20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Jesse’s sermon this morning really changed a lot for me, and even scripture feels different to me now.
Everything feels simpler.
He spoke about how human Jesus really was. How hard it must have been for him to be tempted as he was! He was tired, hungry and looking towards death on a cross when Satan offered him just what he came to earth for: authority over all the nations…
And the only way Jesus overcame temptation was through the Holy Spirit, which He was filled with after his baptism.
Why did Jesus need the Holy Spirit? For the same reason we do. For everything. First thing he did after being filled, he was led by the Spirit to the wilderness to be tempted.
He used Scripture to counter the devil’s schemes. But then Satan tried to use the Word to tempt him (we can always twist the word to mean what we want it to, can’t we, but it’s wrong and brings death instead of life)–
But when Satan did that, Jesus was so filled with the Spirit that Satan had no chance — and he endured— because of the joy set before Him.
Hebrews 12:3: Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Consider him next time you are tempted. His temptation was greater and yet he endured FOR the joy set before him. We have access to this same Spirit! I am not saying to endure like Jesus when you are weary and fainthearted…I am saying that because he endured it, we should never be faint of heart!
Read it again:
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
We’re not even supposed to be weary. We shouldn’t get to that point — ever—— We don’t have to be fainthearted. Because of his experience, we never have to experience these feelings. Until today, when i would hear “Just compare yourself to Christ” I would say sure, ok, but inside feel like yea, right……..
Today I finally see that Jesus is the perfect example for us but we only see it when we understand this: that He was human, with no special powers at all and overcame through the power of the Spirit! His example is that we must be filled with the Spirit, continually. We must rely fully on the Spirit, just like Jesus did, and take all our strength for the day from Him.
We can worship and overcome in the same Spirit as Jesus because of what he endured, and we do not have to face the cross at the end. Maybe this is why He said we will do even greater things than He did because he left to go to Heaven—he knew that we would have this same access, and his example and would be here more than 33 years each—-
This changes everything. When i am tempted, I can no longer be apathetic and not care anymore, and I cannot feel entitled anymore when I suffer (like somebody owes me something because of my great suffering). Jesus suffered more, endured more and did it all through the Spirit, through his help, because he loves us.
I think also on a smaller note, I learned that the more I read the Word, the more i recognize when I am sinning or being tempted, and the more prepared i am to fight it.
I am really thankful for my church. Thanks to the Fortress (Sean!) for waffles and Charlotte for the beautiful lunch. People love each other, hang out, give us the nourishment we need — PLUS give us real food to eat! It’s a win win win win win.