Summary: The natural drift in our Christian life is toward spiritual dryness, apathy and indifference. When we get into a spiritual rut – a grace with the ends knocked out - we are ready for a time of renewal.
A Time For Personal Spiritual Renewal
The natural drift in our Christian life is toward spiritual dryness, apathy and indifference. When we get into a spiritual rut – a grace with the ends knocked out - we are ready for a time of renewal.
Out natural tendency is to drift from fervent prayer, devoted Bible study and telling others about the Lord. We are Christ followers but we don’t really feel blessed of the Lord. We are like a ship sailing the ocean without a rudder. We drift aimlessly and are at the mercy of the winds, waves and storms.
There was only one boat that didn’t need a rudder. That boat was Noah’s Ark, planned by God, provided animals by God, sea provided by God and guided by the Lord. No rudder was needed because God was the Captain of the boat and guided the Ark.
God has provided a rudder for every person He created – the Word of God. Clear guidance was given before Christ in the Books of Law/Torah, Books of History, Major and Minor Prophets. With the coming of Christ we have the Gospels and other New Testament writers.
The rudder for your life is God’s Word. Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
A Time to recommit to making God’s Word our Guidebook.
My prayer this morning is that each one of us will have a personal time of spiritual renewal – a recommitment to make God’s Word the guidebook for our lives and totally surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.
Matthew 4 gives us guidance on how to experience renewal and become equipped for spiritual warfare.
Satan’s mission is to mess up your life and keep you from yielding to Jesus. We know that battles will come. The question is: are you prepared to overcome Satan and his temptation to keep you from making Jesus Lord of your life?
Jesus prepared for spiritual battle by spending 40 days and 40 nights in the desert fasting and praying. At the end of the 40 days Satan tempted Jesus. Here’s something to remember: Strong Christians are developed through desert experiences.
Matthew 4:1-4 - Jesus was hungry following his 40 day fast. Satan appealed to the natural appetite and desires of Jesus. Jesus was tempted like any other human person. Jesus humbled himself and became a human with all the human weakness, frailties and desires.
Satan tempted Jesus: “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” “If”, Satan questions Christ’s calling and mission.
Satan uses the same question to people today. “If Jesus is the Son of God.” “If God exists then why _____________?” You can fill in the blank.
The answer Jesus gave Satan is the key to personal spiritual renewal. Jesus answered Satan: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Our tendency is to live on bread alone.
Mt. 4:4 It’s helpful sometime to look at verses in the original Greek. The original of this verse is in the Perfect Tense – “It is written and still stands written.” Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 8:3
During their wilderness wanderings God provided “Manna” Angel Food from heaven, their daily bread. Exodus 16:4-5, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they area to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”
A Time to Daily Look to the Lord in Prayer
God didn’t provide everlasting bread during the 40 years of wandering. God gave clear instructions on gathering the Manna every morning to last one day. God wanted to remind the Israelites they were daily to depend on the Lord.
Jesus told Satan, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes form the mouth of the God.” In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray: “Give us today our daily bread.” Mt. 6:11, Let’s pray the Lord’s prayer together as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come, your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Jesus is teaching in both Matthew 4 and 6 that we are daily dependent upon the Lord. Daily bread is not enough. It does not satisfy all the needs in a person’s life. In Luke 12:15, Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”