The Temptation of Success

The Temptation of Success

Daily Reading: (Luke 4:42-44): “Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowd sought Him and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from leaving them;but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.”

Before Jesus’ Galilean ministry started (Luke 4:14) Satan first tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13). Now Jesus would be tempted in different ways through rejection in his hometown (Luke 4:28-29) and then success in the crowd’s desire for Him to stay (Luke 4:42). It was Jesus’ communication with God the Father (Luke 4:42) as He retreated to a desert place that moved Him forward to the next place that God decreed.

Jesus is successful in not falling to the devil’s temptation unlike Adam in the Garden of Eden. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ, shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22). Jesus Christ is our success.

Our Lord Jesus showed us what to do when we are under attack by the devil. Against each attack, His response was to say, “It is written” (Matthew 4:1–11). Jesus used the Word of God.

The beauty of the simplicity of Luke 4:42 shows us that those who seek Jesus will find Him. Proverbs 8:17: those who seek me find me.” I love how the conditions the people were in (Luke 4:40) is what led the people to seek Jesus. Just as those who are sick will seek out a doctor, we are to seek the Great Physician for our healing. We all know people who seem to be down and out as they are experiencing the effect of sin which is sickness. May those who do not know God’s love or are in need of receiving more revelation of God’s love, may their situation led them to seek Jesus, and the promise is they will find Him. And this finding Christ is a work of God (John 12:32).

The crowds sought Jesus they came to Him and had a request “that he should not depart from them.” The reason I know this is not what God would have of Jesus is that the Greek word used is katechō which means to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of).

“And he said unto them, I must”- (dei)- necessity established by the counsel and decree of God.

How do I know when a good thing is not necessarily the right thing? When we seek God’s counsel we will know how to respond. 

Journey of Success

Daily Reading: (Judges 18:5-6) 5 Then they said to him, “Please inquire of God to learn whether our journey will be successful.”6 The priest answered them, “Go in peace. Your journey has the Lord’s approval.”

If I could guarantee that by the end of next year- you would be able to look back and proclaim that 2018-2019 was an extremely successful most prosperous year but you had to first experience some really difficult challenges before you reached that point – would like to sign up for that? When we know the outcome is success, living the story becomes quite exhilarating (Judges 18:5-6).

“The priest answered them, “Go in peace” (Shalom): completeness, soundness, welfare, peace with God especially in covenant relationship

They want to know is our journey going to be successful?  Wouldn’t you like to know if your journey will be successful. If 2018 and beyond will be a prosperous journey? We all want to know like the Danites- is God in this endeavor, will it be successful?

In your life journey, go in peace (shalom)- completeness soundness, welfare because you know God is in covenant relationship with you.

Here is why: Under the New Covenant, we are given the opportunity to receive salvation as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our responsibility is to exercise faith in Christ (throughout our journey) know that your journey will be a success, your journey like last week is one of purpose. Remember Philippians 1:6 being confident of this (being confident of what the journey ahead will be a success) why because He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Because the One who fulfilled the Law on our behalf brought an end to the Law’s sacrifices through His own sacrificial death. You see the Danites needed to know will it be a success because the covenant at that time was between them and God- if they did something wrong it would be a failure- but Jesus is our success. He satisfied the demands of the Law and so we got forth in victory. Through the life-giving Holy Spirit who lives in all believers (Romans 8:9-11), we share in the inheritance of Christ and enjoy a permanent, unbroken relationship with God (Hebrews 9:15).

Deuteronomy 28:1 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.” So, when you read the qualifications for the blessing (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) and you look to yourself you will realize you are unqualified (in and of yourself for them). They had to “Inquire of God whether their journey will be successful” (Judges 18:5).

This also means based upon them worshiping false gods at the end of Judges 18- blessings are not coming but curses instead.  Deuteronomy 28:15: “However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you”.

Here is the good news- New Covenant Living-Jesus is your qualification for God’s blessings. Jesus already came to fulfill the Law (Matthew 5:17) you just need to cash in on the blessings that are yours in Christ by faith.

Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13). If the curse is gone- then what is left? The blessings are left for us.

It is no longer a question of how much or how well you have kept God’s commandments. It is a question of how much you can believe God for His blessings.  We like the Danites, received Word -as God send His Son who is the Word became flesh so that we might have peace with God through Christ. So, by faith, go in Shalom- completeness, soundness, welfare, peace because we are restored in relationship with God in covenant relationship.

However, just like the Danites, we still need to go forward and battle the forces of darkness believing in the report of the Lord.

The Bible says (Joshua 1:8) that you will make your way prosperous when you hagah God’s Word. So, speak forth God’s Word (Jesus Christ) who is our victory over the areas which you want to see breakthroughs and you will have good success.

Now, confessing God’s Word does not move God to do things for you. It is not a formula. God had already moved when He gave up Jesus to die for you. However, as you confess His Word, it moves you from a position of doubt to faith. It moves your heart from a position of “Is it true?” to “I believe it!” When that happens, “your way is prosperous and you will have good success”