May 18 / Proverbs 18 / Luke 4

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Luke 4:1-2a

Then Jesus returned from the Jordan, full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for 40 days to be tempted by the devil.

The result of baptism, by God, is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then the Spirit leads us, if we tune in to her. And I wonder if the message here is that often we will be led into a time of testing, of proving, of strengthening.

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Luke 4:13

After the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from Him for a time.

Battling temptation with Scripture, our only truly effective weapon against it, causes the devil to fleeā€¦for a while. He will return at an opportunity. And we will need to do it again. The same thing. Over and over.

“Broken Record Theology” we call it.

Jesus used the word that was already hidden in Him. That had been ingested. That had been meditated upon and memorized.

It’s been a while since I spoke Scripture aloud to fight temptation while in the heat of it. This I will do this week.

Luke 4:14

Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit…

Overcoming temptation by the word of God strengthens us in the Spirit. To build muscle, you need some sort of resistance and you need to “overcome” it. You lift thru it. You don’t just let it sit on you and hope you get stronger and stronger someday.

Jesus was the strongest person in the Spirit on earth because He never gave in to it. He always resisted the maximum amount, so He built the maximum strength.

YHWH does not put more on the bar than you can lift with His power [I Cor. 10:13].

Do you want to grow in strength in the Spirit, and build your spiritual muscles? Or do you want to keep giving in to the same old temptations over and over again, asking forgiveness and remaining supernaturally flabby?

What do you want?

The power that raised Jesus from the dead is within us.

If you want it.

Let’s live like it.

Do you want it?

Proverbs 18:2

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing personal opinion.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Listen before you speak.

Really listen.

Sometimes people just need you to hear them, to listen to them, to know them.

Sometimes people just need you to be with them in their pain.

It’s remarkable, and honestly quite baffling at times, how healing a listening ear and a non-opininion-spouting mouth can be.

David Benner says that ministry in the form of spiritual counseling or therapy is praying, listening well, asking good questions, and wondering aloud.

I like that.

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