I noticed something this morning in my reading that fits with some insights the Lord has been giving me in regard to our need. Go along with me and see if this does not ring true in your spirit.
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing and afterward when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him….”(Luke 4:1-3a NKJV) You know the rest. What I want to look at is the role of “need” in opportunity for temptation. Now it is not exclusively linked to need, but I see here that when Jesus was hungry the enemy used the “need” to give an easy out. It was first of all the temptation to prove who He was (if you are…), and the secondary point of it was to satisfy Himself — since He could. Isn’t that the way the enemy still works? Think about it. He waits until I begin to think I have a need and then he presents to me a way to take care of it.
Now the answer to the opportunity is not what it would seem to be. Needs just are and we all have a record before the Lord of them. However, there is a way in Scripture to work here and to eliminate opportunity for temptation through a need.
In Philippians 4:11 in the process of thanking the church at Philippi for their assistance in sending Paul help, he makes the bold statement, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:…” and then he goes on to site several circumstances which are extremes from one another. We spend endless time and energy on trying to likewise “learn to be content,” forever missing the point that contentment is a by-product of having no need. Now just how is this possible?
I believe the text reveals the secret. Because Paul trusts the Lord with his life, and abides continually in the awesome care of the Almighty, he could not possible have a need. Each and every circumstance is just an opportunity to magnify Christ in his life, so it really does not matter what that circumstance turns out to be. This is the secret he had “learned.” The Lord really is Lord and really does love us and really does care for us. So there can not possibly be a “need,” just an opportunity for Christ to be glorified.
What an awesome lesson to allow the emotions to learn! Just think about it. That means all the “needs” that present themselves are really not needs at all for me — but just opportunities to live out the reality of His care. Now this causes me to begin to re-evaluate the way I perceive my circumstances and I have long way to go. If I persist in holding on to my need and His need to answer, then the enemy has the opportunity to cause me to doubt the care of my Lord and to offer various opportunities to take care of matters myself . I have learned enough to know that doesn’t work.
So here goes. I will try to let you know as I learn. How about joining me.
Tonight is pure fun!!! Our Institute of Biblical Studies meets and I am teaching on Philippians 1. Can you imagine my joy on getting to teach for 2 1/2 hours on this absolutely marvelous chapter. I love this book and will enjoy this delightful class of 15 or so students loving to inter-relate with our Lord through His Word. What more could a Bible teacher want?!
On Sunday we will celebrate Resurrection Day! It is my favorite day of the year and I enjoy it totally. Leading up to that wonderful celebration, we mark Good Friday in Psalm 19 with a Good Friday Service tonight. We will spend time in Worship, both singing and listening to our Choir (The Singers). Then we will experience the Word as it is read and received. We will soak in our Lord’s presence and remember.
Then we will turn to what this means in our lives and explore the dynamic truth of living in the Spirit according to the Word.
I pray you enjoy Him during this special season.
My husband and I were gifted with tickets to hear The Three Irish Tenors yesterday and how very much we enjoyed the entire concert. My husband is a musician and an Irish Tenor, so we enjoyed in many ways.
The evening breeze was brisk but not too cold, so even the walk to the beautiful Landmark Theatre was refreshing. I always forget what a grand and ornate place that theatre is. I am so glad it has been saved and restored. Anyway — just thought I would share a really good, good time.
I know it is a strange title for an blog entry. I wanted it to be that way. I am finding as I live my life in Christ that what I am looking toward (at) will determine my focus for that day. What I am looking toward will determine how I view my circumstances, the people around me, the world’s events, and the most dangerous item — my view of Christ.
It is dangerous because if I view Him well everything changes. If I am looking toward Him and His nature of beauty and love; if I am impressed with His glory and ability to interrelate with me in my moments; if I am caught up in awe of the preciousness of His love that purchased me (and all of mankind); if I am aware of His breath on me and through me in each conversation; if I am looking to see Him at every turn and in each unfolding event; then my moments and days are full of brightness and hope. (I think He has called that grace). If, however, I take my circumstances as my cue and daily live bouncing emotionally on and off of them and the folk that create them, then I will reflect that in my fear, confusion, and hopelessness. That will create discouragement and a feeling of being unloved and uncared for.
So, what am I looking toward? I am coming to believe that my ability to become obedient in my moments is determined not by my will power, nor by how much I know or comprehend (understand), but by my image of Him as I “see” with the eyes of my heart. If He is indeed bigger and better and more glorious than anything, then I am empowered in His nature lived in me (by my birth in Him through the Holy Spirit) to communion with Him in His glorious nature and become as He is, (1 John 4:17) seeing with His eyes and able to live a life of abundance — having nothing to do with my circumstances or the people around me.
Oh it will affect my circumstances — but my circumstances will not effect my communion. This is true emotional stability.
Now just how “cool” is that!
I wanted to post one more picture of our moving and getting settled in the new facility before I move on (in writing) into posts that hopefully have eternal value. In this photo Bjorg is behind me kneeling on the floor working. And I am sitting in my new “mercy seat.” The room was full of ladies working diligent to get my books in my bookcases. (My, my lots of books). They are all really good books — you know what I mean.
We are functioning very well in the facility. It is sweet and our Lord’s presence prevails everywhere. I am so very grateful for it all.