Learning our calling at the desert
Reading: Luke 4: 1-13
Additional reading: Romans 10: 8-13
Hymns: 324, 322, 316
Last week, we have looked at the baptism of Jesus:
After his baptism, the Holy Spirit came down on him like a dove.
The Holy Spirit loves Jesus.
And Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit.
As you know, the Father God also said to Jesus the Son:
“I love you.
You are my Son, my loving Son.
I am so well pleased with you.”
But then Jesus went to desert.
Why did Jesus enter the desert?
So today we are going to think about that.
Jesus entered the desert, because the Holy Spirit led Jesus there.
When God loves Jesus, God led him, into the desert.
So we may ask:
“Holy Spirit, why did you take him to the desert?”
The Holy Spirit may say:
“I am taking him to a school.
There Jesus will learn to prepare his ministry.
There Jesus will learn to become the Savior of the world.
Nobody can teach him how to become a savior.
He needs to figure out for himself.”
I wonder whether Jesus enjoyed this or hoped that this desert experience would end very soon.
But anyway, this school lasted forty days providing no food.
But anyway the Holy Spirit led him there.
We see Jesus was willing to go.
Jesus understood that through this experience, he would figure out who he is and what he needs to do.
I am sure that God was continually assuring him, saying:
"I am with you.
I love you.
I am hearing your prayer.
I am hearing your thought.
Keep on thinking and building a firm foundation for your ministry.”
So Jesus relaxed and saved his energy to survive in the desert.
Jesus might have talked to God or to himself.
Jesus might have asked many questions to God and to himself:
“Who am I?
What do I need to know about my ministry?
What does God bless?
What do I really care about?”
No friends, no family members were there.
No church friends were there.
He simply goes deeper into himself.
Jesus was also asked again and again by Satan:
“If you are the Son of God, do this or do that.”
But these questioning rather helped Jesus to figure out what he really is about and how to live for God.
Jesus realized that the way of the Messiah is the way of obedience:
The Messiah is to help people to obey God instead of following worldly passion.
The Messiah is supposed to worship only God.
In the desert, he learned to choose God’s perfect will over any other opinions of any other spirits.
Jesus learned to discern the voice of God.
He learned to understand and discern the wisdom of God.
Then Jesus realized who he is and who he is to become.
I guess that in the desert Jesus was able to think and question for himself:
He listened to his own heart.
He listened to God’s own heart.
He realized more and more for himself.
Jesus realized that he just wanted to obey God’s will.
Jesus realized that he just wanted to do God’s will more than anything else.
So he gave up other things to do what God plans for his ministry.
Jesus knew for sure that God has chosen him as God’s Messiah.
So Jesus started living for God.
He started to help people to find the way of God.
So he went out and started to preach.
He talked about God’s love, and God’s will.
So the ministry of Jesus began.
Now our question may be:
Are we also entering the desert?
Since we are followers of Jesus, we may enter the desert, like Jesus.
The Holy Spirit may lead us into our desert.
Some may not want to go there.
Some may want to go there.
Some may not know how to enjoy.
Some may relax and enjoy.
Some may enter there after experiencing some kinds of defeat or failures in life.
Some may enter there when nothing makes sense anymore and when they feel confused.
Some may enter there because they feel like quitting or giving up.
Either way, when they enter there, they will find what to do with their life.
The Holy Spirit may reveal to us what we need to do with our life.
We may also find answers to our deepest questions that existed within souls.
Jesus is there to help us see what is our heart’s true desire.
Jesus is there to show us about God’s will for our life.
Then we may have a deeper inner confidence about God’s calling in our life.
So we discover our deepest desire that God placed in our heart.
God may have tried to let us know about this for many years.
But it might have not been paid full attention.
So it was hidden in the corner of your heart.
Then in the desert, finally, we learn about our inner life that we didn't know before.
So after this we may say:
“Oh, this is what God wants me to do.
This is what God has been speaking to me.
Now I know what to do for sure in order to make God happy.”
So we discover God’s hope for us.
Usually it is not something new.
God has been saying to you all these years.
But we know now how important that is.
So after these experience, you know who you are.
You know what kind of person you are.
You know what you need to focus on.
You realize what you truly want with all your heart.
You realize what you should think about as you live your life.
There we may hear God says: (Isaiah 43:9-12)
“You are my witness.
You are my servants.
I have chosen you.
Do not fear.
I love you.”
When you have this quiet and humble confidence, you will never ask again whether God has chosen you or not.
You would not doubt God’s calling.
You know that God deeply loves you and chooses you for God.
You know that God cares about you.
Our mind is clear about our goal.
Jesus shows us that God has chosen us for this.
So we may focus on one thing and live accordingly.
This kind of learning happens in a desert.
So if someone experience this desert, they do something for a long time.
They do something for many years, because they know who they are.
But like me, sometimes, someone may forget what they experience in their desert:
When I forgot and then made my choices without thinking about what I have learned there, I usually regretted later.
Meaning, if I forget what I learned there, I didn’t know how to live my life.
So I may waste my life and suffered.
Then Satan may challenge us to worship falsehood that leads to destruction.
If we are deceived, it may take a little while for us to get back to the right path and serve God.
So if you remember, you may save a lot of times.
We know how to live.
We know what to do.
We know what God has asked us to do.
As for me, before I went to my deserts, I have done various things.
I thought I have done many things for God.
But I didn’t know what is important to God.
Then in my deserts, I learn what is the most important for God and for me.
In my deserts, I learn how important the story of Jesus is.
Since then, I didn’t try to do everything.
When I learn that I need to remember my lesson in deserts, and I don’t want to forget again, I put these words “the story of Jesus” wherever I am.
You know I wanted to be reminded.
I don’t want to waste my life again.
Then I was able to do what God asks me to do.
I was able to grow.
I was able to help other people according to God’s will, I think.
So I think in the desert, we may realize what we need to focus on as we live our life.
It is wonderful and good to know about that.
Because then we would not waste our life.
Anyway, are there anyone who feel like living in a desert?
Or do we remember what we learn in our desert experience?
Or have you run away from the desert, thinking that it was a waste of time?
Our life can be complex.
Our inner life can be confusing.
So we may go through a desert experiences.
We lose clutters.
Then we may understand and realize what God is trying to show us.
Then because we have been in the desert, we tend to live a very focused life:
We know what is important.
We know God loves us.
We know God has chosen us for God’s ministry.
So we focus on doing God’s will.
Those who went through their deserts tend to focus on what God asks them to focus on.
They don’t try to do everything.
They choose the important thing that God showed them.
Then they trust that God will take care of the rest.
They know how to live their life.
They remember the important thing that God pointed out to them.
So God can use their life.
God can use them more easily.
God can give them God’s support and God’s power.
God can bless them.
Even when God bless them, they continually serve God.
Other people may lose their focus when God bless them so much.
But since they learned what they need to learn, they would just do what God asked them to do.
They obey what God has showed them.
So they will help so many people for a long time according to God’s plan.
God will produce many heavenly fruits through them.
Then people around them will know that they are God’s partner.
They also experience God more and more.
Jesus, thank you for guiding us and leading us.
Help us to learn what we need to learn so that our life may be meaningful to you.
May we also be faithful to you according to what we learn in the desert.
May we remember and live the more focused life that you desire.
You are our focus.
Help us to focus on you.
We pray this in Jesus name.