A MESSAGE BY ROBERT MADU
THE WATER & THE WILDERNESS
What happens in the water is directly connected to what happens in the wilderness.
In Matthew 3, Jesus is enjoying fellowship with his father (Matthew 3:13-16, NKJV); in the very next chapter, we see the whiplash of moving from the water to the wilderness, where Jesus faces harsh temptation (Matthew 4:1-11, NKJV).
One moment he’s in a baptism, the next moment he’s in a battle. From comfort to conflict, from the voice of heaven to the voice of hell. On Sunday you hear the word, and then Monday comes, and the Enemy is trying to steal the same Word from you. The tension of life is in the transition you make from the water to the wilderness.
Mark 1:9-13, NKJV tells us that “Immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness.”
When Jesus is baptized, the heavens opened up. For the first and only time in scripture, we see all three God-heads show up at the exact same time. The Father declared the truth over the Son that every human heart longs to know: You are loved, You are a child of God, and God is pleased with you.
I AM LOVED. I AM A CHILD OF GOD, AND HE IS PLEASED WITH ME.
What if you filtered everything in your life through that truth? That will cause a revival--if we just understand that truth.
Water is where you find out who you are. When Jesus was baptized, it was the beginning of his ministry. Water is where your identity is confirmed. Before he had done any miracles, teaching or healing, God declared his love and approval of him. Heaven’s approval is not performance based.
But when you have the approval of God, you can expect to hear the Enemy’s voice. The life of Jesus is proof positive that the approval of Heaven does not absolve us from Hell’s attacks. It is the smile of Heaven that attracts the scowl of Hell.
God will always take you from the water to the wilderness. The same spirit that led him to the water is the one who led him to the wilderness.
Scripture tells us that Satan was waiting for Jesus and watching him in the wilderness as he fasted for 40 days. The Enemy wants to destroy everything God is doing in your life. He waits, and he watches. The snake is sizing you up. It may not be eating now, but it is seeing how big it needs to get to swallow you whole. The Enemy is not playing games; he wants to destroy you!
IT IS THE SMILE OF HEAVEN THAT ATTRACTS THE SCOWL OF HELL.
4 Things to Know to Win the War on Your Wilderness:
Know where you are.
Jesus is at the beginning of his ministry when he is tempted. Right at the beginning, you will face an attack. There are seasons in your life where the attack is more intense and when you are more vulnerable. Are you right on the edge of a break-through? That’s when the Enemy will come at you the strongest. Not all wildernesses are created equal; there are different temptations in different seasons.
If you don’t know where you are, you won’t know your pathway to victory. Jesus was…
Hungry, Isolated, & Tired: that is when the Enemy likes to HIT you.
2. The Word is your weapon.
To every attack Satan launched, Jesus replied, “it is WRITTEN…” If Jesus used it, you know you have to. In the water, in his baptism, the Word of God was over him; in the wilderness, the Word came out of him.
You’ve got to spend time getting his Word in you. Tackle temptation with truth. The only truth that will set you free is the truth you KNOW.
3. What is at stake?
Jesus made decisions with our destiny in mind -- all along his journey - in the water and in the wilderness. Jesus did not come to earth just to die the death we should have died; he came to live the life we’re supposed to live--to let us know that there is hope for us to rise again in new life! He did not turn stones into bread because then he would have been no better than Adam and Eve. The decisions you make today will determine the stories you will tell tomorrow.
4. Know where your help comes from.
Angels came and ministered to Jesus as soon as Satan left. Right after the attack, the angels will come. God will always send help, comfort, healing and new hope at the end of hard times.