Do not Tempt the Lord

October 2, 2014

Do not Tempt the Lord

Matthew 4:7
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

What does it mean to tempt the Lord? In the Old Testament usage the implication is that men tempt God when they exhibit distrust in a manner as if they wanted to try whether God is not justly distrusted. Also by unrighteous or wicked conduct to test God’s justice and patience. They are in affect challenging Him to prove His perfection.
In the passage of Matthew 4:7 we see Jesus in the wilderness is being tempted of the devil. In the preceding verses, 4 and 5 we see the temptation, “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” The devil is trying to get Jesus to prove He is God’s Son by testing Him supernaturally to see if the Father will save Him. He even uses scripture to back it up.
There is a flag of caution to us as believers that we don’t find ourselves tempting God and trying to make Him prove Himself through presumptuous acts of faith. Jesus never did miracles because He was challenged to do so. Though there was not a question that the power was resident in Him, He acted and lived in complete submission to the will and mind of the Father. Because we have the promises of God’s Word and the authority of the name of Jesus, doesn’t mean we can go call fire down out of heaven or do whatever our heart fancies. We, like Jesus, must operate under the mind and will of the Spirit of God. When we are operating out of our flesh, especially concerning the things of God, are we not putting God to the test and tempting Him?
Acts 5 gives us the story of Ananias and Sapphira, early church Christians who sold there possessions for a certain price and then conspired to lie about it in order to hold back some of the possession for themselves. Now the possession was there’s to give or keep, but where they tempted God was when, instead of being forthright with what they were doing they conspired to lie to the disciples. What they failed to consider is that these disciples were the ambassadors of the Most High God, so their lie was not to men but to God. As a result we see a very stern and sobering demonstration of God’s judgement upon them, in that they both dropped dead when confronted with their sin. Peter makes the statement to Sapphira just before God’s judgement comes upon her, “Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband [are] at the door, and shall carry thee out.” Do we ever plot to do our own thing contrary or with disregard to the mind and will of God? Are we tempting God not to deal with us for disobedience?
In the Old Testament we read a number of accounts especially with the Israelites going through the wilderness with Moses where they tempted God through there discontentment, murmuring, lust and failure to trust the Lord. 1 Corinthians 10:1-12 gives a very good summation of this for our exhortation, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” Let us guard our hearts and our walk today that we don’t find ourselves in that place of tempting God. Let us, like Christ, submit our wills, our desires, our faith and actions, to the will and direction of the Holy Spirit so that we walk in a way that is honorable, respectful, and obedient to His holiness. We desire His blessings and not His discipline, so let us soberly consider that we tempt not the Lord.

Blessings,
#kent

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Fear

July 16, 2013

Fear

1John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

It has been said that fear is the opposite of faith. How many places does fear have in your life? We recently did an exercise in a Christian business class where we listed ten things we would like to do if we had no fear of failing. Try it, you might be amazed at what you would do if you couldn’t fail. I found I would do things that perhaps I had never really dreamed of before. Being a rather prudent man when it comes to taking risk, I find I evaluate my situation more from the standpoint of seeing my glass half empty rather than half full. I can see all the reasons something can’t work or why it will probably fail. One of my goals is not to be presumptuous, but to step out in bold faith where the Lord is leading and do things out of my box.
How many of us become paralyzed by our fears. Our fear of death, our fear of sickness, our fear of lack of finances, losing our job, our children being hurt or becoming involved in harmful things, someone not continuing to love us and on and on. For many of us, our lives are consumed with fear and the bottom line is, this isn’t faith. Fear has torment and many of us are tormented daily by our anxieties and fears about so many aspects of our lives.
Perfect Love casts out fear. Close your eyes for a moment and picture yourself upon the lap of all mighty heavenly Father. You’re sitting there with your head against His breast and His loving arms surround you. In that place what do you feel? Do you have any fear in that place or do you see yourself just surrounded in the security, peace and the power of His love. It is a place where nothing can touch you unless it goes through the Father first. This is that place of perfect Love. It is a place you can dwell in all of the time. Do you know your position in Christ? Ephesians 2:6 says, “And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:” You see the Word says we are already in that place in Christ. How many of us are being robbed, tormented and have no peace because of fear. Fear is not knowing who you are and where you are in Christ. This kind of fear is not of the Spirit of God, it is Satan’s favorite tool to undermine your faith and confidence in God. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, ” For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” God wants us to be free from our fears. For this to happen faith has to operate in the perfect love of the Father. We have that assurance that even when bad things happen to Christian people it is filtered through the Father. Even in our spiritual discipline there is love at work in our lives to bring us deeper into our walk with Him. This is why we must begin to declare the Word of God over our lives into our circumstances. ‘It is not the things that are seen that are real, but the things that are unseen.’ We must cease to just live out of our senses and lay hold of who and what we are in the sight of God. We are no longer just fleshly people; we are spiritual people who must live out of the Spirit of God. That is the real and that is the eternal. If we are going to fear anything, let us fear God in the sense that we take Him at His Word and reverence what He has spoken to us through it. Our fear is an insult to God, because we are telling Him we don’t trust in His perfect Love. Find the peace that is in His perfect Love and the fear will have no place to rear its dark ugly head in the light of God’s glory and grace.
The verse before our key scripture today in 1John 4:17 says, ” Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” Praise God, what a bold and wonderful statement. Take a moment to try and comprehend it. Christ is the example of what we are becoming in this earth and what we are to manifest to our world in Him. Fear is the lie that robs our faith and makes us impotent to carrying out the will and purpose of God in our lives.
Rebuke and bind the spirit of fear off of your life in the powerful name of Jesus. Begin to lay hold of the whole counsel of God and what He says you are and what you have in Him. Come into that place of confidence and assurance in His Perfect Love. Let faith arise in your hearts and live in the realm of faith, not circumstances. ‘You are more than a conqueror through Christ that has loved you.’ You are the child of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and the God All Mighty what can this world or Satan do to you, or what does it matter?
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)”
“NO FEAR!!!”

Blessings,
kent

Presumptuous Sin

January 28, 2013

James 4:13-17
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Presumptuous Sin

How many of us walk day by day asking God’s will and purpose to be done in and through our lives? Most of us already have our agenda’s set, our plans and schedules made and our daily routines formed. This scripture from James might jar our awareness that the life we live so routinely is not about our plans and agendas, they are about God’s. How many opportunities and blessings are missed because what we have to do is more important than being in tune with the Holy Spirit to allow Him move through us in a different direction than what we have planned? If we ask for God’s will in our lives, but then ignore Him and the Spirit’s leading then haven’t we fallen into what might be for us a presumptuous sin?
We often find ourselves trying to live in two different worlds. We have our spiritual world where we acknowledge and worship God, but then our daily routine kicks in, it is business as usual and we may hardly give God a second thought. We don’t think anything of it, because it has become our habit and we have compartmentalized God out of certain areas of our life.
We can never forget that we don’t even have a life outside of what God gives us and blesses us with. There are no guarantees of tomorrow and of what we think we will do. We become presumptuous in that we think that we are fully in control of our lives and that it should always go according to our plan.
Who’s are we? What are we here for? What is your purpose in life?
As believers in Christ we should realize that our life is first and foremost about God and not about us. We live, move and have our being for His good pleasure, not just ours. Romans 12:1 exhorts to daily present ourselves a living sacrifice that we might prove what is His good, acceptable and perfect will. Each day should start with us first getting in tune with the Holy Spirit and entering into God’s presence. It should start with our hearts being open and spiritual awareness that this day is for Him and not just for us. We may go through a fairly routine day, but somewhere in that day may be an opportunity to speak into someone’s life, to bless someone, to help someone or someone is watching, unbeknownst to you, how you live, speak and conduct your life. You are first and foremost, God’s ambassador and the expression of who He is to the world around you. When you are open to God changing your plans or redirecting your path, don’t allow yourself to be frustrated by a change in your circumstance, just be keenly aware that He might want to use you in a different way.
A life in Christ is not a living apart from Him, but an acknowledgement of Him in all that we do, no matter how routine or ordinary. God leads us as we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, as Proverbs 3 tells us.
Let us not fall into presumptuous sin, by making assumptions about all that we or will not do. We first submit our plans and ways to the Lord; being open for Him to adjust them to His will and purpose. When our faith is in God and not in ourselves then we are at peace with the circumstances that face us even when that might seem so negative. God is able to turn all things for good if our hearts and attitudes are trusting Him. We are not to boast and brag about we can do or accomplish, but our boasting is only in the Father and what He can do if we trust and acknowledge Him in all of our ways.

Blessings,
kent

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