Sunday, September 9, 2007

Matthew 4 Temptation

For some reason I always find myself back in the Gospel, listening to the words written in red. We know that all scripture is God-breathed and profitable, but there is something about the simple words of Jesus that just moves me a particular way. Yesterday I was looking over the Sermon on the Mount cause that is so basic and clear about how to serve God. Today I went to the topic of temptation because I could definitely use some more help in that department. I'm sure my mind could quote or paraphrase the verses, but what does that matter if my spirit does not have revelation on what it means. Besides, the Bible is manifold, there is know way to know the Bible from back to front, we could read the same verse fifty years from now and God bring deeper understanding. Ok. Here we go.

Craziness, for some reason while I'm writing this blog, I look over to my Bible and the page says 1 Peter 5:14, which is a place in the bible that specifically mentions temptation. I wasn't planning on going there but let's go ahead and lay a foundation. Ok, 1 Peter 5, umm let's look at 1 Peter 5: 8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary walks like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour...v9 Resist him, knowing that the same suffering are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. v10 But may the God of grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you." Ok, now let jump back to Matthew 4. Notice in verse one that the Bible says that 'Jesus was led up by the Spirit (Spirit of God)into the wilderness. Hmm. Interesting. Then v.2 tells us that after Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, and was hungry that that's when the tempter (aka) the devil came on the scene. Tangent: If you have ever been on a fast isn't it interesting how at times you feel more fleshly and more easily attacked then when your not fasting? It's kinda comforting to know that if the devil challenged Jesus while he was fasting. So, chances are the devil will test you too. I gonna skip past the 3 temptation because they all deal with the Jesus' purpose and identity being challenged. One second thought, let me highlight one temptation, because I recently heard Da Truth (rapper/theologian) expound on this scripture and it really hit home. When Jesus is taken up to the pinnacle to see all the kingdoms of the world, everything that was shown to him would one day, be his, just not right now. Da Truth's point was that the devil front loads by tempting/ pimping people with things that are coming in there future, the trick is he is offering it to them right now in the form of immediate gratification (i.e. sex, money & anything is not bad outside of it's proper time. I hope I communicated that, with the same fidelity as I received it. Anyways, after Jesus defeats the devil by quoting the scriptures, the bible say 'then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him." That marked the beginning of His ministry. That kinda ill, he is baptized is such a grand manner, and then immediately he is driven into the wilderness to be tempted of Satan. It's like a king being coronated, and then the king immediately head into battle. The book of Luke provides further detail on this account by stating, "Now the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time." So, that points out that temptation is a normal and recuring event in the life of believers, and many times temptation come to stop us from fulfilling our destiny, it comes at certain junctures in our life to curtail something new that is about to begin. If we are in Christ, the same spirit that empowered him to overcome temptation, lives on the inside of us and we to can have victory and advancement in life, but we must be vigilant and cognizant that they devil is waiting for an opportune time, that why it is so important to stay worded up, and not reliant on your ability to live holy, but dependent on the Spirit of God to hold you up and provide strengthen when all you feel is weakness. When we die to our flesh the only other recourse we have is to depend on God to deliver us. It's kinda awkward when we are used to doing everything for ourselves and our way but we must learn to becoming strong (resistant)towards the devil and weak (yielding, humble)towards God.

Holla back I'd love to hear some feed back on this one. We are all in this thing together, if there is anything I can do or you let me know. I'm praying a supernatural release of God's joy and peace to come over us, that can only come if we desire it. Let me know if you need some more scripture related to this. May his peace fill your hearts and His joy fill your lives. -Elliott aka The Righteous

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