Today we look at Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness and talk again through what it looks like to fast through Lent.
00:09 Welcome to the meditation and worship series with Westside church. Over the next few weeks, we will be meditating on scripture and diving into some practices. As we walk through the season of lent. Our hope is that over the course of this Lenten season, this time of meditation and worship can be a breath of fresh air. As we journey towards Easter together. Let us begin by pausing for a moment and focusing our attention to Jesus. May we be expectant of the movement of the holy spirit in our time together, if you are in a place to do so close your eyes, hold your hands out in front of you in a posture of surrender, take a deep breath in And out in one more in and out,
01:10 It has been said that the 40 days of lent are to mirror Jesus 40 days in the wilderness. This week, we are taking a closer look at Jesus' time in the wilderness and what we can learn as we step into these 40 days of emptying ourselves in preparation for the celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter, Matthew chapter four verses one through 11, then Jesus was led by the spirit, into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil for 40 days and 40 nights, he fasted and became very hungry. During that time, the devil came and said to him, if you are the son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread, but Jesus told him no. The scripture say people do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God, then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem to the highest point of the temple and said, if you are the son of God, jump off for the scripture, say he will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands. So you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. Jesus responded the scriptures also say, you must not test the Lord. Your God. Next. The devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. I will give it all to you. He said, if you will kneel down and worship me, get out of here, Satan, Jesus told him for the scripture, say, you must worship the Lord, your God and serve him alone.
03:02 Then the devil went away and the angels came and took care of Jesus.
03:10 We have all found ourselves in a wilderness season and we will all find ourselves in one. Again, it is a time when we feel a sense of loss or of not being sure of what's ahead. It's a time when we've come to the very end of ourselves in the very first, first of this passage, it says then Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness. It begs the question. Does the spirit of God lead us into wilderness seasons? This text would confidently answer. Yes, sometimes he does. Frederick Dale Bruner writes the spirit is free to lead us. Not only into good things, but into confrontations, with bad things as well.
04:08 Jesus' time in the wilderness sets up. His launch into ministry is where he goes before any miracles are done or any teaching is done to the masses. And while he was there, he was confronted with the ultimate bad, the enemy in a lot of the same ways, the spirit will lead us into wilderness seasons. When we need to confront some things in our own lives, the wilderness has a tendency to MTS in a way that few other seasons can. It gets us to the end of ourselves and to the choice to fully lean on the grace of God.
04:54 How have you felt so far during lent in these first few days? How is fasting going? Have there been any moments of inconvenience or feeling too hard and wanting to give in? Don't be discouraged. If so it's a practice of giving up something to fill us with something else, remind yourself. It is a practice. We rid ourselves of the things that have a strong hold on us and ask Jesus to fill the empty for him to take up more space in our lives. Take it day by day. And if you haven't started fasting yet, you can start today or at any time, keep making space for the spirit to fill more and more of you. Jesus, we love you and thank you for who you are. Thank you spirit for leading us into the places where we can't help, but confront the things that we allow a hold over us. Give us the courage to keep laying those things down. As we continue to make room for you and putting Jesus back on the throne of our lives. Amen.