Monday, December 7, 2015

How We Are Defeated But Can Be Victorious (Part 3)

There are threads in these three temptations (Matthew 4:1-11) for they appeal to genuine human needs and aspirations. This is part of what makes them so appealing. All three urge for a person to be self-dependent and self-assertive in order to satisfy one’s own self-love to get what one needs or desires. All three temptations are countered with the necessity of trusting God to meet one’s needs and to faithfully listen with obedience to his word and his way of acting (“righteousness”) in and for his children.  
At one of my former workplaces, I was able to drive company vehicles. But my use of those vehicles is restricted to the specific activities I do in the course of completing my work for the company. I can use vehicles only in the way specified in my job description. This is because the vehicles do not belong to me but the company. THE SAME RULE APPLIES IN THE KINGDOM—THE LORD FOLLOWED IT AND WE MUST TOO.
The Lord overcame the trial and did not yield to the tempter’s deception. He stood strong and kept the faith according to the Word of God. What was his secret? What made this possible? Let us go to another place in the Gospels for a clue. (See John 14:30-31)
The evil one, “the ruler of this world” (v.30), was coming again to confront Jesus. For after being vanquished in the desert Luke notes that he departed from Jesus “until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13, NRSV) Now that the Lord’s suffering was nearing he was coming again. However, according to our Lord, “in me he has nothing.” (v.31, Literal Greek) He had no means to nab or pull him over to do evil because he did not sin in any way. He always did as God his Father commanded him. And this obedience to God his Father was to reveal to all that “I love the Father.” (v.31)
This is what fundamentally makes us different from our Lord; we do sin and we do as we please. Thus we give to the enemy a hold in ourselves; thus we are not able to stand as the Lord did and force the devil to flee. But our Lord is patient and he is there to make us stand as we learn to submit to him and walk in dignity and spiritual authority which he suffered to give his children. He is ready to strengthen us in the midst of our trials, to teach us wisdom to effectively minster in his Name, and to deliver us from all evil.
            As disciples we must understand that to fully function as member of Kingdom we must obey God. For this is the “family business” and Jesus is the King who we answer to. He is exalted the King because in the time when he lived like us on earth he obeyed God the Father and kept the commands of his Father while carrying out the work of the Kingdom. He became our example in the practice of faith because he walked in total dependence as a man upon the Holy Spirit in obedience to God the Father. For he loved the Father.

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