Day 12 – SOS Jesus [20 Leaders in 20 Days]
It was clear to me as my Father led me into my ministry and purpose that I wasn’t just going to be their Savior. I wasn’t just to be their King. I wasn’t just their Lord and Messiah, I was something much more intimate.
I was to be their Example.
It was good to see John, he was really coming into his own and I was proud of the man he had become. God was blessing him and it did my heart good to see him prosper, even if the world didn’t see him with My eyes. When we rose out of the water, heaven itself spoke over Me, confirming the calling I knew:
This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.
And peace descended on us like a dove.
It was a peace before the coming storm. From John I went to spend time in the lonely desolation of the desert. There I fasted forty days and forty nights, bringing myself to the limits of human endurance. Things change after two to three days without food and hunger subsides, at least hunger in the normal sense. It becomes more dangerous and every hour you can literally feel the resources of the body being stolen away, bringing a sense of mortality to the fore. I was physically weaker than I had ever been but it was necessary. This was the stage for my struggle with the Morning Star.
I had spent my days in prayer, study and meditation in preparation for the test to come. Most recently, I had been with Moses and God’s words to Him were life to me. Even reading and still at peace, I began to set my heart for the tempter. It was almost time.
The first trial was to move to satisfy my own hunger through supernatural means. It was a real temptation; I was on the edge. Just turn these stones into bread, and in my mind’s eye I could see it happening. With that one act I could move to alter creation for my care. Even more, I could move to feed all hungry people everywhere. I somehow knew that I could just will it to be so and it would be. No more poor. No child would ever be hungry again. The voice of my enemy whispered to me and it sounded so right.
But it wasn’t what the Father was doing. I responded with the words of the first prophet of Israel: It is written: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Then my enemy took Me to Jerusalem and led Me to the top of the temple tempting Me to prove Myself through miraculous means. By throwing Myself down and allowing the angels to save Me, preventing the frustration of God’s purpose through accident or injury. It was so close to what I was being called to do. It was so close to the signs and wonders of His presence confirming that the kingdom was at hand. It was so close.
But it was wrong and it left the taste of ashes in my mouth. I gave him Deuteronomy again:
It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Immediately the world blurred and we were on top of a high mountain. In the distance I could somehow see and perceive the kingdoms of the earth. In this unholy moment I saw the roads leading to Rome, the cultures of the east, even the cities of people across a great ocean, all being brought together under my rule.
I could unite the earth and end injustice. I could bring wisdom and power to law and the organization of government. I could speak out God’s very word and will to the nations of the earth and by bowing to Me, they would be bowing to Him. All I had to do was compromise.
Turning away from the good I could do, I closed my heart to my rightful place. I could see it too clearly. The earth longed for the direction I could bring. It was the good that Father wasn’t doing yet. In perfect symmetry, the words of Moses burned again in my mind and I spoke them with fiery presence:
Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’
Finally he left Me and I collapsed in exhaustion. Angels came and surrounded Me with their strength and power. I thanked God that the moment was past.
It wasn’t just for Me, this test. It was for all who would come after. I prayed that they would receive the account of this and make the most of the steps they were called to walk.
The calling and position of God is not for our benefit or comfort.
The ministry of our work is never just a spectacle, bringing large following through illegitimate means.
The Kingdom of Heaven has no place for compromise with the enemy, even when it seems good.
The word of God is our strength.
Father, let us do Your will… and let Your children follow Me in the love and grace You intend.
…but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (The Account of Matthew, 5)