Have you ever had a spiritual “meltdown”? Did Jesus ever have “meltdowns”?
What do I mean by “meltdown”? It happens to me periodically. After a time of busyness, or even fruitfulness, I become restless. I feel as though I’ve reached a spiritual “plateau”, a sort of dead end, and it’s time to stop, evaluate and change direction if necessary. It’s an uncomfortable but good place to be because the Holy Spirit is always beckoning us on to go higher, deeper in God. To become comfortable is dangerous because it is difficult to dig ourselves out of a rut.
A meltdown means three things to me; it’s a time to rekindle my passion, to refocus my vision and the reset my direction. Is this what happened to Jesus when He was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit? He had spent thirty years growing up in Nazareth, working in the carpenter’s shop and studying to be a rabbi. Then came His baptism and the Father’s public acknowledgement of His Son. What now?
Jesus could have launched into His public ministry on a high, filled with the Spirit, approved by the Father, ready for action. But He needed a “meltdown” which would set the inward attitude and motivation of His heart, so imperative for the success of His mission. He needed to be tested by His ruthless enemy. Satan would leave no stone unturned to catch Him out in unguarded moments.
How often we fall into Satan’s traps because we have not determined beforehand how we will handle the tests that come on us unexpectedly. Our times of “meltdown” are opportunities to set the course of our hearts before we are confronted with decisions that catch us unawares.
Jesus was tested for forty days. Without access to food and water, He was physically weakened which made the ordeal that much more difficult. The three recorded temptations are a summary of the gist of where Satan was driving Him.
What was the devil trying to do? He was trying to drive a wedge between Father and Son by tempting Jesus to act on His own initiative. Jesus tenaciously held on to His submission to the Father’s will even if it cost Him His survival. Whatever the cost, He chose to be one with the Father, to put His glory on display and to think God’s thoughts rather than holding to the letter of the Word.
He emerged from His testing with a clear resolve to honour the Father, no matter what. Luke says, “He returned in the power of the Spirit.” Here is the secret of His life – absolute submission to the Father in everything. This is where our meltdowns should take us – back to the Father.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!