Kingdom principle: God uses wilderness to conform our will to His
|Deuteronomy 26:1-11||Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16||Romans 10:8b-13||Luke 4:1-13|
Pain and Suffering are universal to humanity, says Seth Jethani in his book With… along with that comes the world’s desire to control and minimize painful experiences and at least to make sense of it all. (We’ve touched on this over the last few weeks.) This week we enter lent, a season filled with conflict and controversy which helps us to discover what matters most in this life. We have looked at the paradox of the kingdom of God – and this post will touch on one of the great mysteries of the ways of God. For His ways are not our ways, and our thoughts are not his thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). It is for this reason that the Spirit of God, leads Jesus into the Wilderness to be tempted by the devil. In the same way that Moses was directed by the LORD to lead Israel into the desert (wilderness) Deuteronomy 2:1. As we learn the ways of God, we begin to embrace his acts of Grace and Mercy – and we discover that for Him to lead us into the Wilderness is an act of Grace. This does not mean we live in fear or UNDER a punitive angry God, rather it directs us to learn His will for our lives, that we might release our own will. In the Wilderness we discover just how bent we are on our will being done, and how futile it is to resist the will of God. God does not tempt us, but he has no hidden agenda to test us – In fact God longs to test us. For in our testing – God promotes us. What is amazing is that this Testing is not a secret. This is not a pop-quiz that you weren’t aware of – in fact it has been the same test since the beginning of all time.
The God test is for us to embrace God’s will rather than following our own…. Yet, along with every test that God provides – the Enemy brings forth a temptation to spoil your promotion. I have outlined the test/temptation in a previous post, but let’s review it here:
|Test||Gen 1:28 – Adam was to rule over every creature that moves on the ground.||Ezekiel 28:14-15 – Lucifer was anointed as a guardian cherub.(King of Tyre was embodied by Satan)||Luke 3:22 – Jesus was to be baptized, and identified as God’s Son.||1 John 1:3-6 – Humanity is to walk as Jesus did. Loving God not the world.|
|Genesis 3||Ezekiel 28:16-19||Luke 4:1-13||1 John 2:15-17|
|Temptation||The fruit is good for food||Greed for trade and possessions||In hunger – Turn stone to bread||Lust of the flesh|
|Temptation||The fruit is pleasing to the eye||Proud heart on account of beauty||Before kingdoms – bow and worship Satan||Lust of the eyes|
|Temptation||The fruit will make you wise like God||Corrupted wisdom for the sake of splendor||From high point in Jerusalem – jump & test God||Pride/Boasting of what he has and does|
So you can see this is truly an open book test – And throughout “the book” God leads his chosen ones into the wilderness to reveal to them his good, perfect and pleasing will. (Romans 12:1-3)
|Exodus 34:28||Deut. 1:1-3,8; 26:1||1 Kings 19:8||Luke 4:1-13|
|Spent 40 days with God on top a mountain prior to receiving his commands for Israel||Spend 40 years in the wilderness prior to entering the promised land.||Spend 40 days and nights in wilderness on way to the mountain of God.||Spent 40 days in wilderness being directed by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil|
So the question becomes not if you will go into the wilderness with God, rather the questions is; will you embrace going into the wilderness with God, or do you desire that your will be done – Not His….? (Extra bonus points if you made the connection of Moses, Elijah and Jesus and the transfiguration from last week.)
The wilderness need not be scary, but it will always be filled with aloneness. It is in this aloneness (which is very different from loneliness) you are called to turn from the securities and comforts of the world and discover that God is WITH you.
In the wilderness we are to abide and dwell with God – rather than to be filled with abandonment and distress. In the wilderness we are to trust in him to be our refuge and shelter – rather than to fight our conflicts and controversy. In the wilderness we are to feast on His Word and focus on His Will – rather than fix ourselves or figure out how we go there. All this is an act of prayer (last week) that moves us into the flow of his Love. (2 weeks ago).
The enemy does not play fair –and yet – when has it ever been fair to give you all the answers before you have to take a test. God is setting the stage for his victorious Bride to presented as pure and holy. Might you be enlisted to the wilderness to trample the great lion and tread on the head of the serpent. May the Lord be near unto you, so that when you call unto Him – YOU WILL BE SAVED.
Will you “willfully” enter a 40 day journey called Lent that begins on Wed. Feb. 13? If so, what is the Spirit of the Lord leading you into – What might you take-on in this season to boast of your dependence in Him? What might you give-up in order to break your dependence of this world?
Will you “wait” for the Lord to lead you into a wilderness where He might help you discover his will?
Will you simply reject the Lord’s will and seek to find alternative ways to control your world to minimize pain and suffering leading you to a false sense of comfort and security? (No bias intended)