Saturday, November 03, 2007

Luke #40 - Wilderness Blessings

Luke #40 – Wilderness Blessings

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1 – King James Version).

I was traveling from my church in Orange County to a meeting in Caswell County. As I was going by Hyco Lake something broke in my transmission and I was stranded by the road side.

The night before my car broke down I read and reread Luke 4. I begged the Lord for a word to share in a devotion. The more I read the more the Scripture the more I understood it, but I could not find a devotional thought for the day. I read that chapter until 1:30 AM and decided it was time to go to bed. I was worried about myself; as I lay awake I prayed Lord, show me why I cannot hear from you! Is there some sin? Is there some hidden pride? Help me! I awakened the next morning and the whole business was weighing heavy on my mind. I was worried about not sending a devotion out to those expecting to receive one. I was worried; What will they think? I carried the kids to the sitter’s house, went to a chiropractic appointment, drove back to the office, made some phone calls, read a chapter in a book, and headed off to the meeting.

As I waited there on the roadside God broke through to me. As I leaned on the hood of my car trying to get a signal on my cell phone, I realized what a beautiful day it was. I was not at the church office or my home office. There was no computer. There were no people. There were no telephones. Whatever schedule I had was shot; I couldn’t go anywhere. There were no children to feed, no grass to mow, no bills to pay, and no household chores to do. There was no television to watch, no books to read, and no errands to run. Everything that I HAD to do could not be done. I had not ONE red cent in my pocket; no water and no food. I stood out there looking at the clouds and I finally heard from God! The Holy Spirit had led me to the wilderness! Every distraction had been removed and I was truly free. That freedom came with a choice though; I could wallow in self pity or I could take advantage of a moment fully free from distraction and fellowship with God.

Our Lord was led into the Wilderness in His lifetime on earth. Of course we know that it was there that Satan tempted Him, but it was there also that Jesus did not succumb to temptation. Jesus escaped the throng at the Jordan and He was alone and free from distraction.

How many times does this happen in our life and we mistake it for a bad break? How many times do we think Why is this happening to me? when all God is trying to do is get alone with us? Often we seem to count these times as the devil being after us or we think that it is bad luck. I believe with all that is in me that the Holy Spirit led me out to that lake, on the side of that road that I may be alone with my Lord.

God often has what we might think to be strange methods. Where we might see “bad things” happening to us, it very well may be that God is stripping the distractions away. Where we might only see that our schedule is ruined it may be God resetting our schedule to get alone with us. Where we may only see difficulty, God sees, and leads us to, a time and place where we may be free to fully worship Him.

The spot where the car malfunctioned was about three miles from the school where my wife teaches. When I did get my phone to work, I called her. She came down to encourage me and all she got for her trouble was a roadside sermon (or two!). I was so happy in Christ Jesus that all I had was praise. The wilderness was good to me and I was overjoyed that He had led me there!

The next time you think that everything is going against you stop and pray; it may simply be God trying to break through and get some undivided attention from you. I found out something on that roadside…all my busyness was interfering with my hearing from God. We got alone in the wilderness and He blessed me sure enough. Luke 4:1 came rushing to my mind on that roadside and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Spirit had led me to that place for that time; thank you Lord!

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