From Blessing to Testing [or The Wilderness Test]

Matthew 3:13-17, 4:1-11

Jesus comes from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. God descends on Jesus and proclaims his love and pleasure over him. Just following this event, Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness and is tempted by the devil. Jesus goes from the blessing of His Father to the testing from his adversary but is able to overcome in the end.


The Wilderness Test

  • The tension is in the transition
  • Mark 1:9-13 “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Immediately the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.”
  • The Christian life is characterized by both battles and blessings
  • Sometimes the things we feel so sure about in the season of our blessing can be the thing that shakes us in the season of wilderness
  • After Jesus was baptized, a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
  • Before Jesus entered the wilderness or did anything in his ministry, God expressed affirmation of His love for Jesus
  • This truth should be an anchor to our soul: I am loved; I am a child of God; He is pleased with me
  • Sometimes in the middle of the storm, we’re searching for a word that we should’ve been listening for during the blessing
  • We can’t wait until a storm happens to decide what we’re going to do in response to the chaos
  • Don’t make a decision in the testing that you’re going to regret in the blessing
  • The approval of Heaven attracts the attack from Hell; when you make a move for God, the enemy gets nervous
  • Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against power, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 
  • He may not always remove us. But He will always improve us.

  • When facing an attack, remember 3 things
  • You must remember WHOSE you are
  • You must remember WHERE your help comes from
  • You must remember WHAT is at stake


Facilitating Discussion

  1. What word from heaven have you been given to help you navigate the wilderness?
  2. How have your wilderness experiences given you ammunition against the lies of the enemy?