What an amazing experience! We took a hike through the Wadi Qelt in the Judaean wilderness. It was a several mile hike on a fairly small, rocky, mountainous path.
We stopped at a bit of a clearing along the way to talk about Jesus’ 40 days of being tempted in the same wilderness that we were currently hiking through. The devil tempted Jesus with what really amounted to trying to get him to live out of his divinity instead of living out of his humanity.
“IF you are God, make these stones turn to bread…”
It could have become a bread market! Jesus easily could have done what the devil had suggested. He was hungry and there were plenty of stones. But throughout his life, including there in the wilderness, Jesus never pulled the “God card”. Everything that he did, he did as a man walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yes, he was fully God, but he was also fully man. He never relied on his “God-ness” (or divinity) while on earth. Instead, he relied on the Holy Spirit.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8, ESV
Jesus emptied himself and relied on the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit is alive in us today!
Holy Spirit dependence is ultimately found and lived out on our knees, spending time alone with the Father like Jesus did.
Obedient living will be the natural result, doing what we see the Father doing like Jesus did.
Studying and knowing the word of God will be a practical way to be directed by God. We need to know and live out the scriptures like Jesus did.
Evidence of this life in the Spirit will be seen in relationships of love and integrity, as we extend the Father’s love to others like Jesus did.
Without Holy Spirit dependence, nothing else really works. None of this is possible without the Spirit of God at work in our lives.
At a second stop on the hike, we took a moment to be silent and just listen to God speak to us, like Jesus did in that same wilderness 2,000 years ago. It was a powerful moment.
For me, I felt like I could hear God simply saying, “Press on.”
A little over a year ago, I went through a bit of a “wilderness experience” of my own. I had been serving as a Youth Pastor and Music Director at a church for nearly a decade when that door was suddenly slammed shut. It was a difficult time of transition for me. I desperately needed to hear a clear calling from God.
That clear calling came as I felt led by the Holy Spirit to focus full-time on the Jeff Polen Music ministry. We spent a couple of months talking with people and sharing our vision, trying to raise support for the ministry, and by the grace of God Jodi and I were both able to focus full-time on being musicianaries with Jeff Polen Music as of January 2017.
It has been an amazing year! We have seen God move through the ministry in amazing ways that we could not have imagined! Today as I sat in the middle of the Judean wilderness (like Jesus did) and spent time listening to the Father, I could hear him saying “Press on” and my heart burned within me.
Yes! That is exactly what I plan to do. Jeff Polen Music is God’s ministry and my prayer is for Him to have His way with it!
We will press on in the power of the Holy Spirit, doing what we see the Father doing, like Jesus did.