Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 21, 2015
The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. Mark 1:12
Guest Writer: Meet my son-in-law Tripp Prince. We are blessed to have him write our Lent devotionals for seven consecutive Saturdays. Today’s is the first. Thank the Lord for you, Tripp!
We live remarkably busy lives. I often hear comments like “I’d love to do that, I just don’t have enough time,” or, “that’s on my list of things to do someday, I just can’t seem to fit it in right now.” These comments remind us that full and active schedules do not necessarily lead to fulfilling, meaningful, or intentional lives. What if meaningful living is instead found in a simplified life that focuses on nurturing and developing the gifts God has given you?
For us to live the Christian life to the fullest, we must intentionally and actively listen to God and his purposes for our lives.
When we pray, do we take time to listen for God’s voice or to simply be still in his presence? If prayer is a conversation with God, do we allow him to speak or are we doing all of the talking? Might God have something he wants to say to us but we’re simply too busy to notice?
In Mark 1, Jesus challenges us afresh to simplify our lives and follow him into the wilderness. Jesus certainly had a God-given mission to fulfill! We learn in verse 11 that Jesus is the Father’s “beloved Son.” Likewise, we learn that through this beloved Son, “the kingdom of God is at hand” (v. 15). Yet sandwiched between these announcements of Jesus’ identity and his mission we find this story of Jesus being driven into the wilderness.
“And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him” (Mark 1:13).
When we follow Jesus into the wilderness, we should expect to encounter opposition. The last thing Satan wants is for us to abandon our business and replace it with a laser-like focus on the mission of Jesus and his Kingdom. Wilderness seasons are never about the absence of God but are seasons in which God is present, actively equipping us to resist evil and live fully for Him. If you feel like you are in a wilderness season, take heart and realize it is God helping focus and prepare you for life in his kingdom!
When we look at the life of Jesus, his seasons of public ministry are always preceded by intentional times of solitude and preparation.
Have you served the Lord for years or even decades and are feeling burnt out and ready to quit? Follow Jesus into the wilderness and be refreshed. Do you sense a ministry call on your life from the Lord, but aren’t sure how to begin? Follow Jesus into the wilderness and learn to hear his voice and follow his lead. Are you just beginning to follow the Lord and don’t know where he will lead? Follow Jesus into the wilderness and experience his goodness, love, and mercy.
Don’t be afraid to encounter the Lord in the wilderness. Trust that he will meet you there and that you will return refreshed and empowered to serve him boldly!
Prayer: Father, help us learn to hear your voice in prayer, find refreshment in your presence, and empowerment by the Spirit to live faithfully for you.
Related Readings: Matthew 4:1; Matthew 26:36; Luke 11:1; Romans 12:12; Philippians 4:6
Post/Tweet this today: For us to live the Christian life to the fullest, we must intentionally and actively listen to God and His purposes for our lives. #wilderness #wisdomhunter
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