In the Wilderness

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel. ~ Luke 1:80

This is speaking of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus the Promised Messiah. The Scriptures say that he was in the wilderness before his public appearance to Israel. You know who else was in the wilderness before His public appearance to Israel? Jesus.

Luke 4:1-2 says,

1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, He was hungry.

If you notice, before their public ministry, many of the Old Testament heroes spent time in the wilderness. John the Baptist, Jesus, Moses, and Jacob were in the wilderness taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep, Joseph spent time in the prison, and the list goes on. But in the New Testament, the heroes spent time with Jesus.

Acts 4:13 says,

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Even the great evangelist Paul spent time alone with Jesus before his public ministry. While writing to the Galatians, he described himself as still being largely unknown to the churches in Judea after three years.

But Acts 11:25-26 says,

25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.

So, what am saying? The truth and seriousness of the return of Christ is still looming large right in front of us. We don’t have a whole lot of time left to mess around. We must be about the Father’s business. So, this year, determine to spend some time in the wilderness with Jesus, in prayer, fasting, and studying the Scriptures. It is the only way you will grow and the only way to really get to know the one who died for you and is coming back to get you. You don’t want to be a stranger to Him when He comes back in all of His glory. Be sure to set aside time to be alone with the LORD in this coming New Year.

Heavenly Father, thank You that I can spend time alone with You and that You want to be alone with me. There is no greater privilege than spending time with You, the one who purchased my salvation. Now, please help me to serve You with my full heart and with all of my strength; in Jesus’ mighty name, I pray, amen.

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