January 13, 2024
All of us "set our sails" to do right, but we soon discover that there are contrary "winds" aimed at us with the intent of blowing us off course. If we're going to eventually make "shore" we have to be intentional about the journey.
When Jesus became a human being, he became fully human (except he did not sin). The winds of adversity blew on him, perhaps with a much greater intensity than we shall ever experience. He conquered. We can be conquerors too, if we employ the same resources that God the Father provided for him.
We need resources that primarily deal with "Inner Control." I remember an episode of the Walton's where "Jon Boy" was going to the "Big City", for the first time to take advantage of a newspaper writing opportunity that had been made available to him. As he's standing by his Model A Ford about to leave, his father, who had walked out to the car with him, said, "Jon Boy, while you are in the big city, don't forget whose son you are. A good first step toward Inner Control.
For all of us who are Christians, no matter what our age, let's not forget "Whose" we are. Unless you're trying to be a "Secret Saint," the world knows where your identity lies. And when you step out of line, they will hold you accountable. God will allow them to hold you accountable.
Your strong identity with God our Heavenly Father, and with Jesus who died for us' along with your family, including your church "family," you can acquire a strong inner control against evil.
The word addiction comes to my mind. "Fixation" on anything or anyone can be a signal that your inner control is at risk. We think of the word addiction and it brings about a lot of guilt and negativity. It basically is something that you have done for the amount of time it takes to create a habit. I was used to Joe being in my life for 54 years. Now he is not here. I really feel the absence of not having him in my life. A "habit" has been created in my life to have "someone". To have a "with" person. The temptation you may be facing or will face may be severe! I can understand why some people because of the lack of a relationship, go and immediately look for someone else (usually not just anybody, but someone else to fill the "empty gap". Addictions are like that, you find them going around and around in your mind. What do you think about most of the time. Do your decisions or actions "link" to a person, place, or thing on a continual basis? Obsessive Compulsive is another word to look at. Sometimes we use words or labels to excuse or give permission to our poor choices or to damaging behavior.
The fullness of the Holy Spirit, Luke 4:1: "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert." He was led into the desert to be tempted. Severely tempted after 40 days of fasting. He was full of the Spirit of God, but physically and extremely weak. This is extremely insightful. To be in control by the Holy Spirit, or having Him abide within you, does not mean that you will be free from the attack of the enemy.
What did Jesus do, when under attack, when He was so weak? How do we as Christians handle it when our flesh is screaming at us to take a detour?
Thinking again about Jon Boy, we will go back to the word "Identity." The devil challenged Jesus' identity. "If you are the Son of God, worship me. I'll give you what you want!". . When that didn't work he said, "go ahead try my plan, take the risk, Jump! God will catch you !"
Jesus knew who he was, and didn't feel the need to prove anything. Especially trying to prove his deity. Jesus responded by quoting Scripture. "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God". Then he said, "It is written, 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only' (Verse 8)." On the third test, Jesus said about himself, "Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
The devil will challenge you with the temptation to meet your needs independently of God and his Holy Word. This will cause both a reslessness, and a recklessness, which will put you at risk and dangerously impact those around you.
In the past, I have packed scripture on index cards whipping them out when I find myself in a difficult situation. We don't live in a neutral world. Don't entertain thoughts which will lead you to a dead end, or to an unfinished highway.