So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
- Luke 1:80
John the Baptist was in the desert so that he could discern God's voice and receive training for the mission for which he had been chosen. And what a ministry that was! He was given the most important undertaking ever bestowed on any human being. He was born to prepare the way for the long-awaited Savior, the Messiah (Luke 1:76)
How did the Lord train John the Baptist? Who could teach him all he needed to be able to prepare the way for Jesus? No schooling could ever train him to become the greatest prophet who ever lived (Matthew 11:11). Certainly, there was no human being who could prepare John for his great purpose. In the desert, where no material distraction existed—where no opinion of man was offered to John, he was trained by the Lord personally. The Lord Himself directly instructed John through the revelation of the Holy Spirit.
Only six months after the inception of John’s ministry, the entire nation of Israel was undergoing a revival and expecting the coming of Christ. The Lord’s anointing upon John’s life was very apparent. When Jesus was finally revealed as the Messiah and began to teach, the Jews questioned how he could know such things he had never been taught (John 7:15).
John the Baptist grew strong in spirit in the wilderness before his purpose was revealed. He received special knowledge from the Lord that no man could teach him. Jesus also received special knowledge from the Lord that no man could teach Him. The special knowledge or what Jesus referred to as the “mystery” is also available to us as believers (Mark 4:11, Ephesians 3:1-8). The Holy Spirit wishes to reveal to us the depths of the knowledge of Christ, so that we might, through His revelation, be partakers in God’s promises and divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).
The Gospel—the New Covenant Jesus enacted through the sacrifice of His blood—has prepared the only way to God for us. All believers are meant to know Him—from the least to the greatest (Hebrews 8:11). The Holy Spirit has been sent to be our teacher, but we must show up for class and expect to receive (John 14:26).
The Holy Spirit desires to enlighten your understanding so you may know the hope of your calling and know the riches of your inheritance in Christ (Ephesians 1:18). He will even show you things that are coming (John 16:13).
God desires you to grow strong in spirit and His truth. So the Holy Spirit trains you in the righteousness you have received in Christ. He gives you the depths of knowledge of His grace revealed in the Word that the world or your natural mind cannot discern (1 Corinthians 2:14). He does not leave you lacking in a wilderness. He desires you to know everything He is in your life. You cannot live to God's fullest or know His purpose for you without the revelation of what you have received in Jesus Christ. Remove the barriers—the other voices and opinions and love for this world's pleasures. And listen.
—Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
— Romans 16:24-27
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Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Trained by the Holy Spirit
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