Saturday, July 26, 2014

Remembering the Truth

Luke 4:1-4 Read it yourself

The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God..." A voice came from heaven about forty days prior saying, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." The voice was speaking to Jesus. Jesus heard the voice.

The devil's temptation is in the same spirit as the question first posited to Eve, "Did God say..." The devil's way is to cast doubt on God's words. It seems that temptation always comes after some period has past since your last moment of clarity. A component of the devil's question is attacking your memory, casting doubt on your previous experiences.

Since we only live in the present, most of what we know is from the past. What is clear and obvious in the present is a very very small subset of your understanding and knowledge. Your wisdom and discernment only exist in the presence of past experience.

Written and recorded words are reservoirs of knowledge that can supplement and enhance your own lack of experience. Wisdom, the application of knowledge to your present situation, is only effectual to the extent of your trust of the source of knowledge. Whether the source is your own memory or some written word.

Knowing the scriptures has value, but the application of it is only possible when you trust it. There are many adulterers who have heard the seventh commandment. There are many thieves who have heard the eighth. Just hearing or knowing the words doesn't in and of itself provide any value or wisdom.

Forty days is a long time to go without eating. At that point a person is close to starving to death. At that point a person's energy is at it lowest. It is at that point that your present reality trumps the knowledge of your past. Rationalization and justification spring to action in your mind to explain to yourself why it's okay to do thus and so even though you know that it is in violation to what you know to be right.

That is how we are wired and it is a flaw in our character. Jesus doesn't have that flaw. His focus is on what his Father said. Jesus words and actions spring from the foundation in his mind of the trustworthiness of God's words. He would rather trust in words from his past than to attempt to solve his present dilemma by distracting himself from them.

The devil's temptation to make bread out of rocks is answered by Jesus with a quote from Deuteronomy 8:3, "Man shall not live by bread alone..." The remainder of that passage says, "but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord."

Jesus is hanging on to the words that he heard. His logic seems to be, "Since I am his Son then He will preserve me, I can rest easy in his provision." There is no rationalization or justification needed if my source of life is God's words. As the author of life he can sustain my life even when 'nature' says life can't continue. Jesus took that core belief with him to an ugly death on an unjust and evil cross. Trusting in his Father's words to the end.

The Father kept his word and resurrected Jesus. demonstrating to the world that His word is faithful and true (Revelation 3:14). Your actions and reactions in your present day reality reveal the extent of your belief in God's words. It takes the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit in your life to change the way you think about your circumstances. The Holy Spirit brings you to the place where you get to make the choice, "Will I trust what I know is true despite what my circumstances look like?"

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