10 But after his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view. 11 The Jewish leaders tried to find him at the festival and kept asking if anyone had seen him. 12 There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some argued, “He’s a good man,” but others said, “He’s nothing but a fraud who deceives the people.” 13 But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.–John 7:10-13 (NLT)
Jesus did the things He did and He did them the way He did because of His complete obedience to God the Father. He could have chosen to do otherwise, but then He would not have been the sinless sacrifice. 19 So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.—John 5:19 (NLT)
When we are faced with non-believers and those who would ridicule and persecute us, what do we say about Jesus? Is Jesus just some “good man” or is He the Savior and Lord of our life? Is he just a historical figure or was He the Messiah? Is He our “strong tower” to run into for shelter or do we live “in the shadow of His wings”? God is not in a contest with other “gods”, He is the only God! In each of our lives, we must decide if He is “Lord of all” or not “Lord at all”. There is a war going on for the control of our minds and there are only two choices, there is no neutral ground. 31 So what should we say about this? If God is for us, no one can defeat us.–Romans 8:31 (NCV)
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. 16 Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.–1 Peter 4:12-16 (NRSV)
Yesterday, we talked about how Jesus was tempted by satan when Jesus was alone, tired and hungry. satan picks our weakest moments to tempt us, when we are sick or when we are already having a bad day. It is those times that he uses our friends and families to annoy us even more. We should count it a joy to share in the same sufferings that our Lord and Savior had to go through. Jesus faced satan directly, we face him indirectly everyday because he uses those around us to do his work. Don’t get angry at the person speaking, just remember, evil comes from the devil. But we can control how we react to it. We have the Spirit of God abiding within us, so that we have the power to call on the name of Jesus, Who has already won the victory. It is Jesus that fights our battles for us. Every confrontation by satan is a spiritual battle, not a battle of flesh and blood. Rest in Jesus and His Word and you will find security, peace, and joy. 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run into it and are safe.–Proverbs 18:10 (NRSV)
If we allow God to fight our spiritual battles for us, we win and God gets the glory! Rejoice!