2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.
I awoke from a dream of reading scripture, Matthew 4 (NJKV). In the dream there was a sense of urgency, a completion of sorts. A perspective shift that needed to expand.
I turned on my light and opened to the scripture, which I had read before, but to which I had forgotten its detail until I laid eyes upon it. Then I understood:
Satan Tempts Jesus
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 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.’
I immediately understood these words, as they were the next step in my understanding. You see, yesterday I wrote about Faith from the Beginning, where God told Satan in the Garden of Eden of His Son to come, which took place at the very, very, very first instance of sin against God. The passage for today, which illustrates the next step, is that upon being baptized and having the Spirit of God descend like a dove and alight upon him (Matthew 3:16), he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
In other words, upon being baptized and receiving the Holy Spirit, the very, very, very first thing that happens is the temptation is beset upon Him. And being the most righteous One, He of course resists, and in resisting shows us that the temptation to nourish himself of this world is fleeting and that the word of God is eternal and should be where we rest our hearts. Even in His rebuking, He instructs us.
Now, I could end this post there, but alas, God had an illustration for me. A dear friend of mine was in line at the ferry terminal this morning, some few hours after this dream. She called me, and we were talking, when a rental truck in front of her backed into her front bumper. She told me what happened, was clearly jarred, and abruptly ended the call.
I was concerned, and asked if she wanted my presence. She called back, flustered, asking what to do. Without thinking, a key phrase, I entered the habitual mind, thinking of the norms of this world, and without reflection I suggested to get his insurance information and even to call the police if the situation warranted. She then said he was uninsured, and offered her money. Again without thinking, I told her to call her insurance and to see if she had uninsured motorist coverage. These are suggestions that most often would make sense, but what I had failed to do is to seek God in the situation, to seek His guidance and His Word. Immediately upon recognizing this I sent her a message saying “You can also choose compassion if it’s not a big deal to you and let God sort it out.” She replied she had indeed did that. Upon getting on the ferry, she explained that the driver of the rental truck was lost, had thought he was taking a road to the city, and was frustrated to be in line to get on the ferry. He was trying to turn around, and accidentally ran into her car. He was clearly confused, was new to the area, and was trying to make the situation right by giving her money.
Upon hearing this I sought the Word, and was shown Micah 4:2 (NKJV)
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
She again called seeking advice. I shared this passage with her and suggested that she give the money back, wish him a good day, and say God bless him. To this end, she did these things, saying he received her well, and that his eyes were kind.
What I realized in this moment is that temptation sometimes even presents itself veiled in what is seemingly good, what will seemingly nourish us. I discovered through this experience that God asks us to truly seek love, to love our neighbor, and to move from a place of love in all our dealings, even in the situations that jolt us and make us enter into habitual mindsets. It is through doing this that we will find true nourishment and shall truly live.
As a new Christian, I’m learning what God has in store for me every single day. What’s clearer by the day is that dedicating time to reading scriptures is the most useful tool for discerning God’s will for me. Today I turned to read Genesis, the beginning of creation, and made it through the first five chapters. Then God stirred in me and I seemed to recall that Jesus was referenced in the beginning of Genesis. I looked it up, and sure enough in Genesis 3 (NKJV), The Temptation and The Fall of Man, speaks about Jesus. It says:
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:
Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all
And more than every beast of
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
I found this important because then I asked for guidance for God’s will for me, and he showed me the following passage from Habakkuk 3 (NKJV):
12 You marched through the land
You trampled the nations
13 You went forth for the salvation
of Your people,
For salvation with Your
You struck the head from the
house of the wicked,
By laying bare from foundation,
God’s guidance for me today is to know certainly a few things.
First, He has a plan for me. As is written in these scriptures, His plans have been such from the beginning. By putting my trust in Him and in His plan for me, He will deliver me from sin into salvation. I trust this inherently.
Second, God knew from the beginning that He had to send Jesus to redeem us from sin. God says this in the very, very, very first instance of sin against Him. Think about that for a moment. This shows God’s omniscience, and His acknowledgement of the way of salvation as He knew what would happen as a result of the fall of man.
Third, God shows me that the Bible is a living document. He gave me insight, and showed me how these scriptures were tied together. These speak of Jesus coming, marching and trampling the enemy for his propagation of sin, and saving His people. It is with this insight that you can see why in Genesis 3 it says “And you shall bruise His heel.” It is because Jesus will march and trample the enemy.
Together these two scriptures give me insight into how God works, confidence that taking time every day to read scriptures will guide my life, and that God has a plan for everything. These lessons are important to me as I continue my journey with Jesus.
Derrick Rhayn is a new Christian and seeks the will and Word of the Lord.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.