This post is one of the entries from Jody’s upcoming book, “Come Follow Me,” a year-long devotional based on her popular video podcast of the same name, to be released in the fall of 2016 by Two Worlds Press.
“For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” ~ Hebrews 2:18
Just as the pillar of fire led the children of Israel through their time of testing in the wilderness, the Holy Spirit, following Jesus’ baptism, led Him to the wilderness to be tested. Israel continually failed, putting God to the test, rather than being tested themselves. I Corinthians 10:1-13 urges us to learn from their mistakes. Jesus faced the tempter and triumphed over all the works of the devil, that we might learn from His victories. Forty days of fasting preceded the temptation. That might seem to be the worst part to us. But we learn a great truth from the perspective of the Son. When the devil challenged Him to make bread for Himself, Jesus responds by saying, “”It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”(Matthew 4:4). For forty days, Jesus had been living on every word that came forth from the mouth of His Father. He had been feasting. The lifestyle of Jesus was to only do what He saw the Father doing, and to only say what He heard the Father speak (John 5:19,12:49). So, the moment the devil began to speak, Jesus knew it was not the voice of His Father. The temptation was not about bread alone, but who will give us directions.
Question: What has the Lord used in your life to prepare you to face a trial?
We have finished a busy few weeks. Both of us were in Colombia during the first week of February, came home for a week and jetted off to Wisconsin to facilitate a Prayer Summit and, in between facilitated a prayer day for a Presbyterian church in Vancouver, WA.
The first week in March Jody attended a women’s retreat with Montavilla Baptist Church and, during the same weekend, traveled back to the metro area to teach at the Ignite Conference.
You may know that Jody and I live in several different places on the web. Here, of course, but we also hang our hat over at The Summit Fellowships where we wax eloquent about the joys and challenges of simple churches (or house churches, or small-group churches…whatever). We have a site at Two Worlds Media where we tinker around with publishing and one called Stone Butterfly that I intended to turn into a blog about prodigal children, PTSD, drug addiction and related issues. But wait! There’s more. I (Dan) also maintained a site that was supposed to be the launching pad for all of our web activities and for my creative writing and genealogy pursuits.
It was making me crazy.
The upshot of all that is that we are going to start pulling the content from the other sites together, as much as possible, into one place: here. As we do that, you will see two added categories on this blog, namely “Prodigal Journey” and “Creative Muse.” Furthermore, much of the content from this site will be linked to Pinterest through the “Church of the Heart” board that we share with our friends and ministry partners, Calvin and Julie Tadema, and Ben and Heidi Sadler.
Summithome and Two Worlds Media will remain pretty much the same, although some of the posts that you read here may also be reposted there and vice versa. My creative site, www.danmayhew.net will be reserved for poetry, essay and genealogy but won’t be the “launching pad” I once envisioned. I’ll include an occasional link to it, but that’s about it.
What this means is there is about to be an influx of variety here at ‘tween2worlds as the other sites disappear or are re-purposed. DanMayhew.net will be linked here and stonebutterfly,net may become a blog maintained by someone else, an exciting prospect that I’ll tell you more about in the near future.
So, there you have it! Watch this space and see what turns up.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.”
As I reflect on the relationship I have with The Lord, living into a life where He is my Shepherd, I begin to learn that He has a plan for my well-being. In my humanness, entrusted with free will, I must be retrained in harnessing such a potent gift, and learn how to be lead. If I don’t learn to follow, I will wander like Israel in the wilderness. If I don’t learn to trust Him, fear will motivate my choices and determine my path. If I don’t learn that He is good, I will determine a good of my own choosing, and follow in Eve’s futile example.
After 42 years of walking with Him, I see how He has led me on an incredible journey. Often, a promise is offered to my heart, and a choice emerges that sets His will opposite from my own.
I once had a staff position that I loved at a large inner city church. One day, The Lord asked me to resign from that position. He said, “If you give up what you are satisfied with….I will give you what you are hungry for.” He has been in the process of making me lie down in green pastures ever since.
Dan and I are house sitting this week on some property entirely different than our own. We live in the core of the city of Portland…a few miles from the airport…..a short distance from train tracks and a freeway, and blocks from a busy street. We have learned to live with the activity and the noise. But this week, we have come aside to a place where our hearts can be stilled, our ears can hear Him in the silence, and our hope is fixed on Him. He restores our soul.
One of the most familiar phrases in all of scripture is the line, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” It has been uttered on the battlefield through lips rehearsing what they remembered from their mother’s lap. It has been read over the grave as a loved one is laid to rest. It is memorized in the early years of Sunday school. Somehow this song written by David brings even the unbeliever some sort of comfort. Why does this image capture our hearts?
Whether we recognize it or not, we are a stubbornly, independent people. We are raised with the image of the solitary, rugged individual hero, who can triumph in almost every situation. We hold up the image of a super mom who can be all things to all people all of the time, buying organic, cooking gourmet, fashionably fit, tan, and cute at the end of the day. But our heart longs for One who is higher than ourselves, and knows us better than we can even imagine.
This first verse tells me I belong. I have someone who has chosen me, and has identified Himself as the responsible party. Because David knew who he was for the sake of his sheep, He had a good grasp of what it would mean to be carried in the Great Shepherds’ arms. Is this the reason he could say, “I shall not want”? Because he knew his own heart concerning the well-being of his flock, could he grasp the nature of His Abba’s loving kindnesses?
If you find your heart longing for a greater Someone than yourself, in this hour, entrust yourself to the Lamb who leads you to the Shepherd who is willing to carry you.