Morning Devotional, monday, 10 June 2024

Morning Devotional, monday, 10 June 2024

Devotionals on Matthew 4:1-11

Day 1: The Leading of the Spirit

Text: Matthew 4:1-2

Devotional: “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'” (Mark 1:9-11). This account directly precedes Jesus’ temptation, setting the stage for what follows in Matthew 4:1-2: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.”

Jesus’ temptation did not occur randomly or by chance. It was the Spirit who led Him into the wilderness. This divine orchestration emphasizes that the trials and tests we face are often part of God’s sovereign plan for our growth and sanctification. The Spirit’s leading shows that God is in control and that He uses even difficult situations to accomplish His purposes in our lives.

Jesus’ forty-day fast parallels Moses’ and Elijah’s fasts in the Old Testament (Exodus 34:28; 1 Kings 19:8). This period of fasting signifies a time of preparation, dependence on God, and spiritual strengthening. Fasting, a spiritual discipline, draws us closer to God and away from the distractions of the world. It is a reminder that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

The wilderness is often a place of testing and revelation in Scripture. Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years, and during that time, their faith and obedience were tested. Similarly, Jesus’ time in the wilderness was a period of testing that revealed His obedience and faithfulness as the Son of God. It was a time of proving His heart and reliance on the Father.

As we begin this series of devotionals, let us reflect on the significance of being led by the Spirit into seasons of testing. Our trials are not without purpose. They are opportunities for us to grow in faith, depend more deeply on God, and be conformed to the image of Christ. When we face wilderness experiences, we can take comfort in knowing that the Spirit is with us, guiding us, and that God has a purpose in our trials.

Reflection Questions:

  1. How have you experienced the leading of the Spirit in your life, especially during times of trial or testing?
  2. What spiritual disciplines, like fasting or prayer, have helped you draw closer to God and rely on His strength?
  3. How can you see God’s purpose in the trials you are currently facing?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of Jesus, who was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and remained faithful during His testing. Help us to recognize Your sovereign hand in our trials and to embrace them as opportunities to grow in faith and dependence on You. Guide us by Your Spirit, strengthen us through Your Word, and draw us closer to You in every circumstance. Amen.

Application: As you go through your day, consider setting aside time for a spiritual discipline such as prayer or fasting. Reflect on how these practices can help you draw closer to God and strengthen your faith. Trust that whatever trials you may face, the Spirit is with you, guiding and sustaining you. Share with a friend or family member how God has been faithful to you during times of testing, and encourage them with the truth that God uses our trials for His purposes and our good.