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Faithful utterances

Jesus understood the assignment

by Froswa Booker-Drew
Froswa’ Booker-Drew

I was honored to be a part of a global conversation with the internationally renowned author, Laurie Beth Jones, for her 70th birthday celebration. Laurie Beth Jones has authored several best-selling books, including Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership; The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life;and Jesus in Blue Jeans: A Practical Guide to Everyday Spirituality. Jones has had such an impact in my life because of her first book, Jesus CEO, that I read decades ago early in my leadership journey. She taught me so much about the role of Jesus as the ultimate example of leadership.

I became so intrigued by her work that I read many of her books and shared them with friends because of the wisdom, knowledge, and unique perspective in each one. Jones referenced that Jesus developed night vision during his 40 days and nights of fasting in the wilderness and that has not only resonated but stuck with me. When we think of Jesus in the wilderness, we don’t think about his total experience except his conversation with Satan, known as the temptation of Christ. Three times, the enemy tempted Jesus with the physical (fulfilling the flesh), the emotional temptation of doubting God’s ability to protect and provide, and an offer of control and power. Yet, I don’t think we really dig deep into the context of the 40 days beyond this experience.

So why was Jesus in the wilderness? Upon the baptism of Christ in Matthew 3:13, Jesus “…was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry,” Matthew 4:1-2. Jesus was led into the wilderness after public elevation to a private exploration. I find that so many great individuals who have been anointed by God are often led into periods of private time to not only cast off those things that may hinder their next phase, but it is an opportunity to grow one’s faith. We often see these periods as some form of punishment or torture and without revelation, we can see these as times of God leaving us instead of God leading us to our next phase of ‘greater.’

Scripture doesn’t mention what Jesus did at night in the wilderness but like Laurie Beth’s comment, I would not be surprised if Christ’s ability to see in the dark was strengthened. It’s obvious that his ability to deal with darkness was sharpened after the encounter with the enemy. Is it possible that when we enter our seasons of isolation led by the Holy Spirit could also be training grounds to deal with those things that could later trip us up as we move to higher levels? In order to fight, Jesus understood the assignment. He was fully aware of the enemy’s tactics but more importantly, Christ understood the weapon that He had access to. 

Christ used the word: “Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only,’” Matthew 4: 10. For many of us, when faced with temptations, we rely on our strength instead of knowing where our strength truly lies. “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to tread on the heights,” Habakkuk 3:19. Without this knowledge, Jesus could not have defeated the enemy and would have not gone to the cross. The enemy knew that this ‘distraction’ could have destroyed his destiny. In Matthew 4:17, Jesus starts to preach.

Several lessons come to mind: 

1) Your ‘next’ is right around the corner. What could be a potential distraction that can disrupt your destiny? 

2) How can you develop your tools and weapons like your ‘night vision’ in order to deal with those things that are not always so obvious in the light but are destructive as well because we can’t see them when they approach? 

3) Jesus understood the assignment. How can you seek God for understanding yours?

(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the vice president of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)

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