Day 106: There is Strength in Dependence Our readings today are I Samuel 19, I Chronicles 7, Psalm 59 and Matthew 4.
There is Strength in Dependence
Our readings today are I Samuel 19, I Chronicles 7, Psalm 59 and Matthew 4. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
Jesus is out in the desert being tempted by Satan. In the desert, he is demontrating is union and dependence on his Father and the Spirit. He is alone in this desert, for 40 days, not eating a thing. On the outside, it might seem that he is becoming weak, but actually, it’s just the opposite.
And this is the point of temptation, union and dependance with God. This is Satans point of attack. He challenges Jesus to break with his Father, and the Spirit, to go it alone. To save himself, to get what he came for, to satisfy himself, to exalt himself, to abandon the community of love, to take the throne of Solitary and Sovereign Power. turn stones into bread. He wants Jesus to exercise his authority, independent of God.
Then he leads him to the temple and tells Jesus to jump off the highest pinnacle, and let his angels rescue him from harm. He again wants him to exercise His independence, apart from God. He wants Jesus, on his own, to make those angels do something. The last temptation is when he takes Jesus up on a high mountain, and promises him all the kingdoms of the world, apart from God. But in the desert, Jesus learned something completely opposite of the world’s wisdom. He was finding strength in His utter dependence on on His Father.
This is of course, where Adam failed. He abandoned the community of Love for solitaire sovereign control. This is where you and I fail. We are always being encouraged to live life apart from God. We are told to exercise our own independence from God. we fail to depend on God for all we need. We exercise our own authority, autonomy and self-determination, apart from God. We fall for the temptation. We build our lives and kingdom, apart from God.
Where we fail Jesus will not. Seeing our need, he comes and does what we cannot. And because he overcomes, he wins for us our place back into the community of love, That’s the gospel. And that what Jesus will not be deterred from accomplishing for the whole human race. And now he invites us to participate with him in his community of love, with his father and the spirit. . Victorious with Him over the evil one. Ready to live a life of dependence upon God, living in the reality of our union with God in Christ. He invite us into a new way – the way of the Kingdom. He says, come and follow me in the Kingdom of God. That’s the invitation he is offering to whoever will hear. He says,
Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. (Matt 4:17 NLT)
He is calling people to repent of self-reliance and the choice to live life on their own terms. He is calling people to surrender to a Kingdom-life. And he calls you to do the same. See what God has done, and let him lead you in a life of Spirit-dependence, as you learn to allow the Spirit to live in and through you.
The Devil tempts the world into a life of self-reliance. Jesus invites the world into a life of Spirit-dependence.
The Devil tempts the world into a life of self-reliance. Jesus invites the world into a life of Spirit-dependence. Peter and Andrew, James and John, were two sets of brothers who would find themselves dropping their nets and following Jesus. Those nets were a symbol of their self-reliance. They let them go and followed Him. They would come to learn from Jesus, the Kingdom way.
Allow the presence of Christ to live in and through you. Live as a citizen in the kingdom of God, and be free. Learn from Jesus’ example. See temptations for what they are. The temptations will come, to build a life apart from God, to be self-reliant and self-determined, to be the guiding force in all your decisions. When these temptations come, step back and remember what Jesus did, and the invitation He offers. It’s an invitation to allow Him to live His life in and through you, by His Spirit. He invites you into a beautiful life of utter dependence on Him, each step of the way.