People either make it or they don’t based upon their ability to deal with one thing: transition!
“ Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,  being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2
What is so significant about the timing of this event is what took place just prior in Luke chapter 3. Let’s look there:
“ When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.  And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.’” Luke 3:21-22
Jesus transitioned from being empowered by the Holy Spirit at His baptism – to being perfected by temptation in the wilderness.
We are in a time of great transition in the Church today, where God is beginning to purify our hearts and align our lives for a great end-time outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Many people want to teach you how to win in the workplace! Or how to win in the world. But did you know you can be a winner while in the wilderness?
The truth of the matter is this, we have too many dying in the wilderness, and not enough coming through it with power. Mostly because they didn’t realize they went in with power!
What is the purpose of the wilderness?
Deuteronomy 8:2 says, “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
We need a Biblical perspective about wilderness experiences. Most of the teaching we hear in the body of Christ shows us how to avoid the wilderness. My question is, why avoid something that was “Spirit led” in Jesus’ life. Why avoid something that God said in Deuteronomy chapter eight He led on purpose. Certainly, the wilderness is not wonderland! It’s not the promise land – but it CAN BE the proving (and Improving) land!
God proves His people by the wilderness. People will come to you especially in ministry and say, “I will be with you through thick and thin.” Usually when things thicken up, they thin out and that’s when you begin to see who they really are.
Notice – it was the Holy Spirit who empowered Jesus in the water – and it was the Holy Spirit who led Him to the wilderness of temptation. God did not tempt Jesus – Satan did – but the Spirit of God led Him to the wilderness for Him to be proved.
This is why we need a perspective of change, because many of us focus on the temptation rather than God is giving you an opportunity to pass a test to get to the next level.
I call this wilderness promotion! Everyone can quote scripture, go to church, and pay tithes when everything is going well. But it’s when you’re in the wilderness of temptation, hungry, thirsty, and no sign of God’s presence and the Word of God still comes forth from your mouth, then God can trust you with your new level of power.
Luke 4:13-14 “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time. 14Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.”
You need to thank God while in the wilderness. You would have never known the Word of God was really working until you got into a situation that caused the Word to come alive in you!
Transitions of life:
Childhood into Teenage Years
Teen years into Adulthood
From Mid-life into Senior Adulthood
Water represents life. Wilderness is seen as the place of drought and dryness – it’s polar opposite. The thing is – look at what Jesus did while He was in the wilderness – while He was being tempted! He quoted the Word of God to the enemy! He didn’t just lie down and take a beating! He didn’t fall to the temptations that were presented to Him! He stood up to the devil and stood strong!
Ephesians chapter 6 tells us to put on the whole armor of God! And then, having done everything we know to do – to STAND!
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might…and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10, 17
Sometimes – the only thing we have left to do is to take a stand! Sometimes we won’t have any more words to pray! Sometimes we won’t have any more things to do – and all we can do is STAND in His power & might!
Repeat this after me: “Don’t just do something…stand there!” No enemy is too large that you can’t defeat and stand on, in Jesus’ name!
Some people will find themselves wallowing around in their misery. They will take defeat. They find themselves giving up while in the desert of life! And they start just complaining about everything, to everyone!
But you can’t do that – you have to be like Him – He as empowered by the Holy Spirit BEFORE He was led into the wilderness of decision! God will never lead you where He hasn’t empowered you to go first!!
Whining and complaining will only bring defeat!! You MUST TAKE A STAND AGAINST THE ENEMY when tempted to quit! Every person who is successful in something – achieved their success by taking a risk of some kind!
And sometimes that risk you have to take – in the wilderness experience – is to just take a stand against your enemy and not allow Him to lie to you! The truth is – you will never change that which you tolerate! NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT YOU PERMIT!
Decide in your spirit that you will not quit and you will not give up but you WILL find your way OUT of that wilderness, in Jesus’ name! You’ve already been empowered by the Holy Spirit to endure it – which means you’re empowered to conquer & exit it as well!
Recognize the purpose of the transition! Figure out what you are supposed to be learning while in that transition – and learn it quickly so you can move on in Him!