Thursday Morning Commentary

Stone –> Bread –> Stone

What happens when the Holy Spirit leads you into the worst season of your life? How do you respond to the desert you’re in? You can’t pray to get out of it, because you’re praying to the very one who placed you there. It is a notion we often aren’t fond of entertaining, this idea of God leading us into a dry season; but that’s exactly what the Father does to Jesus in Matthew 4.

Jesus walked the earth four thousand years after the first Messianic prophecy, and waited an additional thirty to publicly begin His ministry. In Matthew 3, Jesus publicly teaches in the synagogue as a young boy, but we don’t hear anything about Him again until He is baptized eighteen years later! What was going on in these “dark ages” of Jesus’ life?

After taking a photograph, film is developed in a dark room. It is completely submerged into a dark solution until an image develops. If the film is taken out of the solution and exposed to light prematurely, the image is washed out. Jesus’ character was being developed in the years no one heard from Him and in the wilderness.

God doesn’t tempt us, but He places us in environments where we are tested in order to gut out of us in private what would later ruin the assignment He’s given. He desires to work out our character defects in order to prepare us for the anointing He’s called each of us to. It takes discipline to know when it’s not your time. Unfortunately, we have a generation full of young people with their own image rather than Christ’ image because they have expedited their process in the dark room. God can’t expose us to every situation overnight.

After years of waiting, you would think now that Jesus has received affirmation from the Father, He would move right into His anointing and begin His ministry. But instead, the Holy Spirit leads Him into the desert, where the only way out is to wait and be obedient.

Satan immediately attacks Jesus with what the Father just affirmed.  “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread”. He tries to get Jesus to pervert in private a miracle He could easily do in public. When Satan tempts us, he tries to get us to satisfy a legitimate need in an illegitimate way.

“But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’”. Jesus stands on the Word in response to Satan’s attack. He doesn’t sacrifice the destiny God was calling him to for momentary satisfaction.

What stone is in your life right now that you’re trying to manipulate into bread? Anointing comes from discipline. Be obedient to the season God has called you to. Allow Him to develop you in the dark room you’re in so that you come out with the image of Christ. (written by Toni Parsons, an ELEVATION small group leader)