Being the least, especially being least in the eyes of men---this is the main ingredient before God uses you powerfully. So He takes you to the desert. Jesus was taken to the desert as soon as he came out in the power of the Holy Spirit from being baptized.
After a bathing of tremendous power like that, you need the wilderness experience to keep you humble. Only power made perfect in weakness can defeat Satan in the wilderness, not positions, money, achievements, degrees, titles, or anything valued by the world. Thus, the Holy Spirit immediately led Jesus to the desert so he can remain the least.
John the baptizer was son of Zechariah the priest. Being priest, Zechariah led a materially abundant life. Priests and Levites were well fed and provided for as indicated in Deuteronomy 18. They had no inheritance among the tribes because the Lord was their inheritance and that made them better off than the rest of the Israelites.
In fact, each tribe provided a portion from their lands for the priests wherein the produce of these lands belonged exclusively to them. They didn't need to work on these fields. The other tribes did the work for them.
So, all the priests and Levites had to do was worship God, and whatever they needed was merely added unto them.
What a life!
John the baptizer could have had this life being son of a priest. But he gave up all these perks. Instead, he chose to live the life of a prophet living in the desert, eating grasshoppers and honey near the Jordan. Can you imagine how hard it was to shoo off bees to get near their hives to get the honey? And that, on a daily basis?
Was this necessary? Why all these hardship? Why not simply enjoy the provisions allotted for priests? Probably, people were telling John, "Those priestly provisions are God's provisions and blessings for you, and you are rejecting them? And now you choose to catch locusts and fight off bees in the desert just to survive day-to-day?"
People then didn't understand. The Pharisees, priests and law teachers loved riches and power that the world respected. They wanted to be great. Even today, most church people and pastors still do not understand that the desert experience is a must if you are to be used powerfully by God. And you have to come out of the desert experience defeating Satan. How? By power made perfect in weakness.
By learning and living out principles that make you the least.
Unfortunately, almost no one in church today wants to be the least. Like the Pharisees and law teachers in Jesus' time, they too want to look great and respected in the eyes of the world.
God put in the heart of John to give up the easy and prestigious life of the priesthood so he could spend his life in the desert wearing nothing but camel's hair and a leather belt.
Moses grew up in the luxury of palace life. How could he be used by God and lead Israel out of Egypt---when he was used to enjoying the pleasurable Egypt life?
God had to take him out from all that. So one day, Moses fled from Pharaoh and escaped to the Sinai desert. There he did nothing for 40 years but watch over sheep and goats. Being shepherd was the lowest kind of job in those days. You have to be the least to do God's will in God's power.
Even David was first a lowly shepherd before he could be king of Israel.
Saul grew up being well to do, used to the ways of the rich. Later he became king. Without the desert experience, he made a lot of silly mistakes being king. In fact, without experiencing being the least, he later became so obsessed about himself, about his greatness and achievements, even making himself a monument.
Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, "Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor and has turned and gone on down to Gilgal."[1 Samuel 15.12]Without the desert experience and learning the right things there, you will end up like King Saul. Your ministry will be all about yourself.
Well, King David also screwed up later in life. But he found the grace to repent and humble down, unlike King Saul. It was due to David's desert experience. He learned how to have the heart of being the least.
Come to think of it---why would God choose His Son Jesus to live in Bethlehem, the worst and poorest town in Israel? Why choose to be a son of a poor carpenter? Why didn't Jesus come here to be a Pharisee, law teacher or priest in the temple?
You have to be the least. That's being God's flesh on earth.
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