As I watched the journey of Jesus. He walked away from all others taking a solitary journey into the wilderness. He was a man led by God the Holy Spirit. I was amazed to see two equal Persons of the Godhead, divine Persons, one leading the other and the Lord submissive to the control of the Spirit. Each One was totally divine and yet willing to submit to the other. I learned that when one knows their place in the plans of God, we are to submit one to another with respect and integrity. Submission to another person doesn’t mean that person is of lesser value or importance. it has to do with the roles we are called to fill. The submission of a wife to her husband does not mean she is less worth as a person. In means she knows she has a different role in the family unit to fill. Submission in the legal system doesn’t mean the judge is a more important person than the law enforcement officer. They have different roles to fill. In assembly life the overseers are not more important that those they lead. They each have varying gifts given by God to fulfill the work God intends for them.
As I observed the Lord Jesus Christ in the wilderness, I noted with questioning concern that He fasted for well over a month there in that isolated and solitary place. The hunger that followed I easily understood. The fasting from food would be the cause of that. But I wondered at the purpose of the fast. He always did those things that pleased the Father so this was the Father’s will for Him. Divine Persons are not isolated or separated from each other for God is One. I concluded that He who “was in all points tempted like as we are,” had to experience human hunger that He might bless those who hunger.
The fellowship that is enhanced between a believer and his or her heavenly Father by the process of fasting is what He had to experience. There are times when I have to fast from sleep, my own affairs, from being with other people and from food in order to experience close fellowship with God. In the physical realm of life there are times when one must fast in order to have medical procedure done or have some test made, needed to find out problems in the body that must be done to bring recovery to health. Other times people fast from certain foods and other activities to complete a task one has chosen or has been given him by another. In a similar way the proper functioning of the soul and spirit will mean that things will not be indulged in so the will of God can be worked out in one’s life. To fast from food for that purpose may be necessary. To fast from an intended purpose may be another. To fast from human contact may also be necessary.
In the account of the Lord’s fasting time, I noticed that the devil had been watching and came with his temptation to seek to bring down the Lord from the perfect holiness of His divine nature to the place of a mortal man. He appealed first to the lust of the flesh. The Lord identified Himself with mankind when He quoted the scripture, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” He did not succumb to the physical needs of the human body to respond to the devil’s test. In every test the devil gave the Lord Jesus, His response was that of an appropriate word from the scripture. As I considered this test of the quality of the nature of the Lord, I was impressed by the power and authority of the word of God. The devil’s appeal to His humanity was silenced in each case by applying the scripture to the situation. The word of God must be hid in my heart “that I might not sin against Thee.” Without any question, I learned that the Holy Spirit can give me the power and authority to resist the devil and not sin, when His word is in me. May I never allow the fasting time when I learn of God, to be lost to me. I also noticed that what was needed by the holy Man, Christ Jesus was supplied from the heavenly storehouse, not from an earthly source. I am more than ever convinced that what I need is a simple and practical word from God through the Bible to respond to each that arises in my life.
It was of interest to notice the journey of Jesus that He moved from Judea and the Jordan Valley to the north. The city of Nazareth was the only place He had to live in order for the scriptures to be fulfilled. The fulfillments of the ancient prophecies are very precise so there can never be a question as to the divine wisdom and purpose behind them. Biblical prophecies are never just circumstantial. They are not just a coincidence. There is a preciseness that cannot be denied as one after another is fulfilled. The light was shining in the darkness and there was no way to ignore it as the Lord Jesus began to call people to repentance. He said, “I came not to call the righteousness but sinners to repentance.” I took note of the fact that Jesus moved out among the people who lived and worked there. He did not isolate Himself from them. He was there where they were fishing and was able to speak to them in words that were relevant to them. It is important to be able to connect with people and meet them where they are and speak in ways they can understand.
I need to always be conscious of where I am and to whom I am speaking. The ways people respond to what I might say is up to them and to God. My part is to be understood and relevant to them and the situation in life in which they are found.
The Lord Jesus did not confine Himself to one place but moved about the whole area. He knew what was needed in each place. Sometimes He would teach the scriptures. Other times He was heralding out the Good News and in other times He was meeting the physical needs of the people. That principle of laboring still holds true. There are some who need to understand what the Word of God says so they can grasp its meaning to them. They are convinced by the word as their faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Other people will stop to listen to a herald and seek to understand what is being sounded out. The ardor of the herald and the sensibleness of his message of warning and guidance many cause them to act on what is being said. Repentance takes place and faith in Christ brings them into the light of salvation.
The interest generated by the Lord’s teaching and preaching indicated that was a “time of visitation” in which God was working in a remarkable way. It was certainly true when One was on fire for God, people came from all over to see Him burn. They gathered from all parts of the nation to Galilee where the Lord was, and divine intervention changed the course of life for many. That same kind of intervention I have seen on occasions but not for some time recently. Can the Lord trust me now with a move of divine grace in some area of His work? Can I in some way help this to come about or am I in some way hindering a time of visitation? Is there some place I should be and I haven’t found my way there yet? Am I to teach? Am I to preach? The key to the whole movement of grace in Galilee was the Lord was there and He was the source of the blessing there. May such be the case where I am called for His name’s sake.