If you be......

If you be the son of God…..Matthew 4:3

 

 

What do you do when the word of the Lord is being tried in your life?  Joseph had a vision and until that vision came to pass Joseph had many opportunities to question this word from God.  Psalm 105:19 tells us “until the time his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tried him.”

 

The more conservative interpretations of this verse talk about Josephs natural prison experience. Others present this phrase as a metaphor to his soul becoming strong (like iron) as the word was tested.  

 

Our souls becoming like iron is just another way of saying we are stedfast with our believing. It’s the place we come to when we are simply not moved by natural circumstances but strengthened in our confidence that God is not a liar.  His word is true and it shall come to pass.   We aren’t consumed with a time factor.  We aren’t anxious.  We aren’t fearful.  We are simply committed to God with an unshakeable trust in Him and His promise.  We are at rest while His word comes to pass. 

 

We become dull to the spiritual reality of trials and temptations through our wrong understanding of them.  We misunderstand their purpose.  Every trial, every temptation reveals our hearts condition.  It reveals, faith or unbelief, rest or anxiety, fear or love.  

Until the word comes to pass, that word tries us. 

 

From Matthew’s gospel, Jesus comes up from His baptism to the affirmation of the Father; “my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”.  He is then driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. All Jesus knows and believes, at this point, will be sifted and examined.  

 

Our lives will not be any different. Once the word comes, there is the examination of our hearts to discover whether we really believe that word is true to us.  We are proven in our trust of Him, not the validity of the word. 

 

Every word of God has been tried and has been found true; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 12:6 Psalm 18:30.  The circumstances simply reveal our hearts condition. The epistle of James calls this the trying or testing of our faith. This is about us, not God.  Again, this is about our hearts, not whether the word is true or not.  

 

The book of Hebrews reminds us, They were not able to enter into the promised land because of their evil hearts of unbelief which caused them to depart from God. The temptation will either remove us from God or we will remain stedfast in our believing.  Our believing equates to obedience of activity assigned to us.  

 

Temptations always carry a back door, give us a short cut and present the wide path of escape. 

Life’s temptations never change.  The IFs and BUTs will lead us astray.   The devil is a liar. The Father of all lies and there is NO truth in Him.  Jesus said I am come that you would know the truth, and in knowing the truth we are set free. 

 

The word trust is defined as the assured reliance on the character, strength, ability and truth of someone or something.  On this earth we shall have temptations, but Jesus said, “I’ve told you these things that IN ME you might have peace.”  We err in trying to create an environment that is free of trial and temptations.  What we must learn is how to be right in the midst of them. Jesus overcame the world.  Jesus passed His test and the “devil left him and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”

    

Man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. When temptation comes the right response is to endure with a resounding Yes and Amen in our hearts and minds to Gods promises. 

 

 

 

 

Take the Mountain!

 

 

I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. Joshua 14:11

 

I love Caleb’s declaration, as he stands before the generation that has crossed over into the promised land, and now are all dividing the land before them.   “Give me the mountain” is the Spirit I want to hold at 80 years of age.  

 

How do you maintain a strength of Spirit when you know that you are destined to  wander for forty years in the wilderness?  How do you keep from being offended with people who have created the circumstances your must now endure?  How do you keep from being mad at God for making you suffer with everyone else?  

 

I am still as strong today (at 80 years of age) as I was the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then.  I’m sure Caleb was talking about his physical ability but I want to talk to you about maintaining a spiritual strength, and not just maintaining but allowing the Lord to increase our strength; going from a place of strength to greater strength.  A spiritual place where we are truly strong in the Lord, doing exploits in His name, taking mountains in our young age, middle age and our old age.  Spiritual strength isn’t about natural age. It’s about condition of heart.  

 

We know that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God and the knowledge that every word He speaks must be believed before it can be received is seen over and over again through the examples in the bible.  Being strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man, from Paul’s prayer in Colossians chapter one, is about endurance. It’s about patience with joy.  It’s about standing and waiting and not caving in, not quitting, not changing minds about what God has promised.  

 

Joshua and Caleb, spying out the land, saw the giants, saw the abundant provision and made a choice to believe God. The children of Israel saw the giants, saw the provision and saw themselves as grasshoppers and chose to not believe God.  The letter to the Hebrews tells us Israel could not  enter in because of their evil heart of unbelief.  

 

After 40 years in the wilderness, Joshua was still able to lead a generation into the promised land and Caleb was still willing and able to take the mountain. 

 

We ask how, and the answer would be by guarding our heart.  Making sure that our heart is firmly attached to the Lord and our trust is in Him and His word.  Our eyes are on Him and not man.  This is a daily determination.  Think about it.  40 years wandering with a bunch of whiners, doubters, disobeyers who had seen the works of God and choose to dis.believe. 

 

Where we stop resisting the lies of the devil, we begin to adapt to the circumstances.  Physically, when you age, you begin to lose muscle tone and strength.  Spiritually when you break fellowship with the Father and His word you lose strength.  We need strength to perform and endure.  We aren’t always going to be in the pristine circumstances that encourage faith and confidence while living on this earth with other people.  We can’t live in isolation just so nobody messes with us.  In the midst of life, we must learn to stay engaged with the Father on a daily basis. 

 

I’m encouraging you this morning, as we watch the day approach, to keep yourself strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.