Humility in the Desert
Jesus is the forerunner for all believers—the Father led him into the desert to test and try him. When Jesus was baptized, the Spirit of God descended “like a dove” on him. A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
In the very next verse, we read: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” At the baptism, the Father essentially tells Jesus: “I am so proud of you!” Though Jesus had not yet done any public ministry, the Father affirms how pleased he is with his son. The very next thing the Father does is to take Jesus to the desert to test him! This is what our Father does with all of us. He refines our faith and character through trials and temptations. He teaches us to surrender our power.
Jesus’ desert experience is a model for us. The context is this: God loves you and is inviting you to go deeper with him. When he takes you to the desert, it doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong! He is testing your character. In the desert, who we are is revealed. He refines us. We go deeper in trusting him. We humble ourselves to learn whatever it is he’s trying to teach us. He gives us grace to endure difficulty and become more like him.
Why does he humble us? So we can know him better, rely on him more, and make less mistakes in the future. The journey to the promised land always goes through the desert. God purposely humbles us to teach us his ways. Every person who sincerely follows Jesus should get ready to embrace humbling experiences. It’s part of God’s game plan.