We can find many patterns in scripture to show us how to access God’s glory and grow into all He has for us. We can also find spiritual laws to live by.
An example would be that whatever a man sows is what he will also reap. He who sows to the flesh will reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will reap life. Just as with the law of gravity in the natural – what comes up must come down. The choices we make have spiritual significance.
Filled with the Spirit
In Luke 4, we see a pattern where Jesus is “filled with the Spirit”.
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil.Luke 4:1-2
Jesus is filled with the Spirit in the very beginning – even before He begins His ministry of power where signs, wonders and miracles are worked through His life. Jesus is our ultimate example and shows us that before God can use us in power, we must be “filled with the Holy Spirit”.
The infilling of the Holy Spirit is the beginning point. It is so important that you learn how to be filled with the Spirit. If this is how Jesus functioned then how much more should we learn to art of practicing the Presence of God to be overflowing with His Spirit!
Led By the Spirit
We see that because of the spiritual condition of Jesus, being filled with the Spirit, He was then able to be “led by the Spirit”.
What is involved in being led by the Spirit? First of all it takes “hearing God”. This of course requires being “filled” with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Person of the Godhead Who leads us forth, as the scripture says, “the sons of God are led by the Spirit of God”.
It’s important to understand that Jesus did everything as an example to us – so that we would follow in His footsteps.
As we hear God speaking to us through His Spirit then the next step is that we “obey” what we hear. This is obviously a crucial step. A step that many decide not to take. It is the difference in going backward or moving forward. By default if we don’t obey we are falling backwards.
Again, this is to emphasize that hearing and obeying God are two different things. You can hear and then obey but you can’t obey if you haven’t heard His voice. Jesus tells us that as His sheep we hear His voice and that we also follow Him.
Continuing to look at Jesus in this passage, we see the Spirit lead Jesus into a place that really holds nothing desirable to the flesh – the wilderness. Wouldn’t we rather have Him lead us to the mountain top of beauty and ecstasy. Thankfully God does lead us into wonderful places as well – but He will also include places less desirable to fulfill His will in our lives.
God does not lead us on the path of self-indulgence, but into a greater giving of self for the sake of His Kingdom and glory.
It is in this place of testing Jesus is tempted by the devil. He is tempted in every aspect of the things of this world – the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
The Lusts of the Flesh
And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
The Lust of the Eyes
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
The Pride of Life
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’ and, In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ ”
In this Jesus overcame every temptation. Why? Because He had learned, as a man, how to abide in God and His Word – even to be filled with the Spirit. If He had not beed filled with God’s Spirit He would have never graduated to the test and temptation to overcome.
How is it then, some may ask, that Jesus told us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation?” It is not that we won’t be tempted. When we are tempted that is part of the fallen world we live in.
God uses temptation we face to help us see the condition of our heart. God doesn’t tempt us but will often use the temptation as a test. Why the test? The test is to see if we will “compromise”. Compromise is not acceptable to God. He wants all compromise out of our lives. This is when He can use us in greater ways. This is where the Lord is having us pray, “Lead us not INTO temptation.” We are all signed up for temptation. The keys is that we stand without compromise when tempted.
Promises to Overcomers
To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7)
He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” (Rev. 2:11)
To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” (Rev. 2:17)
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. (Rev. 2:26)
He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Rev. 3:5)
He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.(Rev. 3:12)
He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.(Rev. 21:7)
The Power of the Spirit
We see that in His God-given test Jesus does not compromise but overcame all temptation as an example to us to do the same. Because of His uncompromising heart Jesus comes out of the wilderness in the “power of the Spirit”.
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.Luke 4:14-15
Jesus is given the Spirit without measure as He begins His ministry with signs, wonders and miracles.
For us this is a picture of how God takes us from glory to glory by the Spirit – how we are called to increase in anointing and power. To the measure we yield ourselves to God, to the same measure He will continue to graduate us into greater realms of power and glory as we follow Him.