Promotion Comes In The Wilderness - Mark Casto
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…” Luke 4:1
You need to thank God for the wilderness. You would have never known the word was really working until you got into a situation that caused the word to come alive in you.
I was recently in Tampa, FL to celebrate the opening of a brand new facility for a pastor friend of mine. We had a wonderful time celebrating what God had done and was about to do in that great ministry. That night, Bishop Bill Lee was there to share the word of God. His topic was “From the Water to the Wilderness”. It was a very thought provoking sermon about God making us great through transition and how people either make it or they don’t based upon their ability to deal with the transition
It was a very powerful word that was relevant to where I believe the body of Christ is today. We are in a time of great transition where God is beginning to purify our hearts and align our lives for a great end-time outpouring of His Holy Spirit. I just want to take some of my notes from that message and deposit it into your Spirit. The truth of the matter is this, we have too many dying in the wilderness, and not enough coming through it 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.
God Uses The Wilderness To Prove Us.
God proves His people by the wilderness. I have found out quickly that you never really know someone that well until you get into the heat of a battle with him or her. 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.
I am reminded of Luke 8:13, which is one of the verses in the Parable of the Sower. “But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear (the word), receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.” Some fall away in the temptation, and that is simply because they have no root in them.
Those who have no root are people who hear the Word yet they do not bring application into their personal life. You can even have a prophetic word on your life, but if the Word of God is not in you, the temptation will overtake you.
This is how God proved Jesus in wilderness by allowing Satan to test Him while He was hot, thirsty, and hungry. This is why we need a perspective 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 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 for the wilderness. You would have never known the word was really working until you got into a situation that caused the word to come alive in you. Your like a tea bag, you’ll never know what’s in the bag until you throw some hot water on it! So next time you get in a wilderness moment, stay committed because in the moment God’s word will prove you, and on the other side is a promotion of power for your purpose!