1/16 Mark 1:12

12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

We begin again going through the life of Jesus, this time in the Gospel of Mark. When Jesus began His ministry, He first went to John the Baptist to be baptized. John was preparing the way for the Messiah. When John saw Jesus coming, John declared Jesus to be the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. After baptizing Jesus, John saw the Spirit of God descend on Jesus and heard a voice from heaven that declared Jesus to be the beloved Son of God.

Our verse for today tells us what happened next. The Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness. Jesus fasted and prayed for forty days. That time of communion with God was the foundation of Jesus' ministry. The Spirit drove Him to a time of solitude to clarify His mission and hone His ability to listen to His Father. We would do well to allow the Spirit to drive us to a time of solitude before beginning a new ministry or direction.

Then the devil came and tempted Him. This was also necessary and allowed by God. A new direction in ministry will often be challenged before it begins. It steels us for the task. It makes us certain of its importance. It prepares us for future trials. While Satan tempted Jesus with shortcuts to temporal success, Jesus listened to the Father and spoke His Word, which is the mighty sword of the Spirit.

Consider: God allows you to face temptations to strengthen your resolve. They exercise your ability to stand on the Word of God.