when tested

I want to welcome the hard places and knocks which come my way as somehow coming from the hand of God. It is interesting how after what one would think was quite surely a wonderful experience for Jesus: baptized in the Jordan by his cousin John the Baptist/Baptizer, seeing the Spirit descend on him like a dove, and hearing the voice from heaven: “This is my son whom I love, with him I am well pleased,” then Jesus was compelled -I think the word is similar in meaning to forced, or driven- he was compelled by the Spirit to go into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil. The test Jesus went through was in terms of his Messianic anointing and calling, which his baptism had been all about. Jesus refused to yield a moment to the devil, surely the test which he would have to walk through to the cross, though the essence of it was passed then and there, in the wilderness.

In my weakness I have to depend on Christ and his strength. In a true sense it is Christ who has not only opened the way for me, for us to walk through, but has done it himself for us, already, so that in our weakness (and fallacies) of walking through it, what he has done, by the Spirit will carry us through. Of course on the basis of his death, in his Messianic mission, which in a true sense is carried on now by the church in the power of the Spirit, in all of its weakness. Not in its sin, but in spite of that. But truly in its weakness.

When tested it is a heads up for me to consider. What is God working on in my life? What does he want to see changed? Perhaps I’ve been aware of that to some extent already, but in my weakness have been acclimated that way over time. In my case a struggle to take myself seriously in a healthy way, simply throwing in the towel and giving up, so to speak, at least in significant measure and for the most part. Of course there is a healthy sense of not taking ourselves so seriously since life and all that is good is not dependent on us, but on God through Christ.

And so I shouldn’t be shaken when I hit the valley after being up on the mountain. I need to stop, consider, and above all pray. With the goal of letting God’s work continue to be done in me, in and through Jesus.