The Rev. Dr. Kristine Blaess spoke at a gathering of lay healing prayer ministers last week and asked us, “How do you prepare yourself early in the morning to receive God’s word and particularly when you are going to pray for others?”
Kristine shared her morning routine of solitude and readings, but also three questions that she asks herself each morning:
1. Who will love me today?
2. What will satisfy me today?
3. To whom will I give the glory today?
In Luke, Chapter 4 we read that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit after His baptism and tempted by the devil after forty days in the wilderness.
The first temptation answers WHO WILL LOVE ME TODAY? The devil suggests that Jesus throw himself from the temple pinnacle so that angels would catch him and he would be a celebrity! The devil tries to appeal to our desire for approval. But Jesus refused. He knew that his Father loved him and that was enough. He didn’t need humans to adore him to feel his Father’s love.
The second temptation answers WHAT WILL SATISFY ME TODAY? The devil knew that Jesus was hungry after 40 days without food and appealed to his appetite in asking him to turn stones into bread. In our age of consumerism, the devil constantly tempts us to acquire things that we don’t need and to let our appetite for our unhealthy desires go unchecked.
The third temptation answers TO WHOM WILL I GIVE THE GLORY TODAY? The devil suggests that if Jesus would just bow down before him, all the kingdoms would belong to Jesus. The devil appeals to our ambition in wanting to be better than others and control more of our world through competition. But Jesus knew that he was a Child of God and that all of God’s kingdom belonged to him as God’s heir. As God’s children we will inherit the kingdom of God, too. We can relax and give God all the glory for the events in our life. We don’t have to compete with others as we are already His rightful heirs.
As we awaken and prepare ourselves for each day, we need to guard the trappings of the devil. Jesus experienced our temptations first and has shown us how to reject them:
1. APPROVAL- Do I need approval? Who will love me?
God loves us with exorbitant love, and He is the only one who matters.
2. APPETITE- What will satisfy me? What must I consume to be happy?
God loves us and takes care of all our needs.
3. AMBITION- Will I take all the glory, or will I give the glory to God?
God directs our paths; all glory belongs to God.
When Jesus goes into the desert He is “filled” with the Holy Spirit, but after the temptations He returns to Galilee with the “power” of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus helps us face the temptations of Approval, Appetite, Ambition. As we reject the devil through Christ, we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us.
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