Mark 1:9-13: Anointed for battle.

“9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. 10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’  12 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, 13 and he was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted  by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” NIV UK

If Jesus needed to have the Spirit come upon Him to enable Him to fulfill His ministry, How much more do we need the Holy Spirit’s anointing? One of the things the Spirit of God does for us is to assure us that we are dearly loved and accepted children of the Father (11; see also Romans 8:14-17). That sense of security ‘at home’ is vital for those who have to head for the front lines.

The equipping the Spirit brings is for battle (12, 13). We are not called to an easy life, and we must not expect one. We have to serve in a hostile, unpromising environment. What can we hope to achieve in a ‘’desert’’? Well, the wilderness was the arena of one of Jesus’ greatest triumphs. Luke, like Mark, is explicit in saying that the Spirit was the reason Jesus was in that place of conflict (Luke 4:1), and he adds that the other side of the fight, ‘’Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit…’’ (Luke 4:14).

F.B. Meyer makes the excellent point that we live between ‘’the wild animals’’ and the ‘’angels,’’ and we need to ensure that the higher nature defeats the lower one again and again. The truth is you can tame the wild beast within if the Spirit is upon you.

PRAYER: Lord, we give you thanks that we do not fight this battle alone.