This morning I was reading through Luke 4 where Jesus is in the desert and is tested by the devil. I’ve preached on this passage before and have read it or heard it countless times, but the first line flew off the page.
“Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil” (Luke 4:1).
So Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit is led to a place where he will be tested. I love the phrase forty wilderness days and nights. That is what testing will feel like. It will not be pleasant, comfortable, or a place you will want to return to.
Since we know how the story ends, I wonder if the story ends differently if Jesus does not handle this testing the way he does.
In verse 14 he launches out his ministry and it says that he returned to his hometown powerfully in the Spirit. After going through testing and coming out the other side, there is this feeling that you can take on anything or anyone and do anything.
This is the sense we have at Revolution. Last year at this time, we were in the midst of severe testing. This time last year, we lost half of our launch team. It was by far, the hardest season of my life. God was refining us, proofing us, showing us whether or not we really believed the vision he had given us, seeing whether or not we would stick with it. He was sharpening me harder than I have had ever been sharpened. Asking me if I was really called to this, asking me if I was leading correctly. In the midst of that, we did some things right and some things wrong but we stuck with it.
For us, it is this sense that not only can we do anything God calls us to because of what He has brought us through, but this feeling that God is not done with Revolution here in Tucson or the world. There were countless times (and every church plant can say this) before we launched that we should have been shut down. The journey was tough, painful, friends were lost, tears were shed, but on the other side of that, because God saw fit for us to stay afloat and now to be thriving and fulfilling his vision here in Tucson, we know, He is not done with us.