Today we are reading from Mark 1: 12-13:
12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Today we continue the quick pace as we now move immediately, a key word in Mark, towards the temptation. One of the interesting concepts in the temptation account is the “wilderness.” There are a couple of places, big moments in scripture, where we see the wilderness.
First is in the Exodus. When the people sin, they are punished and are forced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. This is a time of testing, where they are forced to depend upon God for every last part of life. It is a challenging time, they emerge from it changed and ready for what is to happen next, the conquest of the promised land.
Today we see Jesus in the wilderness. He is tempted. He faces the devil. He depends upon His Father and he overcomes. He is ready for what is to come next, to lay down His life for the sake of the world. And just an aside, we see Jesus tempted. Temptation is not a sin, it is giving in to the temptation, allowing it to take root in our hearts and lives, that is the sin.
Today, you may be in your wilderness. You may face struggle and temptations. If so, two things. First, hold on tight to the Father. He will not leave nor forsake you. He is with you in the wilderness.
Second, if you are, know you are being prepared for what is next. The wilderness is never wasted time. It is a time when God is at work in you, getting you ready for what is to come.
As hard as the wilderness may be, it is essential to our lives and to our faith. Hold on to God, and to hope, if you are there now. And know that God will bring you through, to the other side, for His great purpose.
If you’d like to get each day’s daily scripture reading sent to your phone along with this reading guide, text @39110 to 81010 to sign up!