10/30/2015 – Brief Thoughts: Led in to Suffering

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days being tempted by the devil.” (Luke 4:1-2)

 “The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job?’” (Job 1:8)

Immediately upon coming up out of the waters of His baptism and hearing the words, “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased,” Jesus was directed—led, propelled, driven and thrust by the Spirit into the darkness and the fire that was to kiln Him for all that would come after. He did not choose this battle any more than He chose His crucifixion. It was chosen for Him. Thousands of years prior to that Job suffered the same seemingly unfair and cruel fate, and neither did He choose it. The battle was brought to Job’s doorstep by God Himself. Satan knew not of Job before the Lord drew a huge red target on Job’s chest, and turned the enemy loose to bring chaos and suffering into his life. In both these cases it wasn’t “the Devil who did it.” Neither was it the folly of the flesh of Jesus or Job that brought about their assaults. It was God who set up, instigated, and presided over the trials of His servants.

Do you want to know if you are in Christ, and He in you? One question you can ask is have you been led out by the Spirit in to deserts that seemed never ending and darkness that seemed impenetrable to test and prune you? Have you been mercilessly attacked by the Devil as you feel alone and helpless? Have you cried out to God, “Why, O Lord? O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is injustice in my hands, if I have rewarded evil to my friend or have plundered him who without cause was my adversary, let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it” (Ps 7:3-5), knowing the fault is not yours? Jesus simply cannot abide in the spirit and soul of a man who has not been fully stripped, fully broken, fully pruned, and fully tested, for there simply is not enough room for Him in such a man. He will settle for nothing less than all of us. The disciple has learned through deep wounds already inflicted his Lord will do whatever it takes to completely prepare him. He bears, though often not gladly, his destiny because he is looking to the glory that will be brought to God and the benefits that will be brought to others through the process. “Nevertheless, not My will be done but Thine.”

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