Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted . . . [Matthew 4:1a]
He went willingly into the wilderness. Me? Not so much, more like kicking and screaming. It’s not like I haven’t been there before. I have stumbled through a number of dry seasons and harsh conditions. I have walked blindly and without water, but not because I chose to do so. The supplies got left behind.
Jesus fasted as a norm to the moment before him. He just knew that this challenge would require all of himself. If He could not survive this, then the rest of the mission would fail. 40 days and 40 nights and an evil companion dropping in and out, taunting along the way, was only a small portion of what He would face in the end.
This would not be a wilderness that would kill him. That much He knew. But the his test results could put a major crimp in the plan, in the method, in the progress. This was phase one.
I always mess this up. I look at the wilderness and almost always cry “Uncle.” I project into the wilderness more than is there. It’s like being hungry before I’ve started to fast. It’s rolling over after the alarm sounds because I’m just “too tired” to face the morning. It’s letting my memories of former excursions into the tough times set the tone.
So I know that. Right now. I see it, I know it. So, let’s do it differently this time.
I’m going in.