Our focused verse today is Mark 1:12. After the great high in Jesus’ life and ministry of his baptism, when God inaugurated his ministry and called him his “beloved Son”, the next verse says, “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.” Immediately…there was no hesitation. The Spirit…not the evil one but the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness. The Father wanted his Son alone and, as we’ll see tomorrow, to be tempted by the evil one.
A spiritual truth not often talked about is that quite often after a great spiritual high it’s followed by a great spiritual low. Jesus went from baptism to temptation in a short period of time. What is God trying to do? I think God wants our great spiritual highs not to be led by emotion. Emotions come and go. They follow what we feel. God wants our spiritual highs to be fueled by faith, the reality that God is God and he is doing something wonderful in hour lives. We remember the great highs. They may even produce warm emotions. But we can’t sustain spiritual life on emotions.
When God gives us great spiritual experiences, it’s not for the experience alone. God is preparing an eternal person with an eternal purpose here. It’s not for the faint of heart. He needs soldiers who will do battle with the evil one. Often, this work is best accomplished in the wilderness where we only have God upon whom to depend. The spiritual experience deepens our faith in Christ. The wilderness shaves off self and builds faith.
Don’t be alarmed at the Spirit driving you into the wilderness after a great spiritual moment. God is in control. He is working. He is preparing you for ministry in a special way. Let him do his work.