John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
It can be difficult to think of Jesus as our friend when we are so aware of our weaknesses and personal insecurities. But God’s friendship with us is not based in any of our successes or failures. It is sourced in His infinite capacity to love. A.W. Tozer says, “We do God more honor by believing what He has said about Himself than by hiding in self-conscious humility among the trees of the garden.”
The temptations that Jesus faced in the desert (Luke 4:1-14) are the same kinds of temptation that we are being continuously enticed by in the world today.
The temptations Jesus endured were hedonism, egoism, and materialism.
Materialism is a personal attitude which attaches importance to acquiring and consuming material goods (kingdoms, wealth).
Egoism is the belief that individuals should focus primarily on doing what is in their self-interest.
Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that our personal pleasure and happiness should be the most important aspect of our life.
When Jesus returned from the 40 days of fasting and resisting temptation in the desert, he is said to have returned in the power of the Spirit. Overcoming these temptations may be an important key for us today in regard to ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 4:14-19 14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Imagine a church where the primary focus was simply welcoming, worshiping, and dwelling in the presence of God. Rather than trying to excel at all the other things that churches are involved in nowadays, this church would unapologetically focus on welcoming and inviting the presence of the living God.
Primarily a place of worship, this church would be a fellowship of believers focusing on the adoration of the great Adonai. A place of free flowing praise and prayer and prophecy and testimony as momentarily inspired by the Spirit of God. A place of spiritual rest and recharge.
Imagine a gathering of believers who would not seek to be all things to all people, striving endlessly to meet the wants and desires and agendas of people, but instead, a church whose primary focus was to unpretentiously welcome the freely flowing presence and direction of the Holy Spirit.
Can you imagine?
In chapter 21 of the book of Revelation we are told that all light within the new Jerusalem will be supplied by the Glory of God and the Lamb will be its lamp and there will no longer be any night within the city.
Rev 22:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
All spiritual light comes from the glory of God because the glory of God is sourced in the holiness of God. The holiness of God produces the glory of God which is the light that shines in the darkness.
It is the glory of our holy God that shines into the darkness of men’s souls to bring light to them. Christ is the lamp from which this light is brought forth.
In these darkest of times, it is the glory of God that will reveal what is hidden in darkness and it is the glory of God that will illuminate the Way that we are to go.
Within the radiance of the brilliance of the glory of the Lord the blind will see and the lame will walk. And in this I mean the body of Christ, for surely we are the blind when we have turned away from the light and we are the lame when we do not walk by the Spirit.
The Spirit said to me, “When the glory of the Lord rests upon a place, that place will be known as a Glory House. When the glory of God lifts from that place it will still be known as a Glory House because the glory of the Lord was there.”
Let us pray that the glory of the Lord will be with us that there will no longer be any night in our houses of worship and in the places where we dwell.
I literally cannot watch mainstream news for more than 60 seconds without feeling deeply repulsed by the constant barrage of unending lies and deliberate distortions and omissions. They seem to be almost entirely given over to propagandizing their viewers with endless attacks of ridiculous accusations and hysterical conjecture toward those who dare to think differently than them. It is an unending barrage of arrogant criticism and negativism.
But, even more sadly, the television ratings of these networks indicate that about half of the viewing public may actually agree with and believe these deceptions.
Isaiah 5: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and prudent in their own sight!”