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Sunday, March 23 2014

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1 NIV)

The Holy Spirit had just descended like a dove from heaven and lighted on Jesus. God’s voice proclaimed like thunder, “ This is my Son whom I love, with him I am well pleased” (Mt. 3:16-17). This was a tender and glorious moment indeed. However, immediately following this confirmation came conflict. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”

This is a biblical pattern; battleground follows holy ground. Temptation trails triumph. Mountaintop experiences with God lead to valley encounters with the devil. Why? Why the struggle? Why the letdown? Why can’t we just consistently stay on holy ground basking in God’s love and glory? What’s the secret of avoiding the battleground?

Here’s a secret. You can’t avoid battleground. Notice that it was the Holy Spirit that led Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil. This is because God measures our maturity, not by the hours we spend on holy ground, but by the victories we win on battleground. Basking in God’s love is important . . . and, wonderful. But defeating the devil in the desert molds us into ministers of God’s grace, power, and love to others. It was only after his forty-day conflict with the devil in the wilderness that Jesus began his ministry “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14).

Here’s another secret. God is as much with us on battleground as He is on holy ground. The same Spirit that encourages us with God’s love on holy ground empowers us with God’s strength on battleground. God enjoys sharing mountaintop moments with us as much as we do. He also knows that His character revealed to us there on holy ground will not work its way into our character until tested on battleground. This means battleground is as important to our Christian life as holy ground, though never as pleasant.
This doesn’t mean you should go around picking fights with the devil on your own. It’s certainly never wise to seek out temptation. You should seek to abide in God’s presence, following His Spirit wherever He leads. If He happens to lead you into the desert and you find the devil waiting for you there, you needn’t panic. Just draw your sword, standing firm in your faith. God has already won the victory. He just sent you there to enforce it. And, when you emerge from the fray triumphant you will find that your battleground is, in fact, holy ground.

Paul Downing is Associate Pastor at Fellowship Church of Zachary, Louisiana, a friend and partner of POPAPIC, Inc. and a frequent guest on "Calling To Know God" (

A Decade of POPAPIC, Inc. and the Year 2013 in Review

Since 2003, POPAPIC has humbly endeavored to be an instrument of Helps to the 'Body of Christ' as directed by the Spirit of the LORD, in Service to the KINGDOM of God by numerous, diverse and practical ways and means. [watch short Video Ad]

During the past four years of POPAPIC's existence, mission and vision, the LORD has continued to build a solid platform to further strengthen and unify the Kingdom conscious components of His Church and Body and to impact the market places, local and regional governments and other arenas and communities through the annual POPAPIC Servant-Leaders Summit-Conference.

Starting April 1st, 2013 the weekly "Calling To Know God" live TV outreach resource has been going into the homes of thousands of Louisiana families, and is viewed regularly by many people worldwide

The Year of Our LORD 2014 promises to establish many significant advances on behalf of the Kingdom of our LORD within the hearts, minds and spirits of many souls and within the affairs of men. POPAPIC, and its Board, would like to thank you for your previous prayers and love seed financial support.

To Help us continue to Help many others, we humbly request that you commit a small monthly love seed/donation of not more than $25.00 to POPAPIC through our secure GIVE link on the website or by mailing it each month to P.O. Box 776, Baker, La. 70704.

Bro'Ken Fabre'
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