"Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil." Matthew 4:1. Sometimes we find ourselves all alone in a spiritual wilderness. This is where and when the devil attacts us and we face temptations. We hunger and thirst after God. Jesus was alone in the wilderness immediately after he had been baptized by John in the Jordan River, and he had fasted for forty days and was hungry. Satan seized upon this opportunity to tempt him to sin by suggesting that he use his divine power to satisfy his own physical needs and desires, but Jesus answer was that feasting on the word of God and obeying God was more needful and profitable than satisfying the lusts of the flesh. Man needs more than physical food, clothing, and shelter for survival.. He needs to absorb every word of God into his heart and mind. When Jesus was tempted to turn stones into bread, his answer was - "It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4: 4. Sometimes, perhaps, God may temporarily withdraw himself from us and leave us for a time in a dry, lonely spiritual condition, a spiritual wilderness to test our spiritual character, and to let us see our own weakness and need, and dependency on him. We need to be aware that at such times as these, when we are wandering alone in a spiritual wilderness, far from God, our adversary the devil seeks us out to destroy us, and to draw us further away from communion with God. Let us be wise as serpents, and be aware when our enemy is seeking to destroy us, and as Jesus did, use the weapon of our warfare to defeat Satan, and restore our communion and fellowship with God our Father through Christ. Satan is no match for the pure word of God, so, let us proclaim as Jesus did: "Get thee hence Satan, for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:10.. When we find ourselves alone in the wilderness, let us remember that God has promised to hear our faintest prayer. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Robert A. Searles Posted by Telehelp Publications
I sometimes fear for our great country, that we might ever be becoming more ripe for the judgment of God, because, more and more it seems that in order to be politically correct, we must turn our backs on absolute truth, and be disobedient to the moral laws and commandments of God and the values of our fathers that once made our land, America, the leader among nations., but more recently those values are being compromised and corrupted, and turned inside out, so to speak, particularly in governmental circles.
A warning was issued by the prophet Isaiah to the nation of Israel many centuries ago that because of this very thing, judgment was pending, and history has proven that judgment did come just as Isaiah had predicted.
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5: 20.
Who can deny that this is taking place in America today? That which God calls evil, men consider it to be normal and right, and that which God says is good, men ridicule as being old fashioned and irrelevant in today's society. Principles that are being taught and fostered in our educational system today are in direct opposition to the principles that a Holy God has laid down in his Holy Word. According to worldly standards, darkness is considered light, and light is to be considered to be darkness, and bitter is sweet, and sweet is bitter.
“Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.” Isaiah 5: 21.
Men and women of science, so called, who in their estimation of themselves and their work, think that by their own intelligence and wisdom, they can solve all the mysteries of life and the universe without bringing into their laboratory any consideration of the supernatural intelligence and power of our living God. They prefer to give credit for unexplainable events in the universe to “mother nature” rather than to our “Father God”
“Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!” Isaiah 5:22.23
Instead of being influenced by the spirit of God as God had intended for his creation, men have in the past and still are today, making important and crucial decisions and laws under the influence of alcohol, and drugs, and mind controlling substances. Also, who will deny that many times the wicked are justified and criminals go free through bribes and payoffs of the wealthy in high places.
We must take heed to our ways lest we be judged and destroyed as a free nation under God. We as Christians, in particular, must take our head out of the sand, come out of our secluded closets, and let those in authority know that we want truth – God's truth, his morality and his righteousness to prevail in our country. God is not mocked, he is the same today as he was in Isaiah's day.
“Therefore, as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so, their root shall be as rottenness. And their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the holy one of Israel. Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” Isaiah 5: 24,25.
God will surely spare us and bless us if we will sincerely turn back to him, confess our sins, and seek his righteousness. My God truly bless America!
“ Hear this, all ye people, give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: both low and high, rich and poor together.” Psalm 49: 1,2.
No matter how wealthy one may be in terms or money, or possessions, or the esteem of men, or their position and status in society, they could never in a million years have accumulated enough wealth to pay for the debt they owe to God for their own sins and iniquities, or to redeem another person.
“They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches: none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” Psalm 49: 6,7
The cost of man's redemption is infinitely beyond any calculated amount required, and is precious – so precious that all the wealth in the entire universe is not enough to pay for one drop of the blood that was shed for the salvation of mankind – that of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“(For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever) that he should still live forever, and not see corruption.” Psalm 49: 8,9.
Rich men, poor men, and wise men die, likewise as the fool and brutish person, whether rich or poor, wise or foolish, if thy die still in debt to God for sin, they perish and are as the beasts and leave their wealth to others.
“For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.” Psalm 49: 10
But freely, God offers by grace, and grace alone, without works or money, that precious free gift that can not be purchased – that one drop of our Savior's blood that was shed for the remission of sins, and grants eternal salvation and eternal life.
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come ye, buy, and eat: yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.” Isaiah 55: 1,2.
Won't you be wise, and not foolish, and receive by faith the free gift that God has to offer, and boast not in your riches, good works, and self righteousness?
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
“And he answered and spoke unto those who stood before him, saying, take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” Zec 3:4.
“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, friend , how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22: 11-14.
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment: and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Rev 3:5.
When the roll is called up yonder, will you be there? Is your name recorded in the Lamb's book of life? Have you responded to the Lord's invitation to sit at the banqueting table at the wedding feast of the Lord? Have your filthy clothes been changed, and have you allowed the Lord to clothe you with the shinning white garments of his righteousness.? Have you acknowledged that you are a sinner by nature, as we all are, and that your own self righteousness is as filthy rags? We all need to be bathed in the blood of the Lamb of God, and clothed with his garments of righteousness. Unless we believe and come to Christ, and accept him as Savior and sacrifice for our sins, we will have to appear before God in our filthy rags, and our name will have been blotted out of the Lamb's book of life, and we will not hear the Lord calling our name to enter into the banqueting hall.
The Lord has a robe of righteousness awaiting to be put on all those who will come to him and believing in him. Do you know for sure that when the angel of the Lord stands in heaven to call the roll of all the saints, that your name will be called and not blotted out? If you are not sure why not make sure of your salvation today, and believe and call upon Christ before it is too late?
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother ,and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him. And Moses and Arron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, hear now, ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod, he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly , and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” Numbers 20: 7-12.
As God spoke to Moses and Arron in the wilderness, so he speaks to us today, telling us to “Speak to the Rock”. As unto unbelievers, he says to us as he said to Moses - just to paraphrase - “Because ye believed me not” therefore ye shall not receive the blessings which I had planned for you.
It was God's intention for Moses and Arron to lead the congregation of Israel into the promised land which flowed with milk and honey, but because Moses had not just taken God at his word and believed him when he told him to speak to the rock and it would yield forth water, instead, Moses took it upon himself to strike the rock with his staff, thus thinking he could accomplish by works or by force, that which God had promised would be accomplished by faith alone in the promises and power of God.
Likewise, we today, I fear, sometimes lose out on many of the blessings which God intends for us to enjoy, simply because of the fact that we do not believe God as we should and take him at his word. We try to work out our own problems and difficulties and many times ignore the promises of God when he tells us simply to believe him, and speak to him and trust him to make good on his promises
What a loss it was for Moses to be denied entrance into the promised land because of his impatience with God! And what a tremendous loss it is for us to lose blessings from God because of our unbelief!
God said to Moses, speak to the rock and it shall bring forth water. God says to us today- ask and it shall be given thee.
Let us by faith ask God to supply our needs, and believe his promise that he will provide, and not try to by-pass God, as it were, and make things happen, just by our own efforts. Trust in the Lord ,wait patiently for him, and he shall bring it to pass.
When I believed and called upon the Lord and waited patiently for him, he heard me and lifted me up out of the horrible miry pit – the horrible pit 0f sin; the horrible pit of spiritual poverty; the horrible pit of fear and despair, and sickness of mind and soul; the horrible pit of temptation; the horrible pit of sorrow; the horrible pit of death. Consequently, I have a song of praise and thanksgiving in my mouth, and joy in my heart, for my feet are set upon the rock, and through Christ I can know the way and where I am going. I can agree with the psalmist who said: “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, nd established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40: 1, 2, 3.
Did you go to the garden this morning where Jesus was waiting for you? Did he greet you there, with your burdens and cares, did he bid you to give them to him? When you met with the Lord in the garden, did he tell you that all would be well, if you only believe, and his love would receive, and that no one could take you from him? When you walked in the garden with Jesus this morn in the cool of the day, did he tell you of heaven, his home up above? Did he tell you that he was the way?
If you did not go to the garden, this morn at the breaking of day, to meet with the Lord who was waiting for you, to take all your burdens away – then you have missed a great blessing that could have been yours, had you worshiped at his throne of grace. He wanted to comfort and give you sweet rest, and wipe all the tears from your face. Had you met in the garden with Jesus this morn at the breakiing of day, great peace would be yours after hearing his voice, saying child you have nothing to fear – for all will be well if with me you will dwell, and walk in the garden with me.
I went to the garden this morning where Jesus was waiting for me. We walked and we talked and we had fellowship there. He showed me his plan for today, one day at a time, each moment I'll find his guidance sufficient for me, if I will but trust in his holy word, and be led by his spirit, you see!
Oh friend won't you come to the garden each morn at the breaking of day, where the roses are fresh with the dew of the morn, and the birds sing so sweetly of love, to walk with him there, and so to prepare to live in his presence above?
Oh! Who then will come to the garden to pray, where Jesus is waiting for you? He waits for you there to show you the way, and show you the depths of his love. For you see, he is not willing for you to be lost, and cast into eternal hell. All your sin debt was paid when he died on the cross. He carried your guilt all away. And when he arose on that first Easter morning, how fresh was the breaking of day! The dew on the rose, and the song of the birds, in the garden they met Jesus there. Sins debts were paid, death was destroyed when Jesus came out of the tomb. Forever there will be, for you and for me, a place by his sanctified throne.
So, why don't you come this morning with me to the beautiful garden of prayer, to tell him how thankful we are for his love, and that we have a home over there.
With these morning thoughts still fresh in our hearts, let us walk with him all through the day. As he guides us along and shows us the way, let us but trust and obey. Then when the shadows of night come along, and we come to the end of our day, we can rejoice and lay down to sleep with assurance of waking to an eternal day.
From the book - "Morning Thoughts And Meditations" -Copyright: Robert A. Searles
When we are “born again” into the family of God and become Christians, we begin to face enemies that we have never had to face before. Our battles are not necessarily against flesh and blood enemies, but we strive against spiritual forces in high places.
When we become Christians we immediately enter a spiritual combat zone, and are confronted by an unseen army of combatants whose commander in chief is Satan.
We must constantly draw from God our Father, through our Savior Jesus Christ, the reinforcements we need to face and defeat our foes. We must constantly be on the alert and walk circumspectly, always watching lest our enemies take us unawares, and we become led astray and deceived, and fall into Satan's traps and be defeated.
Being constant in praise and prayer, and in fellowship with our Lord, we can be assured of safety and security from all the affronts of the enemy. Christ will plead our cause, and help us. He will confound our enemies, and put them to shame. They will be like chaff before the wind and be blown away. When we stay close to him we will be joyful and rejoice in our salvation.
“Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.” Psalm 35: 1, 2. “Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord Chase them.” Psalm 35: 5. “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 35: 9.
When we remember these truths as we meditate on this Psalm this morning, we ought always rejoice In he Lord and sing praises to him because the word of the Lord is always right and the Lord loveth righteousness.
He spoke his word, and the heavens, the earth and all things came into being, and he ordered all things to be according to his will; therefore all things are his and he is worthy of all worship and honor.
The best made plans of men may fail at times, but the counsel of the Lord will stand and remain forever; Therefore, the people or a nation who honors the Lord will be led in the paths of righteousness, and be greatly blessed and have much cause for rejoicing and singing unto the Lord.
“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Psalm 32: 1, 2.
Are we forgiven? In our spirit is there no guile? If we are not forgiven, and if in our spirit there is bitterness and guile, and a guilty conscience, then it seems as if the hand of God lays heavily upon us, and day and night there is no rest for our soul.
Only by the shedding of blood can there be forgiveness and cleansing. The blood of goats and other animals could never be sufficient for the forgiveness and cleansing from iniquity. Only one blood in all the universe, the blood of God himself, the Lord Jesus Christ can redeem mankind and pay for sins.
If when we examine and judge ourselves we find that we are not completely at peace with God because of some lingering sin from which we have not sought forgiveness and applied the blood of Christ to our lives, then we ought to hasten to do as the psalmist did and acknowledge and confess our transgressions unto the Lord.
“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgression unto the Lord and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32: 5.
When we have been completely honest with God and ourselves, then we are truly blessed of God.
“Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about. Psalm 32: 10 And we can -”Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice ye righteous; and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11