Read Matthew 4:1-11. In temptation.

v 1. Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.

I’m really relieved to know that Jesus was tempted in the same way as I am and that he emerged from the experience untainted by sin. Trying to put his temptations in a nutshell, I would say he was tempted to do his own thing in his own way without reference to the purposes of his heavenly Father. It is that temptation that is at the root of all my own temptations, and it was in the solitude of the wilderness that Jesus got that sorted out. Jesus’ responses to the devil make it clear that he wants to follow the Father’s pathway, accepting his will for life.

In my life – and perhaps this is true for you too – the big problem is ME. It is this central ‘me’ that wants its own way. It is this selfish ‘me’ that needs to be challenged, in fact that needs to die. Solitude is a good place to get priorities right and straighten out the twisted ‘me’ that keeps jumping up and trying to pervert my desire to follow God’s way. It is often in the solitude of our own thoughts that we are driven to confront just how badly our attitudes and values have been infected by evil, and just how much the big ‘ME’ can try to take centre stage.

The essential thing to recognise however is that solitude does not remove us from this inner battle against the selfish ‘me’, but it does put me in a place where the issue can be faced up to and the help of the Holy Spirit sought.