Sometimes it is an amazing thought, an unfathomable thought, to know that He dwells in me. His Spirit.
What does that mean?
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’ ”
4 Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
John Baptizes Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3 (NKJV)
We too have that same Holy Spirit. We too can allow the Lord to work within our sinful lives. But truly, do we always listen to He who dwells in us?
Immediately after the baptism, Jesus was tempted.
Satan Tempts Jesus
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”
7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”
8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. – Matthew 4 (NKJV)
The devil tempted Yahshua with trickery. How often are we tricked into something sinful because we lack understanding? How often do we disregard His instruction, only to fall flat on our faces at a later time? How often we fail to listen to His Spirit within us to fight off those temptations.
We all have them. Many things tempt us, and many things are freely blown off as minimal. Not bad. But if we knew everything that is considered sinful in the eyes of our Lord, we would see the not bad as an abomination! Let’s face it, we don’t see all of those sins, and we sure don’t see things that we freely do that God disapproves of as abominations. In fact, we don’t even “see” in the same way as our Lord. We are fallen beings. We lack His perfection.
Enter Jesus! He has not only sealed our redemption through His blood, but He has shown us the way to better know God and how to be comforted. He gave us Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Truth. The Paraclete. His Holy Spirit. It is through His power, not our own, we can achieve the beautiful victory over sin! A victory that pleases the Lord, and makes the devil cringe with disgust.
The wages of sin brings death. It will pull you down into a vulnerable place where the devil can influence you more and more with simple tricks, opening your heart and mind to his slow decay. Dragging you further and further away from His glory. His heart. His mind. His ways.
Will you listen to Him?
I’m full of nastiness. Wretchedness. Abominations. They ooze out at random times. Sometimes I don’t ask for forgiveness, and sometimes those actions and thoughts bring horrible consequences. Through His grace, sanctification and a developing relationship with Him, things are growing in the right direction. I personally know a great deal of heading in the wrong directions, so I know that He who is in me is greater than I.
I pray this morning that we all learn to listen closer to, walk boldly with and develop a closer relation with He who is always with us. I pray that we may all see through His eyes, and not through these eyes of flesh. I pray that we allow Him to guide us through this decaying wasteland of sin.