Lessons from the Desert * Pastor Jerry Ghirardo * Matthew 4:1-11 * 5/6/2018

In the past couple of years, the Lord has done some remarkable things at the Lighthouse. He has brought two churches together to become a new church that has greater potential, greater strength, and greater opportunities to carry out the Great Commission. This past season has been a time of merging together, a time of getting to know each other by worshiping and serving Christ together and a time of putting a solid foundation in place to expand our ministry efforts for the future.

During this formative time, the Lord has been actively preparing us for this next season. The Lord has great things in store for us and for this community!

1.) The Spirit is LEADING us!

The first thing to recognize is that the Spirit of God is leading us wherever we go.

Matthew 4:1 - "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the desert to be tempted by the devil."

Exodus 13:21 - "By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light..."

Hebrews 13:5 - "For God has said. 'I will never leave you or forsake you.'"

Joshua 1:9 - "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

2.) The Lord is always HUMBLING us and TESTING us!

Luke 4:1-2 - "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and at the end of them he was hungry."

Deuteronomy 8:2 - "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years to humble you and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands."

Galatians 1:13-16 - "The Lord set apart the Apostle Paul and trained him in the Arabian desert for three years."

3.) Drawing closer to God is always a START for taking the next steps in God's plan.

James 4:8 - "Come near to God and He will come near to you."

Jeremiah 29:12 - "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

In all three of the examples that we will be studying, God was using this time in the desert to accomplish very important purposes in the lives of His people and in each case this desert experience was essential in God's plan to prepare His people for great spiritual victories.