Being Led into the Desert
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil" (Matt 4:1-2).
After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist He was led by the Holy Spirit into the desert to be temped by the devil. Jesus was being tempted as a man, not as God. Jesus came to earth as a man to live His life with the same limitations as you and I. Satan wanted him to come out of His human condition into His God nature to deal with His hunger. It was Jesus’ first real test to be a human being.
Some people think God would never lead His people into the desert to be tested. Some would even say this is the devil’s doing. The fact is, both statements are true. God actually uses Satan to test His servants to help develop obedience in their lives.
Jesus had to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit in His life just like you must in order to have victory over temptation. God was testing His obedience. He was not allowed to be God in this situation. This would be true for the rest of His life. The miracles He would perform were the result of seeing what the Father was doing and obeying His commands. Jesus said we would do even greater works than He did because we have the same access to the Father as He did.
God led the people of Israel into the desert to learn something about themselves. They learned about their level of obedience when life became difficult. "Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands" (Deut 8:2).
When God leads you into the desert, He is allowing you to learn something about yourself. We all need to learn how we will respond to temptations in our lives. As we press into God during these times the roots of our faith are forced deeper and deeper into the soil of His grace.
Do not fear being led into the desert. This too is the way of God.