“Immediately after the heavens were opened to Him (Jesus), and immediately after the Spirit descended on Him, the next news we hear of Him is that He is tempted; for then He is best able to grapple with the temptation. Great privileges, and special tokens of divine favor, will not secure us from being tempted. Nay, after great honors are put upon us, we must expect something that is humbling. God usually prepares His people for temptation before He calls them to it.”
Looking into my heart right now and looking back at my past few weeks, I’m not sure just how applicable the last sentence is to Lori Sealy. I am not sensing my usefulness at the moment and clearly see that I am not "good" ("There is no one good, no not one."). That's not false humility, that's just the plain and simple truth! Yet, I recognize that I have been clothed in the goodness of Christ and my heart longs to be used by God. Therefore these things have been applied to me and are true of me by grace. He has made me good and He mercifully allows me to be useful.
“Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
"Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace" is connected to He who endured temptation without sin. Christ's active obedience in the midst of temptation is the foundation upon which our bold prayers can be built. This beautiful passage begins with with “Let us therefore” – in other words, because of the fact that Christ endured and overcame temptation in "all things" we are to BOLDLY draw near with confidence to the throne of grace. Here is the rubber of Christ's imputed perfect life meeting the road of my prayer life. It's time to get bold! It's time to draw near! It's time to be confident in my petitions that I might find mercy and grace in my time of need! Lord - remove the callouses from my heart and form some callouses on my knees!!
The wilderness is sometimes a barren wasteland. At times our hearts are like deserts and Satan, sin and self pursue us in that dry and thirsty land. The Devil looks for our Achile's heel and that is where he loves to strike. How good to know that "He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world." What a comfort to know that He will make my barren places fruitful and my deserts to flow with streams of living water. Lord – you’ve promised to make all things beautiful in Your time. Would you do that with me?! Yes! You will – for so you have said and it is impossible for You to lie! Let me not despise the wilderness but delight in the priviledge of pruning.
There’s no need for me to speculate at whatever the source of my current battle is – self, sin, Satan – the answer remains the same. The answer is Christ in us enabling His Word to be used by us. "He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world." May we fling ourselves fully into the arms of the Omnipotently Strong Savior of sinners.
Led, Tempted, and being Delivered,