What do you do when following God leads you straight to the devil?

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1 ESV)

What do you do when following God leads you straight to the devil?

Having just been baptized in the Jordan River, Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit to restore God’s kingdom rule on earth “just as it is in heaven.”

But the first place the Spirit of God led Jesus was to the wilderness to confront the devil himself. Not quite the utopian “Eden” so often proclaimed today – “Give your life to God and your problems will disappear!”

Although God has indeed promised us “heaven on earth,” the truth is we will also confront “hell on earth.”

The wilderness, in Scripture, always indicates a demanding journey during which our faith is tried and tested.

The children of Israel wandered for forty years in the wilderness.

David lived in the wilderness being pursued by a mad king Saul.

As “the voice crying in the wilderness,” John was a forerunner for Jesus, but an outcast.

The wilderness is a place of temptation and testing. But it’s also a place of triumph!

God doesn’t want you to ignore the devil, or run from him. He wants to take you right up to the devil’s territory, confront your fears, temptations, and battles. God wants you to defeat the devil!

If you are experiencing the wilderness of life, perhaps you’re not out of the will of God at all! Perhaps that’s right where He wants you to be.

On the other side of the wilderness the children of Israel entered the promised land.

On the other side of the wilderness David became a king after God’s heart.

On the other side of the wilderness John recognized “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

The wilderness is not your place of demise; it’s your place of destiny.

For all of those who are in the wilderness I declare victory and triumph in their day of testing.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

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