Thursday, November 19, 2020

November 19

When John the Baptist baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove. Being full of the Holy Spirit, he slipped away into the wilderness to spend time with the Father. It wasn’t until his time there was ending, after forty days, that the devil began tempting him. He had denied himself food, but God had been sustaining him throughout that entire time.

After his wilderness experience, he began his ministry. Did Jesus give us the steps to take when we start our ministry? I know that every time I spend time in the wilderness, even if it’s only a few hours with Jesus, I have an exceptional experience, and he opens my eyes to new things.

What was Jesus hearing from God during his time there? Was God equipping him for the things to come? Was the temptation Jesus faced a way to strengthen his self-denial to learn to rely on God solely? After his time away, Jesus began his ministry, but you will see that throughout the gospels, he would slip away into the wilderness to spend time with his Father. 

The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t just jump into ministry; there is work to be done first. There is a period of learning, some self-denial, and overcoming temptation. Anything worth having needs time to be cultivated. Don’t rush into ministry without being equipped for service; Jesus didn’t; he knew the scriptures, was anointed by the Holy Spirit and spent quality time with God. Follow these steps, and God will reward you with success.

One more thing, God’s idea of success and the American concept of success are two entirely different things. It’s about people, not finances.

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. Luke 4:1-2

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