“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.” Matthew 4:1-2 NLT
“The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.” Mark 1:12-13
“He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time ad became very hungry.” Luke 4:1-2
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet He did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15 NIV
I have been absent awhile. My life has taken a detour. One of the last posts I wrote I typed in “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit…” I will now explain my absence and my detour I have taken. The moment I typed the words “led by the Spirit,” I truly felt the Lord leading me down a path of forty. I know makes no sense does it? The number 40 has taken on important significance to me. As I have learned the number forty in the bible represents a time of trial, or discipline, or testing. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. According to Strong’s bible dictionary the greek word for tempted is “pierazoo.” The word means “to try” or “to make proof of.” For the most part in scripture the word takes on a negative connotation, and it means to entice, solicit, or provoke to sin. So as I read these words, Jesus was compelled by the Spirit “to try or make proof of His faith.” These forty days in the wilderness sunk His roots of faith deep into His Father.
That is what I have been going through lately. A time of sinking my roots deep into my Father’s great love for me. That is what I think of when I think of the number forty. To me forty days, forty years, forty minutes, all have taken on the significance of trying my faith, making proof of my faith. I just now realized it but when I do cardio exercise, I go forty minutes. I guess I am just a forty type of girl.
During the days of December and after, I wrote some articles on the “First Christmas People.” I took forty days to look at each one. That is very meaningful to me. I will tell you why. A year ago this Christmas I was struggling with the season. My dad was very sick and I remember asking God, “Please let him survive Christmas season.” The Lord granted my request. Dad died January 19,2015. It was still hard watching him as his body began failing. I found I was often melancholy which is not like me. I love the Christmas season. I sat down and got honest with the Lord. I asked Him to restore my joy. He led me to study and write about those “First Christmas People.” I published many of those articles on this website. I do not know what those writing and musings did for you, but in my life God restored my soul. I soon discovered my joy was back. I saw my story and my desires played out in Elizabeth, Mary and Anna’s lives. I faced dilemmas the same as Joseph did. Their stories took me forty days to write, but during those forty days God fire-proofed my faith. He fortified my faith foundation. I saw the gift of the Christ Child with whole new eyes. My own personal revival happened during those forty days.
The Spirit led me…
Through a series of God “coincidences” my friend and fellow writer, Casey Graves, was led to a book publisher, Beth Wilson, who owns a publishing company, “Hear My Heart Publishing.” Beth liked Casey’s book and is now in the printing stage of her book “Perfectly Weak,” which will be released this spring. I felt God nudging me to contact Beth. I also submitted a book proposal to “Hear My Heart Publishing.” Yesterday I signed a book contract to publish a book, “Through Their Eyes, 40 days of Celebrating Christ through the eyes of the First Christmas People.” It has been the cry of my heart for many months now and especially as we face election time, that God would send a fire of revival to His people here in America. In the old testament, God set up feasts and festivals for Israel to celebrate. Those feasts were meant to be a time of revival, renewal, and remembrance for His people. That is what I thought of as I am preparing this book. I experienced revival because I remembered God’s Great Gift to us at Christmas. I wanted to celebrate this festival in truth as Israel once celebrated their festivals. So I am compiling a manuscript from my Christmas musings with the goal to release it before Christmas. My only prayer is that God would take the words and truths He showed me and use this book to revive those who find themselves struggling through Christmas and other holidays.
40 days – a time to make proof of our faith.