4 1-2 Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.
I will be looking at a single phrase in the portion of scripture above; as I believe it is of severe relevance to our generation. We live in a popcorn generation. We sway to whichever opinion is popular no matter how corny it may be. From pews to the ports we see a brand of lily-livered Christianity that bears no resemblance to the One called the Lily of the Valley. Christianity as defined by the early church refers to the indwelling of God in mortal jars of clay.
Paul prays an elaborate prayer in his letter to the church at Ephesus. Without mincing words he utters such a speech that to the uninitiated may appear to be brash and blind. Paul, the former apostate and now apostle speaks of the glories of God. He understands the economics of Zion, how that the currency of Heaven is glory and this glory is denominated in Christ. He says “May God grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power”.
This is no ordinary prayer. Paul points us to the fact that God’s love borders on reckless – he is willing to exhaust the vast treasury of heaven in order to strengthen you. There is a man within – the REAL YOU. Like the fictitious adamantium which forms the skeletal structure of Wolverine, there is the inner man of the recreated Spirit which is fortified by the [Holy] Spirit. This inner man is the alloy of God’s intense Love and His immense power. This inner man draws his strength from the indwelling of the Phantom of Pentecost in the innermost and most intimate place – the heart.
In the Temptation saga we behold Jesus almost weakened by the hunger and thirst, wandering seemingly like a madman through the sunbathed corridors of the desert. His heart is strained by the pressures ahead of him – the crowd, the cross. We see him communing with himself, muttering what appears to be incoherent speech; his only audience the angry sand and stones that litter his path for miles. As we watch with wide-eyed wonder there is something that Luke, via the inspiration, points out to us: Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit. It is unmistakable after all no one in his right senses wanders away, of his own accord, from the comfort of civilization into the crucible of chaos.
As he walks through the wilderness in sweet communion, he is oozing the presence. Luke the physician is quick to diagnose the itinerant preacher. He recognizes that Jesus’ unusual appetite for the impossible was due to his being filled with the Spirit. Luke highlights that Jesus is displaying symptoms not of madness but of an extravagant and outrageous indwelling of the Life of God. Are you surprised though? Was it not this same Spirit that hovered above the face of the chaotic chasm in that day of Creation? It was this same Spirit that heralded the emergence of Light. It is no wonder that this period of intimacy in the alone-ness of the wilderness was the launching pad for the ministry of the Messiah.
Paul is aware of the import of this fellowship and speaks to us across the vast expanse of time “May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love”. That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; This is IT. Joseph the bible’s first fashionista with his cloak of many colors was a success because God was him and he KNEW IT.
Remember Shammah? In the 2 Samuel 23 we see him mentioned as one of the greats. Though surrounded by a horrid horde of philistine predators who sought to destroy a field of lentils (beans, ewa agoyin) he dug holes in the ground and fought them off. Do you know what Shammah means? <insert in comments below> (There is a prize if you answer correctly). Understand this that with the backing of God’s presence you will stand for what matters to God no matter how irrelevant it might seem.
In order for you to really come into practical knowledge i.e through an experience for yourselves, of the love of Christ you need to walk in tandem with the Holy Spirit. Hook yourself to the will and wheel of the Spirit and allow Him lead you. It is not a reality you need to beg for as those who are SONS of God are LED of the Spirit. Little wonder that after the proclamation of His son-ship we see Jesus driven by the Spirit into the wild.
This knowledge of the Divine surely surpasses mere head knowledge [without experience]; you cannot ascend the heights of Love with mere mental assent.
This is my prayer for you: that you may be filled [through your entire being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!
IN CHRIST WE WIN – @dami_maverick