The day to day distractions or the earth shattering illness, the lost career or the loss of a beloved wife or friend, their hearts and minds away from us.
Obedience is a loving, trusting response to God. God doesn’t desire for us to just conform to some rigid list of moral standards. He desires for us to walk with Him in love and trust. His ways are a compass that guides us into loving response to the God who loves us. So, in what way did Jesus learn obedience? While He was perfect and continually in fellowship with the Father and the Spirit, an obedient response in the context of His humanity was something that had to be learned, or experienced. In the wilderness. Jesus’ responsiveness to God the Father was tested and it is no coincidence that in each of the three temptations He responded with Scripture.
Hebrews 4:15 tells us we have a great high priest who has been “tempted just as we are” … tempted to take matters into His own hands, tempted to escape the wilderness, tempted to define His life outside relationship with the Father. Make no mistake, for Jesus the 40 days of wilderness were a time of vulnerability and danger. Mark 1:13 notes that Jesus “was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to Him.” He was fasting during this time as well which would have had its own sense of vulnerability.
When we are in a wilderness season, God’s heart is that we would “learn obedience” as well, that we would experience a deep sense of trusting responsiveness to Him. Our responsiveness is tested significantly when we are left without our usual resources for making life work. Whether a health crisis, a relational crisis, or perhaps a financial crisis, one of the temptations is to redouble our efforts … to go to those old ways of managing life once again, trying harder.
The reality is that all of our efforts don’t solve the problems…
Zephaniah 3:17) The one who is leading us is the One who is always present … always loving … always speaking to us.