"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
Prepare for Battle
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. (Matthew 4:1-2)
Every Christian will go through the painful and scorching heat of the desert at one point or another. Our desert is of a different kind, but just as painful to our souls as the natural desert. We like to call our kind: “a spiritual desert.” Moses spent forty years in the wilderness himself before spending forty more years with the children of Israel.
Other words to describe a desert are: “Barren region or wasteland.” With little or no water, no fruits, no vegetables, no eatable animals, with extreme heat during the day, uncomfortable cold weather at night and little or no rain; a desert is a place where not many survive. There are no restaurants, no supermarkets, no Wal-Mart’s, no drive-thru and no stores on every corner. Without a doubt we Christians find a common place in our spiritual wasteland.
Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit; this is significant! Many times we find ourselves rebuking the devil and all kinds of spirits and we get frustrated because we don’t see any manifestation of healing or breakthrough; that is because the devil nor any evil spirit has anything to do with it…it is a God thing. In the desert, we learn two things: 1) we learn to depend only in God and 2) We learn to defeat the devil in the power of God in spite of our emotions.
It is hard to walk through the sands of loneliness. However, day after day we learn to recognize that it was God that sustained us and we grow in our trust for Him. If God can provide and keep you alive in the desert, how much more can He do in the fertile lands of prosperity and abundance? The normal challenges of life will become minuscule to the person that has experienced the wilderness; you will find yourself strengthened in your faith.
We can’t step into an effective ministry without defeating the devil in his own game. In the desert, we learn that even when we are at our weakest point, God has given us enough power to overcome the devil and to overcome the world. We are going to need that kind of confidence and assurance as we step out in ministry and as we walk-out this Christian life. After forty days, before Jesus presented His fasting; at the peak of his weakness, the devil came to tempt him. However, Jesus gave us an example of the power of God for all of us to follow. Jesus defeated the devil in the desert; it was His personal victory against the enemy! However, Jesus’ victory in the desert was not enough to provide a plan of salvation for the world. In the desert, Jesus pulverized the devil; on the cross, He opened His arms to humanity.
Beloved, the desert is preparing you for battle! Your desert is preparing you to engage in the fight to win the souls of men. Prepare for battle!