"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry." - Luke 4
"And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
Scripture > how we feel.
We are inflicted with this disease that will plague us from the moment we are aware, to the moment we die.
This infection of "Self"
God is smart, because He knows what went down in the garden, when the serpent was chit chatting with Eve. He knew that the second that she bit into that apple, that the action would doom man to be poisoned with an overwhelming sense of self. Before the fall, man and woman had their focus on God, and each other... and it was good. Then the idea was brought forth for disobedience, The idea that "God did not say" That there was another word contrary to the truth... Your word, your way, that surely, You will not die.
Now we struggle to love God in our churches. We don't read much of His word. We don't spend much time in prayer.
When we do, it is usually us telling God what we want, or what we think we need.
Should we pick up a Bible, its generally about a minute or two that we read a passage and then we wait until service for a preacher to tell us more things about what the word of God might say because we want to spend our time doing everything except reading it for ourselves.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
All of the commands of God are pointing to this place where God is trying to get us to stop focusing so intently on US, when we should be submitting to Him.
This sickness of self, it is rampant through the body of Christ. We don't have time to listen to what God wants us to do... because WE are too busy doing the things that WE like, in His name.
It's like throwing a party with a chocolate cake, and a chocolate fountain and chocolate ice cream with chocolate fudge and chocolate sprinkles with chocolate chip cookies and chocolate milk.... for the kid that is deathly allergic to chocolate.
Pride is an over inflated sense of self.
I'll get transparent here with something that happened years ago.
The worst pain that I have ever felt in my heart, was brought about from a moment when I heard the devil say words with my voice. I was experiencing a situation that seemed so, perfect. It involved a woman. When I was near this woman I was the happy. We had feelings for each other. When I looked at my life, and my situation and all the places I've been and all the things I lost... all the suffering I'd endured in my young life... I was not looking at God, or HIS word... I heard that voice that sounded like mine say "You deserve this one thing. You deserve to be happy in this." This relationship it felt so right, and romantic, and magic...
...but it didn't feel obedient.
The more years I put between then and now, the more I see how little I understood about love, you know. The sacrificial true stuff. I think one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life is not be with that woman. My love and my duty to God, my focus on Him... that took me in another direction.
Had I said to heck with everything and stayed, what could I ever have spoken of on Honor, and Submission, Sacrifice and self denial? What could I have said that wouldn't have been contradicted by my action?
We get caught up in these things where we feel a certain way, and we think that because we feel these feelings so strongly and they are so powerful, that they are right.
I have heard people say that they do not feel convicted about certain things in the Bible that God says very clearly are a sin. Suddenly, when we say such a thing, we are now elevating our feelings above the truth of scripture.
Can you imagine, fasting for 40 days?
Can you imagine fasting for 2 weeks?
Can you imagine if Jesus had turned the stones to bread?
He was being tempted to take His eyes off of the focus and exaltation of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit... in order to serve HIM SELF!
.... and he didn't.
I am so far away from the example of Jesus, but I am fighting to get closer to it.
Love God with all your heart, soul and resources.
Love your neighbor as yourself...
A fool does not delight in understanding,
But only in revealing his own mind.- Provbs. 18:2
self focus vs learning from another.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming (obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
This is something so very basic....
.. and like breathing,
it can kill you the less you practice it.