I get so caught up in my frustration or pain I start to lack trust in God. Very good points thanks for sharing Kelly

    1. Thanks for your honesty, Kristina. I confess; every time I’ve been in a spiritual wilderness I have gotten depressed. And whiny. It’s not easy, but God knows what is best for us.

  5. Such a great post, Kelly. The application of God’s word is truly powerful in our lives, and I believe the more and more we do it and see it working, more and more we will keep living in this way -by faith, and though the tests won’t just end forever -we can become more steady and assured in our journey’s with Him. He is so good and won’t ever leave us! xoxoxo prayers & blessings, friend!

  6. Nice post! There are so many great lessons from Jesus’ time in the wilderness. Thank you for the lessons you have highlighted here.

  7. Jesus was, at this point, in a physically week state. As you wrote, He’d already fasted for 40 days. Another key is that the temptations didn’t start 40 days into this story. Satan was tempting Jesus continually. That’s crazy! And I like how you closed the post with God ministering to our needs. Jesus had plenty of physical needs after those 40 days and He looked to the ultimate resource, His Father. This is great encouragement, Kelly. Thank you for sharing, and thank you, Julie, for hosting.

  8. Jesus’s wilderness experience is an inspiring and motivating example for me. I love how in His weakness, He drew on God’s word as a weapon … and it worked. Great reflection!

  9. I love it that we can stand on the truth of God’s Word. It is our solid foundation. No wonder the Devil does all he can to place doubt into the minds of people as to the “truth” of the Holy Bible. If he can cause us to question it, we won’t trust it any longer to use it in our wilderness battle. We become vulnerable, ineffective, and defeated. Lord help us to tenaciously hold onto and stand upon the Word.

  10. One of my favorite passages is Matthew 4:1-11 where Jesus is tempted. He shows us how to handle each type of temptation as they come, for surely they will. I like the category you used for each temptation – physical – emotional – spiritual. Great insight! 🙂

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