Long Stretches

I awoke this morning quite low in spirit. As I read the passage in Luke 4:1-13 it brought to mind, from childhood to adulthood, the many areas where there used to be long stretches of trees along both sides of major roads and small streets alike. Though you didn’t see so much of the “wildlife” you knew it existed. To go into those trees and bushes which I did as a child on many occasions, it was indeed a wilderness for me and my friends but not for the animals that lived there. Today everyone of those places I remember have been cultivated for human habitation, now a very different kind of wilderness. “For it has been given over to me (Luke 4:1-13),” claims the adversary, yet I am reminded today that it’s only an illusion created by the wilderness, a place we enter when the spirit is low creating that opportune time for misdirection and misguidedness. Let us today not be fooled by the illusion of the world’s authority. Even in the long stretches of wilderness, cries of faith in our weakest moments are far stronger than the illusions created by the world, and do not go unheard by the one True Authority.

 

Stimuli

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  Matthew 4:1-11  If I had the resources I could probably buy a pair of shoes every day. I have at times changed my outing so that I would conveniently pass by a shoe store just to see what’s new. A shoe store could be considered a “wilderness” for me so at any point and time that I find myself going in a shoe store I know that it’s not the Spirit of God that is leading me there. This is perhaps a simple example of how we instigate our own wilderness. If we are not careful we can find ourselves walking into situations that make us vulnerable. Christ’s answer to his temptations is to live the Word of God out loud, because even as we are weak the Spirit is strong. Soon, we are able to recognize our own self-imposed temptations and be less dependent on the things that the world has to offer and be more stimulated by the presence of a risen Christ.

Act Like We Know

Luke 4:1  Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness…

Jesus first wilderness experience wasn’t his last. Every time he confronted the Pharisees in his journey to the cross he was physically and spiritually tested. Our journey will me much the same way. With that being said, how very important it is to know the Word of God in our lives. If Jesus hadn’t known do you think he would have jumped off that cliff? Occasionally in my physical youth I sometimes found myself following a destructive path and every single time my mother would say “If your friends told you to jump off a bridge would you do that too?” “Act like you know!” Well even in my spiritual youth, sometimes I acted like I didn’t know. Although I no longer have my mother’s voice, the same Spirit that guided her in my life is the same Spirit that leads me today. I hear it loud and clear. Whether we do something wrong or simply doesn’t make sense, when we make the choice to follow Christ, we have to learn to respond like we know, or we will jump off that cliff every single time. While in this journey we wont escape the testing but when we use God’s Word to guide us we don’t have to allow ourselves to fail.

Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. 

Advent 2:Prepare The Way

Sunday:

A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God (Isaiah 40:1-11). It’s been my experience that there are times when I am crying out from a place of wilderness but the only person(s) hearing my voice is another person in the wilderness. For the past week I’ve been on a boat ride, well actually a cruise. In the middle of that cruise, as I sat gazing at water while the passenger were busy milling around, for a moment I wondered what if the boat didn’t make it. Would I find myself in wilderness or in peace? To my pleasure, the answer came rather quickly. He said, “Be prepared to look for the peace in the wilderness.”

Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people,
   says your God. 
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
   and cry to her
that she has served her term,
   that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
   double for all her sins.

A Note of Thanks!

It’s wonderful to be back! For the past week I had a much needed vacation. I hope the short messages of encouragement I wrote before leaving helped give some bread for thought. It’s been a rather long year but the journey was well worth it. God is faithful and I am looking forward to somehow enhancing Crustybread as the year turns. This is an early Thank you to all my followers and God bless each of you. If you have some ideas I would love to hear them. Until tomorrow, continue to be blessed.

Revd—-