The temptation to avoid and the invitation to grasp

The temptation to avoid:

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” (Luke 4:5-8, NIV) Read more

When we are out of power

As I read through the gospels again I am struck this time by the many ways the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus. When we have lost spiritual power and authority all we have left is manipulation. We are left trying to trap people in “doctrinal error” rather than walking in true authority ourselves.

Mark 12:24 (CEB)
Jesus said to them, “Isn’t this the reason you are wrong, because you don’t know either the scriptures or God’s power?

Spiritual power

I am meditating through the temptation of Jesus in Luke 4 again. I am continually challenged with the thought of Jesus being full of the Spirit, then led BY the Spirit into spiritual battle.

We pray for spiritual power, but we don’t want the battles. Miracles don’t happen in calm times. Jesus didn’t walk on water when the sea was calm. The miracles, the victories, come out of the storm.

Do we settle for the dominion of the enemy?

I can still remember parts of a sermon I heard many years ago from Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM, on the passage Matthew 8:28-34. The message was called “Swine over the Savior.”

The people of that region seemed to have “settled in” with the idea of the demoniac men running wild. They could at least “contain” them in some way. It’s amazing how we will reason pain in our lives. We don’t like change so we settle in with “compromises” and allow something besides King Jesus dominate us.

When Jesus delivered the men, the town asked Jesus to leave. Jesus was more wild to them.

We may settle far too often for the dominion of the enemy rather than the radical freedom of our Savior. He is not just “meek and mild.” He is untamed in our eyes. But HE is King. HE is powerful. HE loves us.

There is the saying, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.”

What a lie of the enemy. What a horrible way to keep people in bondage.

I pray we wake up to the “devil we know” and realize the power of the SAVIOR we may not know is loving and GOOD. Let’s not settle any longer for the “devil we know” and the dominion he holds. Let’s wake up to the incredible power of the One who truly can reign with power and love.

Living in Jubilee

I am reading prayerfully through the Gospel of Luke and today found me in Chapter 7. It has been a chapter I’ve slowly worked through in prayer the last couple of days, and I imagine I may be here a little longer.

It is a wonderful place to start a New Year. As I reflect on life and ministry, the question I have for the year is what would Jesus have of me? This chapter opens up the possibilities.

Live where Jesus lived. Act as Jesus acted.

Live in Jubilee.

That was his basic message to John the Baptist’s messengers (7:18-23). When they asked if Jesus was “the One,” he simply performed the passage, then declared he was doing all that had been laid out in Isaiah’s words.

Jubilee isn’t a year anymore. It’s a life. And that is the life to which God calls us.

I reflect on Luke 7 and think about where Jesus went and what he did in this chapter. It’s a great synopsis.

It is about the “outsider.” It is about those on the “margins.”

It is about living in the power of Jubilee. I mean… why not pray for the sick so they can recover?

It is about extending forgiveness to people who thought at one point in time they could not be forgiven.

Live there.

Live in Jubilee.