O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.
Jesus spent His first forty days after baptism in the wilderness east of Jerusalem. Far from the distractions of life, He passed through the fires of temptation and learned total dependence upon God.
Moses said to Israel, “Anything made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead—that is, metals that do not burn—must be passed through fire in order to be made ceremonially pure” (Numbers 31:22-23). Nothing is acceptable to God unless it has been passed through the fire. Temptation proves the quality of your “metal.” Though Jesus was severely tempted three times by the devil, He came forth as purest gold.
While Jesus was passing through the temptation, a second dynamic was taking place in His life: He was drawing into close communion with the Father. His soul and His body, though fasting, were satisfied with “more than the richest of foods” (Psalm 63:5) as He learned to cling to God (v. 8) in close communion.
These two lessons are our greatest challenges: “Resist the Devil” and “draw close to God” (James 4:7-8). Are you ready for the lessons of the wilderness?