Thursday, February 18, 2016

Spirit of Wilderness + Spirt of Power

Daily(ish) Blogging in Lent 2016 - Day Six
Monreale's Christ's Temptation
According to St. Luke, “full of the Spirit,” Jesus was pushed by the Spirit into the wilderness. And there he was tempted/tested by the devil. (Luke 4:1)

If you really are the Son of God... (Luke 4:3, 4:9)

The devil departed. Jesus went back to Galilee. Something had changed. Now, Jesus was filled with the power of the Spirit. (Luke 4:14)

Jesus would need this power. Soon he would be confronted not by Satan, but, rather, by his hometown, his peers. Those who celebrated his celebrity, “I knew that guy way back when,” would soon try to kill him—chasing him to a cliff at the edge of his hometown; trying to kill him when he insinuated that God’s vision for a society where everyone was freed from the chains of poverty and servitude for cooperation and meaningful creativity (and so on...) extended far beyond the bounds of their neighborhood, their nation, their ethnic identity. (Luke 4:20-30)

After the battle, the Spirit who once pushed the newly named, “Son of God,” into the wilderness, now became the strength, the power by which this Son provoked others, his own kin, his own people toward Love and Love in public, liberative action.

In facing our own demons, the Spirit is with us. The Spirit says “you are of God,” you’re a child of the Most High. You are Spirit and flesh. Unpleasant as the wilderness is, there the Spirit is with us, in and around. 

Here is the Spirit, in your flesh, your body, your skin. 

Here is the Spirit, in your heart. 

In the Spirit, we can see demons we did not know we had. We can confront oppressions or addictions, behaviors or resentments, prejudices and fears, ways of relating or not relating that bind us, imprison us, keep us from living lives in abundance, freed to Love.

In the Spirit we can confront demons that would otherwise devour us from the inside-out.  

Perhaps we can finally name demons, devils we didn’t even know we had—or demons we simply didn’t “know” out loud, “on our lips and in our hearts.” Sometimes naming our demons is the most difficult part. 

The Spirit pushes us into the wilderness to examine our demons, giving us victory over them. The same Spirit gives us power to proclaim Love and to live lives devoted to the provocation of the world that is into what God calls the world to be—freed from chains, from poverty, freed to create, to share, to thrive. 

Is the Spirit pushing you into the wilderness? Is the Spirit asking you to confront a devil, a demon? What would the Spirit empower to you to do if only this battle were won? What is your role in God’s works of liberative love? 


  1. Feeling inspired. Really enjoying these posts.

    1. Thanks, brother. Glad to know! Hope you're doing well.