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.
God is a God of place—he meets with us in spaces and locations that become precious to our journey of intimacy and faith.
Where. Where are you right now? In your home? Your office? Sitting in your car? Is where you are a place where you meet with Jesus, or wrestle with your identity and pray through your problems?
The wild is where Jesus was led by the Spirit and encountered the fullness of the Spirit. The wild is also where Jesus fasted for forty days and was tempted by the devil.
The “where” of your encounter with God is often the same where of your battles with the enemy of your soul. In fact, I’m quite confident that the most important where of the story of Jesus in the wilderness is not the desert, the isolated place, itself. The where of the match we see in Luke 4 is on the same holy ground and battle grounds with which you and I are familiar—the where of the heart, the mind, and the body.
To my left, as I write this, is My Chair.
My Chair is a where in my journey with Christ. Each morning, early, I find my way to it. My journal and Bible are beside it, and I have a lap desk I pull out on which I read and write. Sometimes I sit in that chair, looking out the window, peacefully praying through the wonders and worries of the season of life I am in. I pray for my wife, my children, my family, my friends, and others whom the Lord has given me to pray for.
Another where for me is the driver’s seat of My Truck. My Truck is a where in my journey with Christ. I spend much time in that seat each day, praying, worshipping, reflecting, and listening to the voice of the Father. Almost every Sunday, I take a long drive through the country near my home, talking to Jesus as one right there in the seat beside me. I speak. I listen. I wrestle. I deflect the bad.
The opposite is also true. My Chair is where the enemy tempts me to forget who I am, whose I am, and what I am for in this life. My Truck is also where the enemy tempts me to forget who I am, whose I am, and what I am for in this life. I wrestle, no matter how beloved I know I am, no matter how I have been blessed and affirmed and secured by the Father’s love, with the enemy’s voice. I believe that Jesus did too, and this was just the first outing in the confrontation of his life. (Peter’s words to which Jesus said, “Get behind me, Satan,” in Matthew 16:23, and the garden of Gethsemane, are just two other wheres we know about in the Gospels.)
I seek, in my where, to “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I seek to “not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all.” I seek to “hold on to what is good,” and “reject every kind of evil.” In my where, I trust, like you, that “God himself, the God of peace,” will “sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thess. 5:16–24).
Because the blessings and the tests often coexist in those same spaces, I have found it incredibly important to make my wheres a haven for my meetings with Jesus—my faithful books before me, music ready to play, and instruments close at hand.
But the where we must worship, and the where we must win (needing encouragement from our community and bands along the way) is in the wild, the quiet place, the isolated place. When we win there, we can win anywhere—and the winning takes a lifetime.
Lord of the Wild, we can name the wheres, the places, where we worship, meet with you, and find your voice reminding us of our name. Often, in those same places, the battle rages in our minds, our hearts, and even in our bodies. Keep us focused on you, answering the voice of the enemy with your Word, just as you did in the desert. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Name the wheres that you meet with God. Have there been any recent victories where you felt your calling as a child of God and your purpose was contested, and you saw it through in that place?
For the Awakening,
P. S. COMING UP NEXT WEEK
Starting next Monday, JD Walt is leading our new online course, HOW TO PRAY & FAST FOR LIFE AND AWAKENING. With all that has happened with the Asbury Outpouring these last weeks, this course feels more important than ever.
Let’s join together as we become a people who join with the heart of God for awakening! REGISTER HERE.
Subscribe to get this in your inbox daily and please share this link with friends.
I meet with God here, there, and everywhere. Throughout the day I seek to stay in His presence and obey the inner promptings of the Spirit. I want to let the risen Jesus be my interior decorator and continually rearrange my heart to be like His.
Where the battles inside of us are being won, spiritual warfare is victorious because inner violence is driving out deceptive desires, feelings, and demons! First, we need to let the living Jesus help us defeat our inner enemies and establish His absolute Lordship and reign within us and among us. Then wherever we go we’ll be contagious carriers of His victory and His presence, and we’ll spread and revive His kingdom authority everywhere.
Many Christians have ears to hear the Spirit, but we have been trained to listen to a weekly sermon together instead of hearing and obeying God’s inner promptings as the body of Christ. As Christ-followers we need to frequently gather to hear the Spirit and to act on His inner promptings together. “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Where the King rules, there is His kingdom! Let His reign be demonstrated through our ongoing surrender and obedience everywhere we go.
The mind is the first step of our journey into our wilderness. Do I, or don’t I? Should I, shouldn’t I? I did, but I knew I shouldn’t have. Before we acknowledge Jesus as the Lord, the voice of our sinful nature rules. Oh, we try in our power to resist, but unless we submit to the Lord first (James 4:7-8), our attempts are futile. So then the question is, is Jesus who He claims He is? He is, or He isn’t. I believe, or I don’t.
When we say yes to His Lordship, the wilderness becomes detailed in two ways. The devil’s schemes become more apparent, and the supremacy of Jesus becomes more powerful. And that power lives in us.
But we must learn to beware and be aware for the evil one is crafty (2 Corinthians 11:14). His voice may be disguised as an angel of light. Many Christians are content to study and pray while being complacent about serving. We want specific instructions from God on where, when, and how to do it. We say I’ll pray about it, but what if it’s Satan’s disguised voice telling us to wait? So we wait and wait while the world goes by and the cry of others becomes faint.
Maybe God is waiting on us to serve anywhere, and then He will guide us further. Helping others for Christ allows Him to work through us. And when that happens, the wilderness isn’t nearly as confusing and dark.
Should I or shouldn’t I?
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”