IN CHRIST/ TEMPTATION IN THE TESTING
IN CHRIST/ TEMPTATION IN THE TESTING
TEMPTATION IN THE TESTING
This is a vision I had one night
One evening in a vision I saw a bulldozer coming out of a building and going through peoples dwellings, it was getting rid of all the rubbish in peoples lifes. I thought " I can't share this.. Lord I can't say to people .. I saw a bulldozer". The next day I was walking along and there in front of me was the bulldozer in real life, I had never seen it there before and by that evening it had gone. It was standing in the exact place where I had seen it in the vision and pointing in the same direction as in the vision. I was knocked back by this and I had to say " sorry Lord " and I realised God was speaking to me about getting rid of this sin that dwelt deep down, sometimes it seems ' the closer you get to God ...the more consciious you become of the sin in your life !! and God wanted to bulldozer al that sin out...WHY ? because He wants relationship and sin gets in the way... because no matter how close you get to God, no matter how long you have been a Christian, no matter much of the bible you know, no matter how close you think you may be to God.....the closer you get to God ...the more you come to a realisation of sin in your life and the more you need God to bulldoze through that sin. And so we turn to Gods word now and we read about " THE WIDERNESS OF SIN "
THE WILDERNESS OF SIN:
Exodus 16 v 1 - 3.
The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."
With the springs of Elim behind them, the people came to the desert of Sin, food was in short supply... people were starving... children crying....heat and exhaustion..tiredness and fatigue.
Mathew 6 v 13. And lead us not into temptation,
We all go through testing times. The deeper the valley, the higher the mountain to come. The bigger the battle, the bigger the victory.
When we go through tough times, when we go through the storms of life, when we hit rock bottom, when we are tested......we can do several things:. We can blame God....we can blame ourselves.....we can blame others.. Or we can walk through the storm knowing that God can use all things that we go through to shape and prepare us.
Only when the desert is dark with clouds and the storm comes and the rains fall , does the desert start to bloom. DO NOT let a root of bitterness form, I have known of people who after being practising Christians for some years have had a tragedy happen in their lifes.
Since this time they have walked away, saying " I will never go back, how could God have let that happen ? if there was a God this would never have happened. " A barrier has formed in them, they blame God and a root of bitterness has become a growth that has directed their lifes since. The temptation is to moan, grumble and complain while going through the testing, while going through the storm, while going through the hard times.
We can become unhappy with our lot in life, we can look at others and say, " its not fair " Look at me and look at them, " why does'nt anything like that happen to me ? " We can become dissatisfied with our lifes, disolusioned, this is when we can start to grumble at God, I'm speaking from my own experience here and not from a text book.
Here were the people in the desert of sin in the book of Exodus , looking back at what they had in Egypt, what did they have now ? WHO WAS TO BLAME ? : I have found myself blaming God and complaining and saying, " God why did you allow this to happen ?
We all come to the wilderness of Sin to be tested, I hear you say, " where is the temptation, where is the sin ? "
In the testing can come temptation: when we are tested we can be tempted !!
When we go through times of testing these things can and we can say " WHY LORD ...WHY DOES IT ALWAYS HAPPEN TO MEEEEE?" And, " If I was'nt a Christian I could do this and that "
And then finally after time has passed we come to our senses and give it to God, but God will test us, God will sometimes allow the enemy to attack and the enemy will whisper all kinds of things in our ears, the enemy will know where your weak points are, he knows exactly where to attack, BUT he can only attack with Gods permission and God will make something good come out of a bad situation because all things work together for good for those that love God and walk in His will.
Glory to God who gives us victory because there is a purpose in all testing and all that happens to us and God can turn things around for good and make us stronger. A GREAT VICTORY WAS NEVER WON WITHOUT A BATTLE. And testing times will come, but resist the temptation to grumble, complain, moan, to blame God or others or ourselves. By blaming.. pointing the finger and saying its your fault..what is this ? Unforgiveness ? bitterness ? resentment ? Hand it over to God. Many times I have stomped my foot and the bedpost...banged my head on the open cupboard door.....hit my hand - finger - nail when using a hammer. And what is the immediate response ? I start to tell the hammer in no uncertain terms what I think of it ! I find myself talking to the hammer or yelling at it ? What is that about ? You see our immediate response is to retaliate...our immediate response is to blame the hammer or the bedpost...because it makes us feel better. People say , " GET YOUR FEELINGS OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM " It is so easy to put the blame onto something or someone but this will immediately create a barrier. If you have children you will know how children can so easily pass the blame, we sometimes do the same as adults but in a way which is unnoticed by others. This is something which since Adam and Eve has been a barrier.
At the point when you see this thing about to rise up..nip it in the bud before this thing starts to take hold. - THOUGHT - SPEECH - DEED: it starts with thought...it rises up within us...we entertain the thought and allow it to grow...what is in us will eventually come out.....this then becomes action.
EXODUS 16 v 6.
So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, "In the evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him.
Who are we, that you should grumble against us?" Moses also said, "You will know that it was the LORD when he gives
you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him.
WHEN WE COMPLAIN AGAINST A CHRISTIAN BROTHER OR SISTER
Who are you ? You are not grumbling against other, but against the LORD." Who are we you grumbling against ? Who are you blaming when you blame the Christian brother or Sister ? Who are you speaking about when you gossip and talk behind closed doors ?
Who are you moaning about ? When you judge other Christians...I'm thinking of certain TV Evangelists ...do you really know them personally ? Who are we to say " They are false " or ' in it for the money ' ? Some may have looked at Moses and said " who does he think he is " ? Or " Does He know what He is doing " ? Who are they judging ? We are to love each other...we are to love our enemies...we are to pray for those who hurt us....yes we are to ( look out )for false prophets...but should we judge ?
Exodus 16 v 8:Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD."
When we speak against - moan about - grumble and complain about,blame, gossip, condemn a Christian brother ? Does not that brother or sister have Christ in them ? Are we speaking of or against a Christian Brother or Sister ? You are not grumbling against them but against the Lord. Do we really realise when we speak about others we are effecting their lifes and ours ?
Who were the people in the desert really complaining about ? Whether we blame ourselves, others or God, who are we really pointing at? When we argue with a Christian brother or sister who are we arguing with ? Does not that brother or sister have Christ in them ? How much more so should we treat those who are not saved ? The tongue is a mighty weapon, words can build and words can destroy: The words we speak can direct our lifes, like the rudder of a ship: The words we speak can effect others lifes:
THE WORDS WE SPEAK HAVE A GREAT IMPACT IN HEAVENLY/SPIRITUAL PLACES:.
If the words we speak have such an impact , so too our thoughts: Our thoughts can become actions, our thoughts can become words: When we think something about a Christian brother - is this better than speaking the words ? Does 'nt God know what we are thinking ?
2 Corinthians 10:5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. So what hope is there ? If it were not for Gods grace and mercy...none of us would stand.
I share another picture/Vision:
In this vision I had , I was on the shore and the waves of the sea were washing in and out, I could see the waves trying to drag the sand back.
And again I could'nt understand what this meant, that evening I turned the WMP on ( I had just bought a new CD ) the WMP was on random selection. I did'nt know what songs were on the CD, but felt prompted to play it. The first song that played had the words, " Waves of Mercy..waves of Grace.. everywhere I look I see your face " and I heard the Lord say, " My Mercy and Grace washes over you " This was not a word just for me..this was for all of us. If it were not for Gods grace and mercy...none of us would stand. Again we come to the Cross, we are made righteous by the blood of the lamb, through the washing and cleansing of the blood we are made right with God. Every day is a new day..a new oportunity to put the past behind us and to move on, every day is a day of new oportunities, every day could be our last. Guard you hearts and minds:
Philippians 4:7 (New International Version)7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
WE ARE MADE RIGHT WITH GOD THROUGH THE WASHING AND CLEANSING OF THE BLOOD:
During a meeting once , I had another vision and in this vision , I saw a White Horse, at this very moment the person preaching started to speak on righteousness and conquest and the Cross. Later during another meeting again the White Horse appeared in a vision, but this time it was galloping around, at this moment the person at the front started preaching about righteousness and the Cross of Jesus. He spoke of The Blood and cleansing, he spoke of the White Horse of righteouness and conquest of Jesus. In the vision I had , This Horse galloped around for some time and I started to laugh inside with joy.
Revelations 19 v 13:He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.
Again some time later another vision appeared to me and I saw , A white sail and the wind began to blow on the sail. The sail was as white as white and I realised that without the Holy Spirit, the sail would have no purpose. Without the wind blowing on the sail, what would be the purpose ?
THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB:................ Exodus 17 v 5 :.....................Water From the Rock
5 The LORD answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink." So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the place Massah [a] and Meribah [b] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?"
At the time of testing we it can seem like God is not there, our whole world can seem to fall around us, is this because God has left us ? Or is it because at the time of testing we have left God and taken this problem upon ourselves ? therefore saying " I can do this, I can deal with this problem " and Yes it might require us to act, but first before we do anything ' COMMIT WHAT YOU DO TO THE LORD ' In this place of testing we can be tempted to say " where are you Lord " Have you abandoned me ? At the point of need, at the point where we think God has abandoned us, at the point where we think " what do ( I ) do now " This is often the place where the answer is right in front of us, this is when we just do not always see.
We are looking at this very thing at the start of the next study: Right next to the people who complained and murmered against Moses or The Lord was more than enough water to quensh the thirst of the people:
Water From the Rock Exodus 17 v 5
5 The LORD answered Moses, "Walk on ahead of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go.
There are three basic sources of water in the desert, cisterns, wells and springs.
The huge cistern at the mountain of Masada near the dead sea held millions of gallons of water, The wadi fills with water during the winter rain, much of the water sinks into the sandy bottom of the canyon, this forms an underground lake. When it rains it pours and as it pours rivers and places that for so long have been dry and deselate can become raging flows of water that seep into the sides of the mountains. As the water seeps back through the opening of a mountain it can form calcium deposits around the mouth where the water came in which seals off the opening.
By striking the rock at the right point you can break loose the blockage of calcium, thus allowing the water to flow out from the mountain reservoir. But you have to know where to look, you have to have the knowledge ! How do we learn more about our God ? how do we gain knowledge ? I imagine when the water began to pour from this rock the people would have rushed to find their bowls and vessels to fill with this clear, pure, mountain water.
You see ? all the time the people were complaining the source they were longing for was near...so so near....there was more than enough, more than adequate, more than they could ever imagine or ask for. More than sufficient, as He is more than able to meet our needs: Do you have a need ? where are you looking ? The answer could be and is right in front of you. At the time of testing is temptation. Temptation to blame, " Why have you led us out here to die in the desert ? " Temptation to complain, " Has God forgotten about us " Temptation to Murmer, " We were better off in Egypt " At the point of temptation, at the point when you begin to say " I think he is - such and such....he is an idiot..He is not a Christian...its his fault...I will never forgive her " Remember when we speak of fellow Christians.... who do we speak of ? Who is listening ? how much more so should we speak of those who are unsaved ?
Lord God in Jesus name pray speak deep into my life, Lord help me to commit the words I speak, to you, my thought life, my actions, Lord I give these over to you. Lord God help me to command my tongue and in that time of testing to know
that you are there, the water of life, you can supply all my needs. You are right by me and all I have to do is look in the right place, Lord if I hold anything against anyone, forgive me. Lord if I have spoken words that I should not have against someone, whether they were there at the time or not, forgive me. If my thoughts have not been right towards someone , Lord forgive me.
If I have grumbled and complained about things, or about people, Lord forgive me. I lay these things at the Cross and pray for your blood to wash over me and cleanse me. I thankyou Lord that I am now made right with you, righteous in your sight.
When you look at me you see Jesus. Lord when I forget and speak and blame again help me to come to you, THE ROCK, and to find the place where that water, your blood, can cleanse me and where I can find forgiveness. River wash over me and fill me in Jesus name amen.
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
:Exodus 16 v 1:..........Manna and Quail..........TESTING AND TEMPTATION:............A SIMPLE MESSAGE.
I learnt a valuable lesson a short time ago
It shows how we can miss things and how we can sometimes try to put God Himself into a box and dictate ourselves what we believe to be right and how God should speak. I had to repent afterwards and it taught me a lesson. Over a number of weeks I kept getting a picture of a rose, just a single, solitary rose and I said " Lord what does this mean, who or what is it for " I thought " well I can't do much with just a picture of a rose " and I put it to the back of my mind. This picture kept coming back to me over and over and over again and I would be waiting for the rest of the picture or word to come, I also had the words ' The Rose of Sharon " After a few weeks nothing came except this picture of a rose, I said, " Lord what does this mean " and the reply was " Look closer, what do you see ? " I looked closer and saw the stem of the rose and the thorns and the Lord said, " what do the thorns mean to you ? " I said, " The Cross " Then I heard, " Do you smell a fragrance ? "
I answered " Yes "
.......But I did not get the message and carried on working. A few days later my thoughts were on how easily I had found the solution to a problem that had daunted me for a number of years, I was taken aback by how simple the solution was to this particular problem and how I had made everything so complex in my mind. When in fact the solution ( answer ) was right in front of me. It was such a simple solution. ! As I thought this, I sat down to start preparing this study and I had a picture of a multitude of large white flakes falling gently down. ...My thoughts were, " NO, this must be for the study Lord, but I can't share this, people will say, Its just my imagination " " Lord I can't say I saw white flakes falling down " And so I dismissed this picture and carried on. Then the picture came back again and I heard " What do you see, Look closer "
And I noticed that each flake was different, as if each flake was meant for a different person. Broken for me..broken for you.
Rain Upon the Mown Grass. Psalms 72:6 He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth.
Later on that day I once again started to think how easy the solution was to this problem that I had, and as I thought this, the picture of the rose came back again and the white flakes. And I heard a voice say, " Are you trying to impress ? "
Then it suddenly hit me, all this time I had been looking for the complex, the vision of visions, the detailed picture, the word of deep meaning. I was looking for the WOW factor, I was looking for some amazing thing so that I could say " Look what the Lord can do..." So I could say " This is how God can speak " But you see, God does not have to prove himself to anyone, He is not a God that tries to impress, as if He had to prove Himself to anyone. God is God and He can speak through the simplest of things if He so chooses to. God was speaking to me but I was not listening, because I was looking in the wrong place.
We sometimes look to the long sermon, when God can speak mightily through a few words, we can look to the long, well written prayer, when God can answer the prayer of a child in seconds. We can make things so complicated and complex sometimes, and I realised that God can speak in the way He so chooses and who was I to say how God should speak ? You see, I was seeing but not seeing, I was looking at the simple picture and dismissing it, I was not looking at the details, I was not looking closely.
It was as if I was dictating to God and telling him how he should speak. God can use the simple or the complex, this is the simple message of the Cross. For God so loved the world that He sent his only Beloved Son that whoever believes in him should not perish. You may have noticed that we have been focusing on the Cross, this is important, this is the basic, simple message. Christ the Son of God was conceived through the Holy Spirit, was crucified, and was raised from the dead.
From the Passover in Egypt we have been looking to the Cross: And so we come back to the Cross :
THE DESERT OF SIN:
EXODUS 16 v 1:
1 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."
This is what I could not understand ? The people were starving , the grain had run out, whole families had endured the heat of the desert days and the long cold nights. They longed to have their stomachs full again with the foods of Egypt,: Now if my family were starving, if my children were suffering, I imagine I would complain, I imagine I would murmer and long for
food, so what was happening here ? This is where we come back to the testing and temptation again and this is what I could'nt understand ? WHY ? Why lead the people to this place ...to this point ? It is as if the Lord was becoming angry, the same thing happened when God called Moses and Moses (SAID) , " They will not listen to me " And I believe a lot of different things were going on here in the spiritual realm, again we come back to ..Thoughts.....words and actions. You see the people began to grumble and complain at this time, right at the time when God was about to act, why did it take so long for God to act ? WHY WERE THE PEOPLE STARVING ? I often wonder what might have happened if the people had not grumbled
and complained ? I wonder ? Now look at this.....turn to Numbers 13 v 30:
The people were about to possess the land of Canaan.
30Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it.
31But his fellow scouts ( SAID ), We are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], for they are stronger than we are.
32So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, (SAYING), The land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 33There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. AND Numbers 14 (Amplified Bible)
Numbers 14:1, ALL the congregation cried out with a loud voice, and [they] wept that night. 2All the Israelites grumbled and deplored their situation, accusing Moses and Aaron, to whom the whole congregation said, Would that we had died in Egypt! Or that we had died in this wilderness! 3Why does the Lord bring us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and little ones will be a prey. Is it not better for us to return to Egypt?
Numbers 14 v 34:
God Said: 34 For forty years-one year for each of the forty days you explored The land-you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.' 35 I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this desert; here they will die." You see because of their doubt , because of their unbelief, because of their fear, because of their thoughts.....words.......actions...... the journey took so much longer....and the people never entered the promised land.
The promised land as Christians is not just the life to come after we have left this life, but it is the plan that God has for our lifes,
He wants us to know life in its fullness NOW, to enter into all He has for us. Have you ever said a prayer and afterwards thought, " I don't think the Lord is going to answer that " ? Have you ever said a prayer and thought, " Well its been two days now and nothing, did the Lord hear me " ? Have you ever prayed a prayer and said to yourself, " No I don't believe
God will answer me " ? YOUR RIGHT...................................HE WON'T: Or if the Lord does answer it will be delayed.
The answer to your prayer WILL be delayed: You see ? Turn to Joshua 6 v 10:
10But Joshua commanded the people, You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall any word proceed out of your mouth until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout!
Why did Joshua say " You shall not shout or let your voice be heard, nor shall any word proceed out of your mouth until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout!
What if the people could have spoken ? Joshua said " Not any word " ! Can you imagine what the conversations would have been between the people ?
Person One, " Why are we marching around this city " ?
Person two, " I dunno " ?
Person One, " Look at how big the walls are ? Look how strong the city
we will never be able to defeat these people "
Person two, " Have you seen how high the walls are ? "
You see ? The Lord had told Joshua, DO NOT LET THEM SPEAK,
WHY ? Because as soon as the people had started to speak, doubt, discouragement, fear, alarm, grumbling, complaining, murmering, blaming, would have affected the outcome.
The word would have started to spread among the people: What did happen ? the people remained silent...even though they did not know why they were marching around this city, they did not realise why they should not speak, but you see they obeyed and kept quiet and what happened ? , when they SHOUTED. The walls of Jericho came down: THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THE PEOPLE WERE STARVING in Exodus 16 v1: It was a vicious circle...complain..grumble..moan..blame...NO FOOD: NO FOOD .....complain..grumble..moan..blame. WHAT YOU SAY HAS A GREAT EFFECT IN SPIRITUAL/HEAVENLY PLACES: Sometimes God so wants to pour down His blessings, but we can delay things, or even stop God from answering. This is the temptation in the testing, all of us have testing times to walk in, but it is not the testing but how we respond to the testing. This is not saying, DO NOT SPEAK, or be a person of few words, but rather be aware that what you say and think has a great impact in spiritual places.
Luke 1 v 19:
The angel answered, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time." WHAT WE SAY HAS A GREAT IMPACT IN SPIRITUAL PLACES:
Mark 6 v 1: A Prophet Without Honor 1Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
(NOTE ..THEY SAID)
"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles!
3Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
4Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." 5He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their lack of faith.
Thoughts .......Words.......Actions. What we say has a great impact in spiritual places:
If you can...pray this prayer:
Lord God in Jesus help me to guard my thoughts, my words, my actions. Lord you guard my life and you know my comings and my goings, you know me better than I know myself, Lord reveal to me, let that light shine into my thought life and into my heart. That I would be aware of the thoughts and words I speak and the impact that these have on my life, on others lifes, and on my prayer life and my relationship with you. Lord thankyou that you answer prayers, and if prayers have been delayed because of my thoughts or words, forgive me Father in Jesus name amen.
thanks terry johnson