Into the Wilderness
By Scott Murphy, First Presidency
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. -Matthew 4:1-2 NRSV
For each of us there are times in life when we face life issues or questions that awaken us to the need to get away from the busyness of life to confront those deeper questions that probe our soul.
As we begin the season of Lent, the sacred story of Jesus takes us to one of those critical moments in his life that caused him to get away to ponder the deeper questions probing his life. But during this time of internal searching and communing with God, he faced temptations that sought to disorient his life.
Our journey during Lent is an experience that invites us to see our lives through the life and choices of Jesus. But I caution us not to hear this account of Jesus’ temptations and translate those into our moments of weakness when we were tempted to eat that piece of chocolate cake while on a diet. The temptations Jesus faced of doubt, making God prove God’s self, and the offer of power and false worship bring us face-to-face with the deeper temptations we face each day in our lives.
Through all those temptations, Jesus had to continue to address the most critical questions of all: Who would he be in God? How would he respond to God’s call in his life?
In this season of Lent, there will be at the end of our 40-day journey that never-ending question we cannot avoid: Who will we choose to be in God?
May we find the courage and willingness to enter our wilderness to discover the unfolding sacred story that is emerging from our lives in Christ.
God, may my deep hope align with your deep vision. Release in me anything that keeps me from freely following your Spirit. Amen.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply as you enter a time of silence. Become gently attentive to what may be restricting you from faithfully responding to the divine invitation in your life. Are there priorities, attachments, tasks, or motivations competing for your response? What does freedom for God look or feel like in you this day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.