welcome to the hike!

Working out the call!

I currently living in Millersburg or as God whispered in me ear four years ago in PA, "the land of my Fathers!" MILLERS - burg! OK! The best way to describe my life of late, is simply "Pastor-at-Large" I live "outside the box" of our usual expectation of life, family, employment and even culture. I live, breathe, and weave around a four county area as a local missionary and have learned of so many supportive faith communities. I meet people who contact me where they are in their 'hike 'o life."

The hats I wear are that of Life Coach, Writer, Speaker, Retreat Facilitator, Pastoral Supply, Prayer Counselor and well, whatever God calls on me to do (I actually get paid to do all of these things, which is awesome, unless you are helping me with my books!) I also work to "tent-make my mission work" as a church secretary for a sweet fellowship pastored by one of my favorite seminary prof's.

So what do I want to be when I grow up? Stay tuned! The goals are big and staying solvent month by month is a huge victory, but as I see my own heart and others hearts change and grow in my daily walk, I realize, I am not working for treasures on earth....I have direct deposit above. Guess that's a pretty sweet ride! Lacing up my hiking boots...on the hike o' life!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NO SOUP TODAY! Desert temptations on bread...

 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  

 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.  Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’

 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,  and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’  and,‘ In their hands they shall bear you up,  Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’
 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’
 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.


Today we are only discussing the verses in the largest print but I have decided to print this passage in it's entirety every day in a different translation to help all of us immerse ourselves into God's Word in this desert time.

Fasting - GOING WITHOUT!  How ironic that Tuesdays I have been blogging up some favorite soup recipes and today - well NO SOUP!  Reminds me of the church bulletin blooper about the fasting conference with all meals included!?!

It's not an easy thing to do, to deny our bodies of a basic need.  Nowhere in the Bible does anyone fast longer than forty days and even in modern books about fasting noone suggests that you go totally without food for this long - ONLY GOD can truly sustain one as He did MOSES and Jesus in this super fast.

 This temptation is aimed at Jesus' physical hunger, his humanity.

It was a temptation for Jesus to use spiritual ability in a way inconsistent with his God-ordained mission to walk in the flesh of man.

We all know that Jesus had miracles around food.

His first recorded miracle is turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana (John 2). 

Later, Jesus would feed five thousand other with the five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed others (Mat 14:19).

Just as God gave the Israelites bread from heaven, Jesus was the true bread from heaven (John 6:32-35)

BUT HERE, before all that occured,

we see Jesus in his humanity,

he was hungry, 

(look back at the scripture text, when the tempation happened
 He had already been fasting for 40 days!)

Satan is tempting him to call upon his divine qualities outside of Gods will

Contrast this with Adam eating the fruit in the garden.  The first Adam fell when tempted by his physical desire.

Jesus (the second Adam - son of man) Spoke God's word to resist. 
Jesus answered using scripture, here is  Deut 8:1-10 I have enlarged verse 3 which contained Christ's response to Satan that we are so familiar with.
 1 “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you.
6 “Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.

There is so much that can be seen in this passage from Deuteronomy, but the point is. Christ allowed himself to be humbled and sustained by God.  Like the Israelites, he was in the desert, and no food but God's heart himself to sustain him. 
As our temptations come, we need to turn away from SATAN and to GOD's WORD TO STRENGHTHEN US AND PROVIDE US WITH A RESPONSE.
We too, should fight temptation with the word of God. 

Psalm 119:11 says  "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

Frankly, the more scripture we can recall the more likely we are able to tell Satan where to get off and recognize that he is trying to trick us!  God has the WORD for you to prepare you for this.
Of course I say this, fully acknowleging that I have tripped on on this lenten journey with my simple disciplines!  I am sure that you have too.  This just makes what Jesus did FOR US all that more amazing.
I just want to close with a few scriptures that are familiar to many, but good to "reload in your heart" for when YOU WILL NEED TO KNOW what to do then the temptor comes calling!

When you suspect that you are being tempted -

YOU CAN RESIST!  James 4:7 informs us

 "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you"


STOP (Mentally note you can see beyond the situation)

PRAY  (Call on the Lord)

RESIST (that old devil - he's just a big loser anyway!)

and WAVE GOODBYE! (because  Satan is running, he knows you have called in the big gun!)

 and 1 Corinthians 10:13

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
WE CAN DO THIS - with the help of CHRIST!
Come Holy Spirit that we may sense your presence in this desert place.  We are being shaped and formed through these hardships and even through the snares of temptation.  HELP US TO CALL UPON YOU - to RESIST with YOUR STRENGTH and to STAND FIRM IN THE PLACES YOU LEAD US TO.  We continue to lift up ___________ today - show us how to be a light shining to their wilderness and we pray you are positioning their heart for the call you have placed on their lives as well.  We praise and magnify YOUR NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES - calling for YOUR WORD to be the manna for our lives.  AMEN.

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