June 15 I Tuesday
“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days He was tempted by the devil.” —Luke 4:1-2
After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, Jesus was “full of the Spirit” and “led by the Spirit” into the wilderness, where He was without food, in the scorching heat of the desert, and had the devil on His back for forty days. Some of us may wonder why Jesus would be in such a predicament. Yet, we must realize the fullness of the Holy Spirit is not a “passport” to unending bliss, ease or comfort, but a gateway to battle, conflict, hardship, loneliness and suffering. This was true for Jesus and will be equally true for us reading this devotion as well.
To know the power of the Spirit in our lives is a result of a process. Living in the power of the Spirit is not panicking or manipulating our circumstances, but allowing God to have His way with our life. At the end of Jesus’s testing in the wilderness, Luke tells us, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through the whole countryside” (Luke 4:14). Jesus went to the synagogue in Nazareth, probably the one He attended as He grew up. He was invited to speak, so He took the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and began to read. The people listening were impressed and amazed, but then they became troubled by Him and drove Him out of Nazareth.
From there, Jesus went to Capernaum and “[they] were amazed at His teaching, because His words had authority” (Luke 4:32). Then, a man possessed by a demon went to Jesus, and Jesus drove the evil spirit out. We are told, “All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘With authority and power He gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!’ And the news about Him spread throughout the surrounding area” (Luke 4:36-37). As Jesus drew in crowds of astounded spectators, He challenged those who would truly follow Him, saying, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27).
The fullness of the Spirit comes with trust in Jesus’s finished work. However, the road ahead as a follower of Jesus is not a walk in the park. In Jesus’s case, as well as ours, the power of the Spirit in our lives may be a result of a process of stretching and testing. In other words, it does not come easily. The God of the good times is still the God of the bad times. May we allow His Spirit to lead us every moment.
Prayer: Powerful God, through the good times and the bad times, You are God. Although the road ahead is not easy, I trust in Your Spirit’s leading. Thank You, God.