June 16

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil…. Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee… Luke 4:1-2, 14

Jesus received the anointing of the Spirit at Jordan and then spent 40 days being tempted.  It was this wilderness experience that released the power of that anointing.  The person who resists temptation is the one who will prove the full power of the anointing.  Great ministry must pass through severe tests – this pattern can be seen throughout the Bible.  What God has imparted through the baptism with the Holy Spirit will leak out if we have a casual attitude to personal holiness.  The way of power is simple – we must simply say ‘No’ to temptation, on whatever level it is presented to us.  When we say ‘No’ we might be in the midst of dreariness or loneliness – i.e. a real wilderness which seems so far removed from ‘ministry to people in need’.  But really, those lonely moments are critical in our life and ministry.  Those moments are the real crossroads of life.  To say ‘No’ to self, pride and the flesh is to take the road that will lead to the healing of the broken-hearted, the deliverance of captives, the opening of blind eyes.  It is to proclaim a ‘year of grace’, because grace does not merely cover sin, it gives victory over it.  It abounds with power to keep us in our personal walk with God, and overflows in reaching out in love and compassion to those who are in need.  Stand up, and determine to fight each lonely battle.