Thursday, November 08, 2007

Luke #43 – Three Keys to Being Wholly Well

Luke #43 – Three Keys to Being Wholly Well

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. And the devil said unto Him, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.’ And Jesus answered him, saying, ‘It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, ‘All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine.’ And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’ And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down from hence: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge over Thee, to keep Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.’ And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘It is said, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’ And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season” (Luke 4:1-13 – King James Version).

Johnny Smith used to explain the whole wellness of a person using an upside down triangle; he said he learned the concept from the School for Pastoral Care. On the bottom point of the triangle Mr. Smith would write “spiritual”. On the top left point he would write “physical”. On the top right he would write “mental / emotional”. He would tell us that a sick body will affect the mind and the spirit. He would say that an emotional sickness or being mentally unwell will affect both the spirit and the body. Of course we all know that if a person is spiritually sick both the body and the mind will be affected. Johnny would say that being spiritually well is the foundation for whole wellness, but he would also say that we often overlook the other two areas.

If we realize this delicate balance in the area of wellness, then it would be logical to look at each area in the light of what makes them most sick; and that is sin. Our Lord Jesus was thoroughly tempted in the wilderness and we can see how He was tempted physically, psychologically, and spiritually.

Verse 3 says that Satan tempted Jesus by asking Him to turn the stones in bread. The temptation was to satisfy Himself with a need rather than trusting God for provision. Often our physical temptations are different. Sure, we are tempted to concentrate on our needs rather than concentrate on God, but we do something else physically that is sinful. We overemphasize pleasure. Pleasure is when the body is getting what it wants. SOMETIMES what we want and need are the same thing. I am sure Jesus was hungry and WANTED bread and if He’d not eaten in forty days I am sure He NEEDED bread. But our body often craves things that we don’t need such as alcohol, sex, drugs, etc. Our body may also be sinfully lazy and we may fall to the temptation to do nothing but lie around and sleep. The point here is this; we are often physically tempted to concentrate on pleasing our bodies. We need to be aware that Satan is a tempter in this area and to constantly analyze ourselves. Do we concentrate on pleasure too much? Are we susceptible to physical temptation?

Our minds are often tempted. In verses 6 and 7 Satan offered Jesus a short cut; instead of winning the world with the cross Satan offered his earthly kingdom if Jesus would bow to him. That was a mental temptation. It was a choice between the right way and the easy way. We too have many mental temptations. We have choices every day; several involve taking the easy way or taking the right way. Think about tax season; if we render unto Caesar that which is his we will have to do what is right, not what is easy. We have thousands of mental decisions every day; we must decide to do what is right, not what is easy many times a day. Happiness can be defined as the mind getting what it wants. Human beings will often compromise morality and holiness to find happiness. We cannot afford to do that. When we compromise what is right for the sake of happiness, we succumb to temptation. When we succumb to temptation, we sin. When we sin, we become unwell. Do we fall often to mental temptations? Do we sacrifice holiness for happiness?

Finally, Jesus was tempted spiritually. In verses 9-11 Satan tempted Jesus to tempt God. Satan wanted Jesus to prove Himself; he wanted Christ to dare God. Faith is not daring God; it is waiting patiently, doing His will, and cooperating with God’s plan (OVER our agenda). GOOD GRIEF! How many times a day do we struggle with that? People, by our very nature, are impatient plan makers. By that I mean we don’t want to wait and we don’t want to follow anyone’s plans but our own. We are rebellious too. We don’t want to obey anyone, unless what they are telling us to do is already what we want to do. Do we wait patiently on God? Do we dare God to prove Himself? Do we obey Him and follow His plan?

If we are to be wholly well and fully balanced we need to realize that temptation comes physically, mentally, and spiritually. We need to be ready. We need to be aware. We need to NOT ignore any area and be ready to fight the good fight against temptation. Temptation is opportunity; sin occurs when those opportunities are fulfilled. Let’s be well…wholly well. Realize and resist temptation; your health depends on it!

No comments: