Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Strength Training

I've been reading the book of Matthew in preparation for a workshop later this month. I love the story of Jesus. From His birth and ministry to His death and resurrection, the story is timeless and unique. Everytime I read this story, I discover some new little jewel. Right now I am intrigued by the story of the temptations in chapter four.
I find it interesting that Messiah was "led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted." The Spirit led Him to be tempted... but why? Was the Spirit helping to prepare Jesus for His ministry? Did Jesus "need" to be tempted so that He could understand temptation? So He could be an example of unyeilding spirit? Were the temptations meant to illustrate the strength of the Saviour, the resolute, conscious decision making of the Lord? And then the idea that Jesus fasted for forty days and nights as if to weaken His humanity---wouldn't this make Him even more susceptible to Satan's wiles? Hebrews tells us that Jesus was tempted in every manner just as we are. We know there are times when our resistance is lowered and we are more susceptible to temptation. Satan knows that and Jesus knows that too. Satan will attack us when we are already in a weakened state but, we know that it is in our weakness, God shows His power and grace. (II Corinthians 12:9)
The Bible teaches that the Spirit was left here to guide and comfort, teach and minister to us. It also tells us that we are refined and strengthened when we overcome temptations. Spiritual muscles are like physical muscles, they do not get stronger unless they face occasional resistance. We become spiritually stronger when we are tested, when we are tried, when we are tempted. The temptation is not wrong, it is the yielding to temptation that is sinful. Temptation, though not always pleasant is always needed. The Spirit knows that.
The Matthew text says that when Jesus resisted the best Satan had to throw at Him, that Satan went away for a season. Notice Jesus did not try to run away. Satan left Him. We cannot hide from temptation. Although Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, remember that Adam and Eve were tempted in paradise. Satan will find us and try to tempt us wherever we are.
Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness when Jesus was physically vulnerable. Satan would come to Jesus again in the garden when He was emotionally vulnerable. And once again, Satan's attempts would be thwarted. In both instances, after Jesus was victorious, angels were sent to care for Him. Hebrews 1:14 says that ministering angels are sent to serve those who will inherit salvation. Our Father knows we need ministering to when we have returned from battling the Father of Lies.
I am beginning to think we have an incorrect view of temptation. We see it as something horrible and impossible to deal with. We want to avoid it. It appears in looking at these texts that temptation is necessary and inevitable. Temptation is part of our growth process. Temptation is what refines and matures us. It is in temptation the power and grace of God are most obvious. Temptation sounds ominous but in fact, when we are tempted, the Spirit is involved. He provides a way of escape. He provides care, comfort and guidance. The Spirit reminds us of the Word that dwells in us. And when we are victorious, when we refuse to yield, I believe we are ministered to by the Spirit and angels. Temptation is inevitable. We become strong enough to overcome by overcoming. Every time we win, we get stronger. Remaining faithful in all circumstances including temptation, that is our own spiritual strength training.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom and I were talking about your blog today and netiher she nor I ever thought of temptation in a postive way before. You are right, I am always stronger and more reliant on God when I am tempted. Good job


9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well written and thought provoking


1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anen, amen

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good!!! When I struggle with temptation, I will view it differently thanks to you, my friend


7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you sick or something? I noticed you have not been blogging every day---I think I speak for all of us when I say we miss it.
Its how we start the day.


5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss a daily blog, too. Are you going to go back to posting every day? I hope so. I personally need the inspiration. I started reading about the first of Noevember and have enjoyed it so much. It has really been a blessing.


8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are such an encourager.


10:33 PM  

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