At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Mark 1:12-15

The evidence of Jesus’ absolute confidence in the Father’s love is startling. He was not fazed by the horrific experience He has just come through – forty days in an environment so hostile that no human being ever ventured there, at least not for an extended stay.  And, on top of that, a lone human being at the mercy of an angelic spirit who was unseen, elusive, and bent on destroying Him. On His own, He could not have survived. He had to lean hard on the Holy Spirit, His companion and comforter.

According to Luke, Jesus was FILLED with the Spirit prior to His wilderness experience but returned in the POWER of the Spirit. What made the difference? Forty days of leaning hard on God; forty days of moving from human to divine energy; forty days of the kingdom pressing in on His spirit, thinning the veil between flesh and spirit. What was it that so soaked into His being that it spilled out of His mouth when He opened it? “God is here!”

What was the impact of His announcement on the people? “After 400 years of hearing nothing from God, left to battle it out on our own, abandoned, misused, oppressed, is God really here?   Jesus, you must be joking. How can we believe you?” Jesus said, “I’ll show you.” and He did. Suddenly things began to happen that made them sit up and take notice, things God had promised long ago would happen, that would accompany His Messiah’s coming.

“God is here!” What difference would that make to the people around us if we were to announce it to them boldly? What difference would it make to the people in the church? Do we really, really believe that God is here, now? What difference does it make to you and me? Does it allay fear and anxiety and give us courage and confidence to face life head on? Yes! A thousand times, yes! The fact that God is here makes all the difference in the world. We have a freedom and a peace that carries us up above circumstances and steadies us all the time.

Luella Campbell

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