15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:15-17

All things were created through Jesus. And the factors composing His test in the wilderness were no exception. Matthew 4:1 sets the scene: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Right off the bat, we’re clued into who’s in control.

“Then” connotes time. Obviously, so do forty days and nights. Thousands of years before He was miraculously conceived into it, Jesus created the passage of time. Prior to His incarnation, He transcended every physical law and dimension that governs this world; then Jesus set omnipresence aside and surrendered Himself to the vassalage of time.

In the beginning, Jesus created the Judean wilderness. He spoke into existence the rocky terrain, deep ravines, barren grades, and scant vegetation. When He marked out the foundations of the earth, the precise coordinates for this period of His own suffering were noted. Jesus set opulence aside and surrendered Himself tot he blistering, desolate landscape.

The body Jesus inhabited was made. He designed His own human suit. He constructed its cellular respiration, metabolic reactions, and biochemical energy, knowing how each of these complex systems would respond to His voluntary deprivation. Jesus was experiencing physiologically what He’d designed supernaturally. He set heavenly perfection aside and surrendered Himself to physical depletion.

Even His tempter was created. God created satan as Lucifer, the highest-ranking angel, who rebelled and was cast to earth, where he has operated as the devil ever since. How satan became evil is unexplained; God saw fit to keep that part a mystery. But what the testing in the wilderness makes crystal clear is that nothing can foil God’s divine purposes, not timing, not harrowing circumstances, and certainly not satan. For the sake of our being chosen, Jesus put all opposition in its place, literally. Then He was led by the Spirit to surrender Himself to the will of the Father.

The disciples were tested, the religious leaders were tested, Pilate was tested, we are tested. We can’t know in advance how we’ll respond to it, and success or failure is not determined by us. But make no mistake– the test is not an accident.


No one likes tests. Ask God to help you not only survive them but to thrive under them and to be drawn closer to Him through them.


  • Do you believe God has designed all the elements composing your tests? Explain why or why not.
  • What’s the most difficult test you’ve ever had to surrender to?
  • Whether you’re in a test now or one is coming, what are some ways you can better withstand it?