Jesus comes out of the water, the Holy Spirit comes down on him like a dove, he hears his Father say, “This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” I read that as kind of “this is MY son!” You know, kind of like when your kid hits a home run in Little League and you’re standing there with all the other parents proud as proud can be. The thing is, Jesus hadn’t done anything to be proud of; he hadn’t done anything to be loved for. He just was whom he was and that was enough for the Father to love and be proud of. Man, that is stinking awesome.
Most of us would just like to camp out around that moment in life, but evidently the Father’s kindness and support was going to be needed because immediately following this warm and fuzzy moment it says the other part of the small group, the Spirit, leads Jesus out into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 40 days of fasting in a dry land. Imagine. I’ve got two friends who have fasted 40 days and they say it is quite an experience.
As if being hungry, thirsty, and all alone isn’t enough, the devil comes to him and begins hitting on him. He offers him everything – I mean everything. Power, political & religious; food, and an exposing of Jesus as the Son of God to the world in a blazing display.
Jesus stays the course. Immediately following that it says, “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.'”
Right now we’re having some pretty heavy spiritual battles going on. There are some weird happenings, like strange dreams, other stuff, but stuff that seems to be announcing the devil is not a happy camper around the Vineyard at the beach.
Looking at Jesus’ situation, maybe, just maybe, the kingdom is nearer than I think right now. I love the process that follows after this altercation with old batwing. He calls some guys to walk with him, and he starts healing people and preaching the kingdom.
That encourages me. I need to repent of anything and everything that God points out to me, gather with my spiritual family, and start doing the works of the kingdom.
So, if you’re being attacked, do a check. Read the story in your bible. Just maybe the attack is to slow us down, to test us, or to just keep us focused and dependent upon God and to get on down the road, like Jesus did.
Just because there are spooks in the wire doesn’t mean the kingdom can’t come with fire. That may be why old slew foot is so upset – he sees the future and knows he’s not part of it. Will you be?