The dove has come. The voice from heaven has spoken. We are ready.
Let’s begin with a miracle or a teaching, let’s get this plan started.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be temptedby the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him …” (Matthew 4 v 1-3)
It begins with a wilderness, a fast and a battle with temptation.
We see three characters.
The Spirit is the agent that will enable Jesus throughout his ministry. He leads him into the difficult arid and dangerous place of the wilderness.
The devil is the agent who will consistently try to thwart what God is wanting to do through Jesus. He is always ready, especially in the dry place.
Jesus, the Father’s plan, chooses to fast for forty days and forty nights.
In a few sentences we see here the keys to a move of the Spirit.
- He is moving in our lives more than perhaps we recognise. He takes us into the difficult places. He is leading us into the wilderness. He takes us into the circumstance of being alone.
- Your move is crucial. Fast. Go without. It is to forgo normal activity so that you can focus on what God is wanting. Move to make things uncomfortable for yourself, pay a price, ‘he was hungry’. However you choose to fast, do so until it hurts.
- The tempter will move towards you so be ready. However we view these temptations eg money, power and pride, many fall and do not see the move of the Spirit in their life that they longed for. Why is the tempter even there? It is a test. Ultimately it is to strengthen you. You can resist most things when you know it will be worth it. It always is.
Our churches need a new beginning. To move into being the people God has called us to be. What Moses and Israel failed to do within the forty years Jesus stepped in to fulfil within the forty days.
Our churches need Eden again. The presence of God. Jesus would fulfil what the first Adam failed to do. He faced the temptation in the wilderness and towards the end of his life would meet him in the garden for a final battle.
We need a move of the Spirit and it will always and only ever be found in what Christ has done. Following, worshipping and witnessing of Jesus.
May our churches fall in love with Jesus as their first-love; may they speak of Jesus more than anything else; may all their plans and programmes be about Jesus. For we long for a move of the Spirit.