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February 14: Going to the Wilderness

Used with permission by author. Source:

Matthew 4: 1

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil.


Close your eyes and imagine that you have been sent to redeem the world. In Jesus’ time Messiahs (chosen ones) were not rare. In fact, they were a dime a dozen.

There were political messiahs, intellectual leaders, traditionalists, and modernists. There were pacifists and hawks, syncretists and purists. There were some who wanted to withdraw from the world. There were some who wanted to take over the world.

As different as they were, they all seemed to have one thing in common: Messiahs had a short life expectancy. Public execution awaited anyone who upset the status quo. Jesus knew what was likely to happen to him.

So if you had a short time to save your people, what would you do first? How would you use the precious time you had?

Imagine. Close your eyes and imagine.

Jesus started by going to the wilderness. He went there to fast, and pray, and listen.

Native Americans call that a Vision Quest.

In many traditions the first thing a young person must do to become a warrior is to go to the wilderness and listen… to wait for God to speak. No one is ready to be a warrior until they know who they are and what battles they must face as human beings.

What are your battles? Are you fighting the ones God has called you to face?

Too often we try to avoid those struggles altogether. There are too many things to do. We have so little time.

Oh, sure, we make time to pray. We pray very fervently. For example, “O Lord! Please keep that stoplight from turning red until I can get past!” You can’t get much more prayerful than that, can you?

Jesus took time to test himself and discover his strength. He took time for God to reveal his calling. Only then could he face his own battles.

Are you ready to make time to fast and pray? Are you ready to face your battles?

O Lord, let me walk in the wilderness with Christ today.

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