“The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan” (Mark 1:12-13a ESV).
Waves of temptations often follow deeply spiritual moments and fall upon those who launch great works. Jesus had just been baptized and would now take up his ministry. “Immediately,” Mark says, Jesus was tempted.
This moment was his trial by fire. He would pass the test, and many others besides.
It was a trial arranged by the Spirit. Though the Spirit did not tempt him, since God tempts no man, he did put him in position, in order that he might face it early on.
Satan tempted him for 40 days. Severely. Intensely. And Jesus turned him aside every time.
At times like the beginning of a new year, we renew our efforts for God.
And Satan renews his efforts against us.
Be assured that every time we plan for good, the devil will try to trip us up.
But as Jesus was served by the angels, we may be sure that God will strengthen us in many ways, through the Word, through our brothers and sisters in Christ, through the prayers of many.
If our Master can beat the waves of temptation, as his followers, we can, too.
Temptations fall upon those who launch great works.