Powerful In The Spirit
21 September 2017
Reading: Daniel 7-8; Psalm 137; Luke 4
1 Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. 2 For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry… Jesus returned to Galilee powerful in the Spirit. News that he was back spread through the countryside. (Luke 4:1-2, 14 MSG)
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into a time of severe testing and temptation. At the end of forty days of fasting, when he was physically and emotionally weak, tired, and hungry, the Devil hit him with his best shots. The Devil first hit Jesus with a temptation related to his basic, immediate physical need. Then he hit him with the temptation of ultimate power and wealth, then with recognition and fame.
Satan was the initiator of temptation. He used Jesus’ own needs and desires to tempt Jesus away from the Father’s plan. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit before the battle. He was powerful in the Spirit after the battle. Jesus overcame!
Satan still goes after Spirit-filled people to try and turn them aside or bring them down. Satan still plays on the needs and desires of Spirit-filled people to tempt them away from the Father’s plan.
Here are some life-lessons from this story of Jesus’ temptation:
• God’s approval and the Holy Spirit’s leading doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted.
• Temptation will hit you when you’re at your most vulnerable.
• Temptation will focus on your most immediate need, desire, or weakness.
• I need to be aware of my personal areas of weakness, and my current condition, and guard against temptation’s attack in my most vulnerable areas.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not guarantee either power or victory. Developing and maintaining character and integrity and staying faithful to the Father’s purpose in testing and temptation produces power and ultimate victory.
Father, I want to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-powered. Help me not to get over-confident or focus too much on Spirit-filled and Spirit-filling experiences and then get side-lined by falling prey to temptations. I want to finish powerful in the Spirit. Amen.