REFUGE IN GOD’S WORD AND PRESENCE: REMOVING THE MASK BEFORE GOD


Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry. And the tempter came . . .  (Matthew 4:1-3)

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In a way, we are in a time of fasting– through abstinence. Due to the virus COVID-19, we are abstaining from societal involvement in life-changing ways. In Michigan, schools and colleges are closed, businesses are shut down, restaurant food is take-out or delivery only, salons are closed, only items deemed “essential” can be purchased at some larger stores. We are to “shelter-in-place” at home unless we are categorized as “essential” workers. We are to refrain from socializing with neighbors, friends, and family not living in the same household. Our faces are to be covered by a mask when making an “essential” trip to the store, the pharmacy, the doctor, a take-out restaurant and, in most places, when working with the public.

Our 40-day mark of abstinence in Michigan is upon us. . .

Has the tempter been waiting for us to approach the end of this forty days of abstinence? Are we weaker now? For what do we hunger? How will we act on that hunger?

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After His extended time of fasting, Jesus hungered. It was an opportune time for Satan to appear. Jesus was physically weakened. Yet, even in this weakness, Jesus was clearly strong in the Word and that sustained Him against the temptations of the tempter.

 4 It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)

7 “Jesus said to him, Again it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” (Matthew 4:7)

 “Begone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and Him only shall you serve.’”

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:10-11)

It is still the Word that will be our strength against temptation. It is still our God who will minister to us, through His Word, and through “angels” in the form of brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, family, or even a stranger. “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).

In this restricted time in 2020, will we use these days to seek God more in prayer? Will be become more patient and less anxious as we strengthen our relationship and communication with Him? Will we see more clearly that we can benefit from less societal distractions as we “serve” our time of abstinence?

When we take off the “masks,” what will we see in the mirror? What will we discern in our hearts that is different? Will we look at others more clearly with a renewed perspective from a God-view?

In a time of social and physical distancing, we can become closer to the One we need the most. With masks off, our true selves exposed, we come to Him. And He welcomes us with open arms.

When this time of distancing from others is lifted, let us not forget our God. Let us never distance ourselves from Him.

“And in the morning, a great while before day, He rose and went out to a lonely place, and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

 When restrictions are lifted and boundless choices return,

let us choose first to meet with God, as did our Lord and Savior.

Let us hunger for His Word and for His Presence.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/19/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

(Sharon G. Tate blog 04/19/2020) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

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