• Retah McPherson

Wilderness Temptations

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1)

I asked the Lord the other day, “Lord, please tell me more about these Wilderness temptations... I need to know more, so that I can learn from You and be faithful to You when I face these temptations myself.”

Jesus answered me, “I can only reveal to you what you will be able to take in and understand Retah.”

I shivered when Jesus told me that the Spirit had led Him into the Wilderness all alone. Jesus was never afraid to be alone – in fact, He snatched up every free moment He could get to spend it alone with the Father and he often withdrew from the crowds to pray. Those were wonderful times alone with His Father... unlike His time alone in the Wilderness being tempted by Satan 24/7. Jesus willingly obeyed the Holy Sprit’s leading into the Wilderness to be was harassed and tempted by Satan, because He knew that we would also face these same tests and trials:

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:14-16).

“The Tempter tried to get Me to betray My identity and to go along with his will rather than My Father’s through three different temptations... and this is how I defeated Satan: I quoted the Word of God.”

“Is that all it takes, Lord?” I asked quite surprised that it seemed so simple.

“Yes Retah, the enemy shivers at the mention of My Word. As difficult as the loneliness and the temptation may have been, it was necessary for Me to go through it. When I look at Aldo I understand so well what he is going through. I know why he sings praises to Me throughout the night when you would prefer him to sleep. It is his way of fight back against the things that are attacking him.”

We are still busy building Aldo’s walls around his soul – because a city without walls is open to the attacks of the enemy. The rejection door is the one we fight the most. Even though Aldo doesn’t speak much and he struggles to share his emotions, he can most certainly feel, and he hurts just as much as we do when we are rejected. The deep shame of rejection has a chemical effect on our entire being. Aldo is very sensitive to the spiritual realm and can quickly discern what is happening around him. While I am still busy wondering if something is wrong, he has already felt the pain of people’s fiery darts that come from their words or thoughts. And there is no way we can escape this. All we can do is to build his walls stronger and higher than what the arrows can penetrate, and keep him eating of the Bread of heaven so he can grow stronger and stronger to resist the attacks. Our spiritual strength comes only from the Bread we receive from heaven... like the saying goes: “we are what we eat.”  

Listen carefully to Jesus’ words: As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:57-58).

Jesus was in such close communion with the Father, and so committed to doing His will, that the Father’s words became his very food and drink. O, this makes me cry out: “Dear Lord Jesus, please give me and my family a hunger and thirst for your Word...! Let us desire it more than natural food; for Your Word is life!”

When people look down on Aldo, or think negative thoughts about him without saying it out loud; or fight and argue about what Abba shows him, I can see how Aldo becomes more and more quiet.  It is only Jesus who will never turn away or disappoint us. He is not even surprised that people don’t understand Aldo’s life or the things that God reveals to him.

As a mother, all I can do is to pray and wait on God. While I was praying the other night I felt Jesus coming closer, and as He approached I fell on my face before Him knowing in that instance that we cannot dare ‘demand’ anything from Him. “It is entirely up to You Lord. Do only what You want Lord.... we are looking to You, and our lives are in Your hands.”

Psalm 123 says it so beautifully: “Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He has mercy on us.”

I felt His tender touch as He lifted me up and said: “Remember that I always want to help you, My love. I understand how you feel... because I can still remember My own Wilderness experience. This is just a part of your maturing process. Keep on standing in faith. Yes, I know that the further you walk, the narrower the road becomes. Your hope should never be in the approval of men... only seek My stamp of approval on everything you do. Never forget that I understand what you are going through... I am not somewhere far away and unaware of your struggles and your pain. I know so well, because I also went through it too. Come My love, give everything to Me. I can only help you if you surrender to Me completely. Bless those who curse you... I say again – bless, bless, bless My child. Choose to forgive... forgive so that I can forgive you. Come to Me all who are weak and weary – all who need spiritual, emotional and physical health – I want to heal you, because I am the Healer.”

I am away from home for two weeks while I’m ministering in Cape Town. I miss my family, but it is so wonderful to have their blessing to go and do what the Lord has called me to do. We all know that we don’t live for ourselves, but only for the King; and that the trials we are going though has a much greater purpose than what our natural eyes can see. We are receiving a deeper understanding of the greatness of God, the love of the Father, the blood of Yeshua, and the working of the Holy Spirit. Oh, beautiful Holy Spirit – what would we do without You! You are our Comforter, Paracletos, Advocate, Intercessor... You are the Spirit of truth that guides us and You teach us to be totally dependent on You.The harsh, insensitive comments of people can sometimes be the direct opposite of what the Holy Spirit spoke to me to encourage me. His voice is soft, gentle and full of love. He never wants to crush us or harm us... His desire is to lift us up and to draw us closer to the Father. (Photo: Aldo and Ma'am Patrys)

We had the most wonderful two days during the George Spirit School this week. It was amazing to see how many men came! Mervis van der Merwe sings prophetic worship songs while I minister, and we all experienced a deep, intense, yearning from Yehovah’s heart for our hearts. The fire from His heart is all we need now! It is only from that place that we will receive healing, comfort, peace and love. I realize now more than ever before that we should never look to people to be our source... we will receive the purest form of healing, comfort, peace and love from God, our Abba Father.  


Back home Ma’am Patrys and Chantelle spend time during the mornings to read the Word of God to Aldo and to speak it into his spirit – they are washing him with the Word of God! They are helping him so much during this difficult time that he is going through. And my amazing husband Tinus takes Aldo with him to his new factory on a smallholding just outside of town in the afternoons. There he can walk in the field and enjoy the fresh air. Aldo has planted some vegetables on an open patch of land and he even prays for his veggies every day. How wonderful that Abba has given us this special time of “set-apartness” where we can help Aldo mature and grow until God says: “Now!”

(Photo: Aldo and Chantelle)

I try to keep the negative things away from him, but he still picks it up without me saying anything. Sometimes I will hear it in his prayers when he prays for a certain person who sent me a criticizing e-mail, even though I didn’t even tell him about the letter. This just makes me bow my knees to the living God, because even if I don’t understand everything – He does! As human beings and servants of the most High God we don’t always have to understand everything – we just need to love Him – LOVE Him – LOVE HIM!

I bless you with Yahweh’s love – His mercy endures forever!

Always remember that He is a good Father who loves His children. He is slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving kindness!

From a very cold Cape Town,

Retah.

* Yahweh (Hebrew name of God) meaning:

Eternal, self-existent "I AM" who brings all things into being. Master, sovereign Ruler, and covenant-keeping Mighty God.

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