After Baptism But Before Preaching

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness

Matthew 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,

and they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.


IT IS WHAT IT IS is a common vernacular that we use when we are getting clear and clearer about a thing, a person, a situation that we’ve now walked into the life and be able to gain some perspective on that allows us to move in a new grace and understanding.  IT IS WHAT IT IS…(examples).


But I have always used this one that I offer you today: IT AIN’T WHAT IT AIN’T!


MIRAGES, FAKES AND OPTICAL ILLUSIONS: Things that we thought we saw that weren’t there and how we have to have MERCY on our EYES, EARS and ofttimes HEARTS for believing that we saw a thing, we witnessed a thing, we

As a writer, I know that the MAIN REASON we need editors is because an editor is objective and can see what it ACTUALLY on the page and what ain’t!  We can sometimes be reading a story or re-reading our own words and WE WILL INSERT what we meant to be there because WE KNOW WHAT WE INTENDED and to notice its actual absence would FORCE US TO STOP and deal with the gap in the great thing that we know we prayed for and about, trusting that we truly do want what’s best for ourselves.

THE EMPTY TIFFANY BOX: Our greatest desires and hopes and what we will sometimes suffer just so we are not WRONG; Sometimes it’s a diamond and sometimes it just a rock that sparkles.

What I truly appreciate about this scripture is that even in the first parts of it, Jesus engages Satan.  He, like we, believes that in order to show and prove our walk and our worth against the tempter, the trickster, the liar and the lies that come against us, we must stand surefooted and handle your scandal.

But there comes a point:  AWAY FROM YOU.  No threat.  No scripture.  No long winded words.  Just GET AWAY FROM ME.  Your faith must be your force.  MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YO!U.  We like calling on Jesus to do the work that frightens us most. But Jesus, in the moment, after being rescued and redeemed BUT before he truly gets to the work of his work, has a moment when he said I AM BEING TESTED and this isn’t an SAT or an all day Saturday thing.  This is the test of HOW LONG WILL YOU DEAL WITH THE DEVIL before you realize that you’ve got the power?

Think about it again and consider how often we stay in stuff because we want to OR because we think that God is working on something in us and it might take a while.  It’s like when we say I AM WORKING ON STOP SMOKING or ON WORKING OUT or ON EATING BETTER.  WHAT DOES THAT “WORKING ON” actually look like?  What does it look like when you come off-script and decide to speak from your heart what you know to be true and truth?







“AWAY FROM ME, SATAN!” was Jesus ad-libbing and taking his fate and his faith into his own hands and that’s when God said WE DON’T DO THIS THING!


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