Daily D – Mark 6:45-46
Mark 6:45, 46 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. (New International Version)
- There was a power encounter with a demonized man. (5:1-20)
- Jesus was asked to heal a twelve-year-old girl and was interrupted on the way by a woman who had been suffering from an illness for twelve years. The woman was healed. The girl died while Jesus was on the way, but was raised to life when Jesus arrived. (5:21-43).
- Jesus was rejected in his hometown synagogue. (6:1-6)
- Jesus sent out the Twelve to the surrounding villages with authority to do what he had been doing. (6:6-13)
- The apostles returned and reported all they had done and taught. Jesus called for a time of rest. Rest was interrupted by a large crowd. Jesus had compassion on them “because they were like sheep without a shepherd.” He then fed the 5,000. (6:30-44)
If you are following along, Jesus and the disciples were on the way for a time of rest. They were interrupted by a series of dramatic events. These events ended when Jesus sent the disciples away in the boat to Bethsaida while he dismissed the crowd. (6:45)
There are a couple of times when people are most vulnerable to temptation, most prone to sin. One of those occasions is when we are fatigued. Physical fatigue accompanied by mental fatigue can make us prone to comforting ourselves inappropriately. Beware if donuts or salty snacks are available. Beware if you find yourself alone with unlimited internet access.
Another occasion when we are most vulnerable to temptation is when we have experienced significant success. Our adversary enjoys offering personal pleasures when we win big. At the moment when we think we are on top of the world and can do anything but fail, we are especially in danger of a dramatic fall.
What did Jesus do after a stressful stretch and significant success?
Dear friends, let us plan ahead for what happens after significant setbacks or significant success. Let us plan ahead for physical and mental exhaustion. Let us pray.
Consider the wilderness temptation of Jesus as recorded in Luke 4. Verse 1 says Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit.” He was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Jesus was tempted at the point of appetite, ambition, and approval. He had planned ahead. He knew what to say and what to do. He did not sin. Verse 14 tells us the bottom line truth: “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.”
At the very points where Adam and Eve failed, Jesus succeeded.
- Jesus was full of the Spirit when we stepped into a season of ultimate vulnerability.
- Jesus was led by the Spirit into that place where he was most vulnerable.
- Jesus returned from the experience in the power of the Spirit.
Right now is a good time to put together your game plan for winning the battles of temptation.
- Where will you go to pray and to allow God to protect you, defend you, and deliver you from the tempter’s snares?
- What defensive measures should you put into place now to protect you in days to come?
- What will it look like and feel like to emerge on the other side of temptation stronger and victorious?
I will plan ahead for moments of vulnerability and temptation.
Our Father, the evil one will come to tempt me at the points of appetite, ambition, and approval. Please empower me with the proper preparation to overcome these temptations and to emerge from them stronger. What the evil one intends to harm me, use to make me stronger instead. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.