Monday’s Blog: Ignite The Fire In Your Spirit – Renew Your Mind

We continue our series on igniting the fire in our spirits. Last week I talked about the wilderness. This week I want to focus on the temptations Jesus experienced, and the Israelites experienced, in the wilderness. We’ll compare how Jesus handled those temptations differently than the Israelites.

1st Temptation:


After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

—Matthew 4:2-4


The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”

—Exodus 16:1-3

The Bible tells us to set our minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2) Heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s Words will never pass away (Mark 13:31). Jesus knew His spiritual body was more important to feed than his earthly body. The Israelites, on the other hand, cared more about their physical needs than their spiritual needs.

God led the Israelites through the wilderness to renew (renovate) their minds and teach them to stop relying on and following their flesh, and start relying on and following the Holy Spirit.

Before I knew Christ my mind was set on my flesh. Consequently, after I received Christ I continued to follow my flesh even though I no longer wanted to.

God had to work with me to renovate my mind. He had to help me tear down the lies the enemy sowed all those years and replace them with the Truth. He had to teach me how to set my mind on what the Spirit desires, instead of what my sinful nature desires. As my mind is on the Spirit, I am able to put to death the things in my flesh that once controlled me (Romans 8:13).

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

—Romans 8:5-8

The Israelites were hostile to God because their minds were set on their flesh. Jesus was able to remain in peace in the face of temptation because His mind was set on the Spirit.


2nd Temptation:


Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

—Matthew 4:5-7


… They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”

But the people were thirsty for water there, and they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?”

… And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

—Exodus 17:1-3, 7

The Devil tried to tempt Jesus into testing if God was truly with Him. But Jesus knew God would never leave Him, as Deuteronomy 31:8 explains: “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

It amazes me how the Israelites saw God was with them when He parted the Red Sea and rescued them from their oppressors, but they didn’t trust God would be with them through the wilderness. Every time they had a need, they wanted God to prove He was with them.

I think sometimes we allow our minds to be consumed with our trials that we forget all the things God’s done for us. I was worrying about my finances one day when I came across this note I wrote in my journal seven years ago:

“We have been struggling lately with bills and have to charge our groceries and the rest of our Christmas presents, and our credit card is close to maxing out. Yesterday, I wasted an hour trying to win $1,000 on the radio. After wasting my time, I thought to myself, ‘Why am I trying to make God bless me the way I think He needs to. He will provide for us. He will help us pay our bills.’ The next day, my husband got a surprise $1,000 Christmas bonus. He has never gotten a Christmas bonus from this company before. God is real! He is in control! We are now able to pay for our groceries and the rest of our Christmas presents without charging them!”

God used this past victory to remind me if He provided then, He will provide now. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

If the Israelites would have remembered what God already did for them, they would’ve been at peace and trusted God to provide for their needs.

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.       

Selah (pause and think about that)

—Psalm 143:5-6, emphasis mine


3rd Temptation:


Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

—Matthew 4:8-10


When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”

Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

—Exodus 32:1-4

An idol is anything apart from God that we serve and rely on for fulfillment.

Romans 12:1-2 explains how we worship and serve the Lord:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

We live in a drive-thru society. We don’t want to reach the Promise Land God’s way. We don’t want to wait around for Him. We want to skip the hard training, so we leave His path and find a quicker, easier, and more fulfilling way. Or so we think.

I see this happen a lot in the ministry. In my earlier years of following Christ I often felt pressured by others in my church to help out with the youth. I taught Sunday school for a short time, but I dreaded every minute of it. In my heart I knew I was not ready to minister to anyone yet. God was working a lot out of me and I knew I wouldn’t be the light the children needed to lead them to Jesus. So I stepped down and followed God, waiting until He was ready to use me in ministry.

My heart aches whenever I see a worldly-minded Christian in an influential ministry position. The Bible says that we who teach will be judged more strictly (James 3:1). We are held more accountable because of all the lives we are influencing. Jesus said, “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit” (Luke 6:39)?

God doesn’t want us chasing anything, including ministry, apart from Him. When we offer our bodies, minds, and hearts to God, He will lead us into His good, pleasing and perfect will for our lives…in His timing, not ours.


Heavenly Father,

We praise You for never leaving us, even when we’ve strayed from Your will. Help us to continually renew our minds in Your Word. Help us to set our minds on Your Spirit and not our flesh. Lead us through the wilderness and into Your good, pleasing and perfect will for our lives. Make us into a vessel fit for Your glory so we can shine Your light, and lead many to Christ.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!


Next Monday will be the last message in this series. I appreciate all the wonderful comments you have shared! Thank you so much! Please continue to share whatever the Lord puts on your heart in the comment section below. I will be using some of the comments in my book. 


*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

*Follow my new facebook page to receive reminders of new posts

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Monday’s Blog: Ignite The Fire In Your Spirit – The Wilderness

We continue our series on igniting the fire in our spirits. Follow this link if you missed any messages in this series.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

—John 10:10, AMP

Are you living life in abundance to the full, till it overflows to others? Or, are you stuck in the wilderness on a never-ending journey, going from one pit to the next?

In the first message of this series, someone commented, “I think people get stuck in the wilderness because they don’t recognize they are not living life to abundance, or just think that the abundant life is reserved for heaven. There are very few people who seem to be living the abundant life here on Earth, and most of those who do don’t broadcast the fact. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a sermon on ‘What the Wilderness Looks Like.’ We don’t see the wilderness for the scrub-brush, so to speak. And once we recognize that we’re in the wilderness, we may or may not have a Moses or Joshua to lead us out (or, when we realize we have to fight our way out, we go back to what we are used to).”

For the next couple weeks, I want to focus on the wilderness. This week we’ll examine why it’s necessary for us. To answer this, we first need to know when God takes us through the wilderness.

Matthew 3:16-17 says, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

After Jesus was baptized and received the Holy Spirit, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” (Matthew 4:1, KJV).

When I first started following Christ, life was wonderful. God showed Himself to me in amazing ways. Prayers got answered. My life began changing. It was an exciting time.

Once I saw God was real I wanted to surrender my life to Him. So I followed Jesus’ example and got baptized, again (I was also baptized as a baby). Baptism was an outward expression to show the world I was going to serve the Lord with all my heart. It was a wonderful experience for me.

After making that commitment to follow Christ, no one informed me what God was going to do next. As God led me into the wilderness, things slowly began to change. I didn’t know it then, but God was taking me through the wilderness to test me, teach me, purify me, and prepare me for His calling on my life.

I don’t believe I would have resisted the Lord’s working so much and stayed in the wilderness as long as I did had I known that God was preparing me for something greater.

Deuteronomy 8:1-6 explains the purpose of the wilderness (desert):

“Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and revering him.”

Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days. He submitted Himself to God and stood firm against the devil. The devil fled, and then angels came and ministered to Jesus and He left the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Then, the Bible says, “From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near’” (Matthew 4:17).

God uses the wilderness to prepare us for our higher calling. If we can’t stand against the devil’s temptations in the wilderness, we won’t be able to stand against the greater attacks and temptations he will throw at us in the Promised Land. The greater the calling on our lives, the greater the responsibility.

God appointed Jeremiah “over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). When Jeremiah complained and questioned God, God answered, “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5)

The Bible says that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 2:11). Whenever I start to get down from my trials, I am reminded that my life is not my own. God has a purpose and plan for all of us. We are His vessels carrying His glory to a world that desperately needs to see the light and know the Truth.

We are encouraged to endure hardship like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. “No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:3-5).

If the Israelites would have “competed according to the rules,” surrendering their will over to God, allowing Him to work in them and prepare them for the Promised Land, they wouldn’t have wandered aimlessly in the wilderness for forty years.

“The Israelites had moved about in the desert forty years until all the men who were of military age when they left Egypt had died, since they had not obeyed the LORD. For the LORD had sworn to them that they would not see the land that he had solemnly promised their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Joshua 5:6).

Next week, we’ll look at how the temptations Jesus experienced in the wilderness were the same the Israelites experienced, and why that generation was disqualified from entering the Promised Land.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

—1 Corinthians 9:24-27


Heavenly Father,

We praise You for always knowing what is best for us. Help us through the wilderness times. Help us not to fight against Your discipline. We open our hearts to You. Work in us and train us for our higher calling. Lead us into the Promised Land, where we are completely surrendered to Your will and purpose for our lives.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 


 Questions for my book:

I would love to hear your wilderness experiences.

When did God take you through it, and what did you learn through it?


*I appreciate your responses. I will not use any personal information in my book (name, email, website).


*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

*Follow my new facebook page to receive reminders of new posts.

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