Saturday, December 15, 2012
Where Does the Time Go?, Pt.2
His message and His mission came from heaven and He was responsible enough to stop and listen for "orders from headquarters." The moment He sensed the strength of His spirit waning after expending Himself through sacrificial ministry, He found a way to get alone with God for refreshment and to re-orient Himself for the next mini-mission along His journey to fulfill His ultimate mission on the cross.
Jesus consistently spent time with His Father in prayer, ministry being the result of that prayer life. Sometimes it was early in the morning, sometimes late at night. Often He would go up a mountain to pray. The place and time weren't as important as the priority He placed on it. He connected with the Father on a consistent basis because the temptations that accompanied His physical body and soul demanded that He draw strength and wisdom from heaven, not only to overcome temptation but to fulfill all righteousness. And that He did on a tree.
Immediately after Jesus spent 40 days connecting with God in the desert, the devil tempted Him to function as the Son of God by turning stones into sandwiches. (OK, I modified that a little) The temptation was to use His spiritual identity as the Son of God to feed his flesh, in more ways than one. Not only did Jesus refuse to do this, but He silenced the voice of the enemy with this verse in Matthew 4:4 "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God."
Jesus didn't deny His identity as the Son of God with this statement. Nor did He deny the fact that He was ready to throw down at the Jerusalem Golden Corral buffet. (LOL) What He revealed was that His life's decisions were not dictated by external circumstances, but by an ever-proceeding Word from the Father. In the same way our natural bodies depend on a consistent intake of nutrients in order to function properly, the health of our spirits depends on receiving His Word into our hearts and allowing the Spirit to apply it to our lives consistently.
Matthew 4:4 is actually a direct reference to the Israelites gathering manna that God supplied for them in the desert. The fact that He gave them exactly what they needed every day is a good indication that He wants to do the same for you today. If you are a born again believer, then the Spirit of Christ lives inside you and has been commissioned to reveal who Jesus is to you. He is poised to reveal the will of the Father to you. He is able to show you who you are in Christ (who He is in you). He can also give you the strength and wisdom not only to overcome your temptations but to fulfill your purpose too!
The only way He can fulfill His purpose in your life is if you allow Him to help you fulfill yours! And this involves you putting your faith in God's ability to do what only He can do (the prayer of faith) as well as asking for His wisdom to do what you need to do (prayer of petition). It's a partnership made in heaven. You and God are a team. And together you can accomplish anything He puts into your heart to do!
Think of the Word of God as your source of spiritual nutrition. It gives you the strength to survive and the sustenance to thrive, the wisdom to achieve and the faith to believe that anything is possible. D.L. Moody once said that "the Scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives." So true! When the knowledge of the Word you've obtained yesterday becomes more important than the life the Word can give you today, you essentially begin to sacrifice the wisdom of God on the altar of your own agenda.
His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts far exceed our wildest imaginations. Place a premium demand on His will by making each day just a little more important than the one before. After all, you are a day closer to eternity than you were yesterday. Time is precious and so is His voice. Ask the Lord to make you sensitive to hear, ready to learn, willing to change, quick to obey and hungry for more of Him.
If Jesus Christ, who is the very Word of God Himself, chose to lay aside His deity and take upon Himself human flesh like you and I, this is proof enough that He has made tremendous effort to bridge the gap between your life and your spiritual purpose. If it was necessary for Jesus to maintain His spirit through prayer, then I think it is extremely self-righteous for us to think that we can go about our lives any other way than He modeled for us: a life in love with Him. He took up His cross for us. We should do the same for Him. The only way to obtain true life is through the death of our fleshly desire to maintain control in our lives. Surrender your all, die daily and discover what a joy it is to allow His life to flow through you.
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