Encouragement for your daily walk with God
When I lived in Germany as a missionary, I never tired of hearing the vivid and detailed accounts of American soldiers who fought in WWII. One soldier, in particular, fascinated me because with each story he told, there was a lesson to be learned. The lesson that stuck most in my mind was “never intentionally put yourself in harm’s way.”
That’s sound advice for anyone, military or not. Vorsicht, as they would say in German — caution, watch out. In other words, the highest priority must be given to common sense and self-preservation.
What is striking to me is a record of Jesus described in Mark’s Gospel. He wrote, Immediately the Holy Spirit drove Jesus to go into the wilderness. He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan. Mark 1:12-13a
The first question that comes to my mind is “why would the Holy Spirit put Jesus in harm’s way?” Why would He intentionally expose Jesus to forty days of temptation?
The answer might surprise you. The Spirit sent Jesus into the desert, and Jesus knowingly placed Himself in harm’s way, to defeat Satan and to rescue me. This is how the beloved apostle John stated it, The reason the Son of God came was to destroy the devil’s work. [1 John 3:8b]
[NOTE: the word destroy in 1 John 3:8 is the same word Jesus used in John 11:44 when He told the people who witness the raising of Lazarus to “unwrap” or “loosen” him. When Jesus “destroyed” the works of the devil, He loosened his grip or control.]
For forty days Jesus withstood the attacks, the cunning and deadly assaults, of Satan. And in the end, He secured the victory and freedom over Satan that we so desperately needed.
The lessons I draw from Mark’s account are these: because Jesus placed Himself in harm’s way, I now have the ability to STAND FIRM in my faith [Galatians 5:1], I have the strength to SAY, “NO” to ungodliness [Titus 2:12-13], and I HAVE ASSURANCE that there is way out of my temptations [1 Corinthians 10:13].
Jesus intentionally put Himself in harm’s way. Now I am safe!
Immediately the Holy Spirit drove Jesus to go into the wilderness. He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan. Mark 1:12-13a