And News about Him Spread through the Whole Countryside


Today is Easter Sunday, the high holiday of the Awakening calendar, as we begin our ascent from the tomb, now empty. It is truly the greatest awakening that has ever occurred. Jesus is risen from the dead, seated at the right hand of the Father, and we are seated with him in heavenly places, the Scripture says.

As we complete our Jesus in the Wild series today, reflect on what it means for you to live the resurrection life—knowing you are the beloved of God, that you will come through your wilderness seasons by the Spirit of God and the Word of God hidden in your heart, and you will emerge in the power of the Spirit to become like Jesus. Receive an Easter blessing from the Spirit of Life, the living Jesus, our Lord.

LUKE 4:1–14

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here.” For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.


In Genesis 32:28 we read about Jesus’s forefather, Jacob, whose name became Israel: “Then the man said, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.’”

Jesus, on behalf of Israel, overcomes the enemy and the temptations of evil in the wild. He is pressed on every side, and the adversary has the singular agenda of snuffing Jesus out—by crushing his name, disorienting him from love, and ultimately getting him to take his own life before he offers it for the world.

But Jesus’s inner life proves to be too mature, too beloved, too self-aware, too spiritually resilient, too formed by the deep and steady spiritual practices of his people, to devour.

• An encounter with the love of the Father made Jesus impenetrable.

• Sabbath rest and renewal made Jesus formidable.

• Daily prayer habits made Jesus unswayable.

• Daily Scripture reading habits made Jesus unconfuseable.

• Daily songs of worship, rolling in his spirit from the Psalms, the prayer book of his people Israel, made Jesus undistractable.

On the other side of his victory over the enemy’s affront, doing in forty days what Israel could not in forty years, Jesus comes out not only unscathed but also “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). He is full of dynamic, spiritual energy—energy that will be laser-focused on living out the message of Luke 4:18–19 (from Isaiah 61:1–2 and 58:6): “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

It was Jesus’s inner life, built up by an ongoing encounter with the Father reinforced by spiritual habits that were nonnegotiable in Jesus’s life, that enabled him to move into the ultimate of human ministries to undo the works of the evil one (1 John 3:8).

When the enemy faced Jesus in the wild, there was no spiritual sinkhole, no hollow heart, within Jesus to leverage.

When we come out of the wild having faced the enemy and resisted, having faced a test and been found faithful, good news will spread. People will meet a person who has strengthened their own weak knees and quivering heart through a growing, cultivated intimacy with God—and the hearts, homes, churches, and cities around us will be changed.


Lord of the Wild, we want to become good news in Jesus’s name. Help us establish ourselves in inner habits that prepare us for temptation and equip us to face our challenges. We want nothing less than all of you moving in and through all of us in the world you love. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Do you have spiritual habits that reinforce your daily sense of belovedness, that keep you in the Word and in prayer, and that make you a force to be reckoned with?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. Christianity gradually drifted from individuals daily and passionately interacting with and obeying the living Jesus to holding the annual, formalized commemoration of His resurrection that we call Easter.

    First century word of mouth took news about Jesus viral. Soon the good news of the risen Jesus was trending and generating persecution around the Roman Empire and even in the world beyond its borders.

    Then over the next few centuries the glorious news about the active presence of the resurrected Jesus was institutionalized and replaced with a ritualized religious formalism that removed passionate commitment to the living Jesus from everyday life. The spiritual habit of being continually aware of and obedient to “Christ in you” that made Christ-followers “a force to be reconed with” became so rare that the few people who had the habit which every Christian needs were canonized as “saints.”

    (Thank you, Dan, for your beautiful spiritual guidance the past few weeks.)

  2. Thank you, Dan. This has been a wonderfully refreshing addition to my morning routine with Him. I look forward to more. Blessings.

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