This is the ninth blog in the series Welcome To The Wilderness. I am going to list the first eight here because it may have been a while since you read the others, or maybe this is the first one you have come to. If that is the case I encourage you to start at the beginning.
 Embracing The Wilderness [Hosea 2] ~ Hosea [Salvation] and Gomer [Complete] [yet broken]
 Transformed In The Wilderness [SOS 8:5] ~ The Lover and His Beloved
 Prepared In The Wilderness – Part 1 [Galatians 1:15-17] ~ Paul, The Apostle
 Prepared In The Wilderness – Part 2 [Luke 1:57-80] ~ John The Baptist
 The Process Of Elimination [Esther 2:12] ~ Esther
 Jesus, The Sum Total Of All Things [Ephesians 1:10, 23; Matthew 4:1] ~ Jesus
 Jesus, The Lion And The Lamb – Part 1 [Mark 1:12, 13] ~ Jesus
 Jesus, The Lion And The Lamb – Part 2 [Luke 4:1-21] ~ Jesus
We will be looking at Luke’s account of Jesus’ wilderness experience from the time Jesus emerges from the wilderness as the Lion of Judah. Luke gives the most detail of the three accounts. Luke reveals each type of attack, or temptation that the prince of darkness used in his efforts to derail the redemptive plan of God.
Again it is interesting that Luke, like Matthew and Mark, does not record one instance where Jesus calls Himself the Son of God. Yet, there are twenty-seven references where Jesus called Himself the Son of Man.
Jesus went into His wilderness experience to be the recipient of the prince of darknesses assault on His nature, His character, His identity and His call. He was the Lamb of God in the wilderness. After passing every test and rebuffing every assault He emerged from the encounter as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah [praise and worship].
From this moment there was a shift in who the aggressor was. No longer would the prince of darkness be initiating the attacks. Oh no, now the Lion of Judah would be the One prowling to see how He could assail the works of darkness.
Luke says, “And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding districts” [Luke 4:14].
Jesus began His wilderness experience being filled with the Spirit and He emerges from it empowered by the Spirit.
Jesus as the Lion was now the initiator of the attacks. Church, that is our mission. We are an assault team, not a crew on a cruise ship. We are worshiping warriors not spectating pew sitters. We are called to go into all the world and declare the Gospel of God’s Kingdom [His rule of power, His dominion]. We are not to sit back and wait for the enemy to come attack us and just fend him off.
We are to move rapidly, with God’s power and authority and overwhelm him. We have two aspects of our nature, just like Jesus has the nature of a Lamb and a Lion. Paul said this, “As it is written, ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter” [Romans 8:36]. He was quoting Psalm 44:22.
But look at what Paul had to say about the other aspect of our nature: These from the NKJVB ~
Philippians 2:25 ~ “Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need.”
2 Timothy 2:3 ~ You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
2 Timothy 2:4 ~ “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
Philemon 1:2 ~ “to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house.”
This one from the NASB ~
1 Corinthians 9:7 ~ Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?
 Soldiers minister to the needs of the saints
 Soldiers must endure hardship
 Soldiers must keep themselves from being distracted and diverted from the war
 Soldiers must be team leaders who host the people and Presence of God
 Soldiers must expect to enjoy their service and be satisfied from the fruit that is produced
Church, we are in a war for the world and all that is in it. We are in a war for the souls of men and for the restoration of all things that God intended when He began everything in the Garden. I wrote a blog entitled The Restoration Of All Things. I recommend you read it if you have not.
Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah [Revelation 5:5]. He is called the Root of David. How can He be David’s root when He came after David? Because David was a type of what a New Testament worshiper is supposed to be. Jesus, like David modeled worship. Jesus, like David lived a life of devotion to the heart of God. David was like Jesus, except Jesus never sinned and David did.
David was a warrior king. Jesus is a warrior King. Jesus is the King of the jungle. Have you ever heard the expression “its a jungle out there?” That phrase has never been more true. Navigating life is very complicated. “In this world you will have tribulation [difficulty, pressure]. Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” [John 16:33].
Courage is inherit in a lion. Proverbs 28:1 says, “. . . . but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” Peter said the devil “is like a roaring lion.” The enemy is an imposter who attempts to impose his will on people. Worshipers have the true nature of a lion and are not swayed by the feeble attempts of the dark one to divert their attention from the True Lion. Courage is the ability to confront danger. Courage is the fruit of someone assessing the situation and going in regardless of real danger.
The Church is to be a warrior Bride. What is our mission? Storm hell relentlessly is our mission! Like a heat seeking missile we are to assault the works of darkness. You are the light of the world. To God darkness is like light. There is no darkness in Him. He and His light overwhelms and overcomes all darkness. That is our mission as His sons and daughters.
The first Adam handed the keys [authority] of the Garden to the prince of darkness. Instead of taking what was inside the Garden to the outside environment Adam lost focus by looking at what he could not do instead of what he was commissioned to do. This allowed the prince of darkness to gain access to what God was trying to do. Man’s acquiescence invited the serpent into the Garden. The dark one is a liar and a murderer and has been since the beginning. He has been seeking the attention of man ever since he first duped Adam into coming into agreement with him. This is why there is so much dysfunction, disease and disability in the world.
Paul wrote something interesting in 1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we look through a glass darkly. . . .” The glass that is dark does two things: 1] It keeps the superficial from further investigation, 2] It attracts the hungry closer so they can discover what is being obscured. One of the Greek root words for this word “darkly” literally means to praise. Another root word means to look into. We must get the picture. Dark glass is an invitation for worshipers to get so close to that glass that their breath can be seen on it. Worshipers are drawn to that which is obscured and they refuse to be denied in their efforts to discover what, or Who is on the other side of the glass.
Paul goes on to say “then, we will see face to face.” “Then” is when there no longer remains anything that obscures our vision. If there really is a one thousand-year period of perfection, The millenium, we will not have in that season the opportunity to worship God like we do right now. Right now worship costs us everything. In that day it will be easy. Today, worship is a real sacrifice. In that day it will not be a sacrifice. Right now we are being called to come so close to the glass that is dark that our face is imprinted in the very thing that is dark. Worship pierces darkness and allows us to see the One who is waiting on the other side.
God is seeking worshipers who will worship ~ ~ ~ Him [John 4], because He knows everyone worships something but not everyone worships Him. I don’t want to take the time to expound on this truth but if you would like to verify it you can read Romans 1:18-23. People who do not worship God will at least worship themselves, or what they have going on in their lives. When we focus on our stuff more than on God we have just elevated ourselves, what God created, above God who is the Creator.
God is not a self-absorbed egotist that needs our worship to be fulfilled – that would be lucifer. God understands the value worshiping Him has in our transformation. We will become like what we behold.
God is seeking worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and truth, for true worship is Spirit led and empowered, and it is according to the Word of God, which is truth [John 17]. The Spirit of God inside each believer worships 24/7. He never takes His worship garment off. If we need to find out what Biblical worship is study David and Jesus, they both modeled spirit and truth worship.
Worship is intimacy and worship is warfare. Worship is life changing for the worshiper and it is devastating to the realm of darkness.
Jesus reminded the devil of just how far he had fallen [Luke 4:8]. “You [devil shall worship the Lord your God.” Jesus was is essence saying this ~ “You think you are so smart trying to trip me up and cause me to fall. How about I remind you about where you used to be and what you used to do and how about I remind you that you will never ever be able to get back to that place of intimacy and influence with the Father.” That statement and that reminder pierced the devil’s heart.
The second thing Jesus was doing by making that statement was setting the priority for all life and ministry. Our priority should always be worship first, service second. We should minister to the Lord before we ever minister for the Lord. Jesus modeled this lifestyle.
David wrote in Psalm 27:4 that he had one mission. That mission was to dwell continuously in the house of the Lord and to behold His beauty and to meditate on God. The Hebrew word for “behold” means to see what is obscured. It refers to prophetic vision. The Hebrew word for meditate, or enquire means to consider and to reflect. David was stating an obvious reality. My life is incomplete if I am not constantly aware of His Presence.
Worship is commanded in the Bible. The word hallelujah is a command ~ u = you, hallel = praise, and jah = God.
Look at what else David said about worship.
Psalm 103:1 ~ “Bless the Lord all my soul and all that is within me.”
In this Psalm we discover who is doing the commanding. It is the worshiper himself that is commanding his soul, which is made up of his intellect, emotions and will, to worship God. He is saying in essence, “junk, you will worship God.” At the very least he is saying, “junk, you will stand or sit here and watch me worship God. I am going to worship God and you will not stop me.”
Psalm 100:1-5 ~ “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God. It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good, His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.
God is the One doing the commanding in this Psalm. In this Psalm we see how we are to approach Him in worship.
1] Shout ~ Denotes the passion in our worship. Worship that is not demonstrative is below the standard of true worship
2] Joyfully ~ Denotes the enthusiasm that should fill our offerings
3] To the Lord ~ Denotes to object and direction of our worship
4] All the earth ~ Denotes everyone and everything is called to worship God [See Psalm 124]
5] Serve ~ Denotes the attitude of our heart [we must have a servant’s heart]
6] The Lord ~ Denotes our priority must be vertical before it is horizontal
7] With gladness ~ Denotes again our worship/service should be enthusiastic
8] Come ~ Denotes the approachableness of God
9] Before Him ~ Denotes the posture of our worship
10] With joyful singing ~ Denotes our offerings should be filled with joy
11] Know ~ Denotes knowledge based on genuine experiences with God [Speaks of our history with God]
12] The Lord is God ~ Denotes true worship is God centered. It also speaks of His supremacy.
13] It is He who made us ~ Denotes God is the Creator [see Romans 1]
14] Not we ourselves ~ Denotes the necessity of having and keeping perspective [See Romans 1]
15] We are His people, the sheep of His pasture ~ Denotes the perspective of His, and our responsibilities in our relationship
16] Enter His gates ~ Denotes the direction we are going
17] With thanksgiving ~ Denotes keeping gratefulness a priority
18] Enter His courts ~ Denotes going deeper into His realm
19] With praise ~ Denotes the progression of depth in our passion
20] Bless ~ Denotes intimacy
21] His name ~ Denotes gaining understanding of Who He really is. His name depicts all He is, all that He does, and how He does it
22] For ~ Denotes the singular purpose. In the N/T the word for means “for the sole reason”
23] The Lord is good ~ Denotes His nature and character is good. God is good and He is good all the time
24] His lovingkindness is everlasting ~ Denotes there is no end to His love and kindness
25] His faithfulness to all generations ~ Denotes there is no end to His being full of faith. He believes every generation will respectfully respond to Him as the Creator who is altogether loving and kind. This will in turn reveal His willingness to provide everything we will ever need to re-present Him to a needy world.
Let’s take a look at Jesus’s attitude toward the Father. When we see how He acts in public we get a glimpse of His private devotion.
Matthew 11:25 ~ “I thank You Father, Lord of heaven and earth . . . .”
Luke 10:21 ~ “In that hour Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Spirit and said, ‘I thank You Father, Lord of heaven and earth . . . .'” In this verse we see where Jesus worshiped much like David did when he was bringing the Ark into Zion. This is where Michal despised his passion and in doing so revealed her true nature. The unfortunate result was a lifetime of barrenness.
John 11:41, 42 ~ “Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me . . . ‘”
As Jesus’ popularity increased He showed us the magnitude of His value for the wilderness. He was never far from the wilderness experience.
Mark 1:35 ~ “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed.”
Luke 5:1, 12-16 ~ “Now it happened while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the Word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. While He was in one of the cities, behold, there was a man covered with leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ And immediately the leprosy left him. And He ordered him to tell no one, ‘But go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’ But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.
A transition was taking place. The crowds were turning into large crowds. Jesus’s influence was increasing and as a result the demand on His time and energy was increasing. Jesus knew the only way to safely navigate these demands was to increase the amount of time He spent “ALONE” with the Father.
I said to be a worshiper will cost us everything. David understood this principle when he said this, “I will not offer anything to God that costs me nothing” [2 Samuel 24:24].
David, like Jesus understood the necessity to keep the main thing the main thing. What is the main thing? It is ministry to the Lord must always take precedence over ministry for the Lord.
Ministry for the Lord includes but is not limited to our family, our vocation, our church, or our friends. These represent the crowds that may be growing larger. As important as all these are they do not compare to the importance of our ministry to the Lord.
Papa God, people have a PP problem and we need help straightening our lives out. PP stands for perspective and priority.
The way to get and keep things straight is to “fix our eyes on Jesus. He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.”
For HIS Glory!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury