Tag Archives: experience

Matthew 4 – Preparation

There are quite a few really interesting things going on in this chapter.  It is full of details and ideas that really make you think… or should make you think.  For instance, why did Jesus go into the wilderness?  Did He go to spend time with His Father?  Was He looking for clarification or direction?  Did He need some time of peace and quiet so that He could rest and prepare for His coming ministry?  Did He choose to go into the wilderness, or was he sent or led there?  Verse one says, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness…”  So this was a directed thing.  It was something that the Holy Spirit was directing Him to do, and not necessarily something that He was pursuing on His own.

So we know that he was led there.  Strong’s definition for the word used for “led” is:

to lead up; by extension to bring out; specifically to sail away: – bring (again, forth, up again), depart, launch (forth), lead (up), loose, offer, sail, set forth, take up.

So He was led like the wind leads a sail boat.  With enough work, a sail boat CAN move against the wind, but it is much faster and easier for a sailboat to accept and be led by the wind.

This again leads us to the question, why?   Why was He led into the wilderness…  time with the Father?  …seeking direction?  …rest & preparation?  Maybe any or all of these are related to why Jesus went into the wilderness, but the big, major reason is defined in verse one.  “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”  So Jesus whole reason and purpose for being in the wilderness was to be tempted.  That’s quite the statement isn’t it?  Jesus was led (like a sailing ship) into the wilderness to be tempted.  What is Jesus thought about this time / season?  Well, two chapters later Jesus is teaching His disciples about prayer and He directs them to pray “And DO NOT lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  That’s quite the statement isn’t it!  He has gone through it, and now He basically tells His disciples, “You do NOT want to do that!”

If we continue on, we find Jesus fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.  How many of us have fasted in our lives?  I know that I have.  Usually we fast for a reason, we have a question that needs an answer.  We have a problem that needs a result.  We need to reconnect to God / YHWH.  All of these are reasons we fast.  We fast in order to hear from and connect / reconnect to YHWH.  Jesus fasts here for 40 days and 40 nights, after finishing His fast, the very first voice he hears… is the tempter.  When we fast, whose voice do we expect to hear?  Do we fast to hear from the tempter or from YHWH?  Does that mean that we always hear from God, or even from God first?  We may pursue God, but we must be careful that the first word we hear while seeking YHWH may be the tempter rather than the Father.

There’s so much more to this chapter.  Please, please, take some time to study it… but then i could say the same thing about every other chapter of the Bible as well.

Blessings,

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

P.S. Also of note, this is what happens directly after the Holy Spirit comes upon Him, and YHWH tells the world, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased!”

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Filed under Application, Bible, Content, Gospels, Matthew, New Testament, Process, Project, Purpose

Genesis 39 – God’s Blessing

Well, it looks like i labeled yesterday’s chapter 39 instead of 38.  It’s fixed now, but if you were confused as  to why Genesis 39 didn’t have anything to do with Judah and his family, that’s because it doesn’t.  It was supposed to be Genesis 38.  Well, now on to the real Genesis 39.

Why does it seem at times that God’s blessing is immediately proceeded by some sort of trial or struggle?  At times through my life it has felt like the moment things start going right and smoothly, that is the moment it all starts to fall apart.  It feels like i just start to bounce back from one problem and… BANG!  I’m hit by the next.

That’s what appears to be happening here in Joseph’s life.  Joseph was a good young man, but his brother’s were jealous of him and his father’s favoritism towards him.  So they tried to make him miserable.  In turn God blesses him with dreams foretelling a future in which his brothers will bow down to him.  At which point his brothers decide to kill him, then at the last minute sell him as a slave.  So he gets sent down to Egypt and is sold into the household of an important leader.  Joseph does the right thing and God blesses Him.  Joseph continues to do  the right thing and as a result of doing the right thing he ends up accused of something he didn’t do with no way to defend himself.  So now he’s in a maximum security foreign prison with no hope of release.  I mean honestly, how much lower can a guy get? So what does he do?  He does the right thing.  He does his job well, and he becomes the most respected prisoner in that foreign maximum security facility.

Where is that going to get him.  Every time he does  the right thing and begins to excel beyond his situation, he loses out.  He drops deeper and deeper, like a man falling in a pit trying to climb out and each time he finally starts to make progress, he falls deeper in.

For those who already know, we know where this is going.  For those who don’t, this isn’t the end.  At one point in my life as i saw this happening, God spoke to me.  He told me that He loved me and not to worry.  Do you know what my automatic reaction was?  My reaction was, “Oh great, NOW what’s going to happen?”  You see, this had become my mentality.  This is how i had begun to see God and how He worked.  I began to believe that as soon as God began to bless me, it was just a predecessor to another trial… to another struggle, and i began to lose hope.

I know better now, but this is still how i feel sometimes.  I know a number of you can relate.  If that’s where you are.  You feel like it doesn’t matter how much you try… how much you do the right thing time, and time, and time, and time, and time again, and it seems like it’s a waste of time and life.  Well it’s not.  There is hope.  There is always hope.  It may not feel like it but God does love you, and He is taking care of you.  It’s never as bad as it seems, so just trust Him!  (I know, easier said than done sometimes, but do it anyways.)

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Filed under Application, Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, Person, Process, Purpose, Torah