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. 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
“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.
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.