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“In light of Jesus’ temptation and His example in the desert, we also must know the truth that supersedes the truth, rightly dividing the word of our God.”
In our sincere desire to know and walk in the truth we must remember the test Jesus had to endure. He did not endure it alone. The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness after John baptised Him. It was not a surprise that He was going either.
Sure Christ’s experience was unique in most ways but we too need the help Jesus received. We can imagine Holy Spirit watching as hunger started to overtake Jesus. 40 days of determination must have thrilled the Father. When the Devil tested Christ, by the Holy Spirit, Jesus the hungry, weakened Son of Man still discerned the intent behind His temptation. The truth presented by Satan had a foul intent and Jesus recognized it. A simple “it is written…” countered the thrust of His opponent while delivering a riposte back. As the Devil’s temptations escalated, as the attempts to deceive Christ probed deeper into His Son of Man soul, remembering Who sent Him there became His premier defense. He was not sent there to lose. He was sent there to blaze a trail for us! Knowing why He was there became His primary and life-long goal. This would be the first of such lessons He would endure and teach us.
The devil tried to make it about Jesus. It was a futile approach that hoped Christ’s carnality would prevail. To the devil’s chagrin, the Son of Man made it clear just Who He would serve always. We must also in our future challenges. It is written Satan departed from Jesus. How many of us would like that! In the troubles we are living, it often seems Satan has won somehow. Why does he have to win even one battle? He did not with Christ. Do we realize Satan left Jesus to find other targets? So, what did we learn or not learn from Christ?
Matthew 4:9-11 (NASB77)
9 and he (the devil) said to Him, ” All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus •said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘ YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'” 11 Then the devil •left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 6:13. He is referring to Himself! Until now I believed Jesus was telling Satan to worship God. Resenting the rebuke Satan left. In fact Jesus was not speaking of Satan. I believe it is clear that the Devil will never get the chance to worship God ever again! He blew his original chance big-time. No, Jesus was referring to Himself and us when He quoted Deuteronomy 6:13. By His obedience Jesus knew His future. The Son of Man successfully submitted, endured and in doing so demonstrated His love for His Father in heaven and for us!
“Resist the Devil and he will flee.” is scripture we often quote. The verse actually says, ” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (KJV) Then in addition context says, ” Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ” James 4: 5-7 (KJV)
These are the qualifiers to the Devil fleeing from us. Jesus resisted the Devil but first He submitted to the Father. We must also but do we know what that means? Do we think the “Son of Man tests” were only for Jesus? No, no, no. His tests were “souly” for our benefit. Jesus has shown us the road map, the Way we must follow ourselves. God has offered us power that has been diminished by our thinking only Jesus could or had to do these things.
Jesus totally and humbly submitted Himself to the Father and demonstrated so by being “led” by the Spirit into the desert temptation. He knew of the prophesy about John the Baptist, His cousin. (Isaiah 40:3, 43:19 KJV) Jesus believed (Pisteo) the Word entrusting Himself to it and also to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. This wasn’t even about the Devil. It was about us!
Scripture, “the truth”, was used against Jesus. The devil hoped for a carnal response and still does when coming against us. Jesus avoided the trap we all must avoid. The tickling of our ears today can be just as deadly.
Do we recognize our potential weakness to this tactic? What might we discover in what we thought was truth, which seemed to be functioning as truth, but now is clearly different. Also, what if what we now understand is not bad, it is deeper and more meaningful even confirmable by the Word? What if it was prophesied that we too would enter a desert of such temptation that only by the Holy Spirit and the foreknowledge we possess would we endure it? Oh God let us see the Way clearly.
Young’s Literal Translation reveals a motivator in Christ that I believe we have not seen. It is in the prophecy about John the Baptist and became the goal of Christ through His entire ministry.
3 A voice is crying–in a wilderness–Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, Make straight in a desert a highway to our God.”
The question specifically in this case is, “In our times of trouble and temptation has Jesus made a highway FOR our God or TO our God.” No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6 NASB) It is us who must run this race not God. Yes the Holy Spirit runs with us to advise us along the Way but will we heed the wisdom?
So here is the question in general. What have we called, “the truth?” Is it the truth or have we been taught that it is the truth? Will we rightly divide the Word or cling to what we have been taught for centuries, trusting others who meant well, letting others and traditions restrict our ability to be moved by the Holy Spirit? There are “many” who will be lost for this reason. Why is it important to see this now? Look at the skies these mornings. Preparation takes time. The Ways of Christ are being pointed to by the Holy Spirit. We must restore these Ways within our own hearts.
God waits for us. There is a highway that must be traveled. There is no standing still except to “stand firm against the schemes of the Devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood…” Christ fought His own Son of Man flesh and blood even if only because He had fasted 40 days. I can “imagine” the Devil making that part of some bet with God like he did with Job. “Well God this Son of Man You have begotten is still a man. Make it “fair” have Him fast 40 days and then even Your offspring will fail in the sinful flesh You put Him in. Your plan for mankind is futile!”
Will we let Jesus and the Holy Spirit train us or not? Like Jesus we can survive our personal temptations, IF we submit ourselves to the guidance He has generously and graciously provided. There is no other Way out of our deserts and into our supernatural lives and eternity.
At the end of His earthly ministry nothing had changed during Christ’s final and fearsome temptation. He had fully submitted Himself to the Father’s plan. He humbled Himself to the curse of the cross. Regardless of what He went through, beaten almost senseless, no matter what the “truth” of the situation was, our absolute guilt not His; Jesus spoke the truth that supercedes the truth. He spoke from His heart Words that delivered Him and will deliver us to the Throne of God. It is a High Way TO God. “Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.”
The coming times will demand our understanding.
He waits for us but once it is preached,
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