Jesus is the all of the following—the fulfillment, the build up, and the promises of the entire timeline of the old testament.  Jesus in the book of Matthew is a teacher, and tonight we want to learn from him how to live this UnConformed life.  In HIM all the fullness of God dwells.

Normal isn’t working. Normal in our current society is fear, shame, regret, and anxiety. UnConformed Christianity is peace, contentment, fulfillment, and purpose in your process. Don’t just be a cultural Christian. Cultural Christianity is half-hearted, lukewarm, risks nothing, is self-reliant, and highly destructive.  UnConformed Christianity is different it is a significant change.  You find you are not self-reliant and rather you become God-reliant, everything springs from this vibrant personal connection with the Father.  This growth is gradual as you experience the faithfulness of God.  You begin appreciate the effect His faithfulness has on you and you rely on Him.   And sometimes it’s slow.  Why is it slow? Why so indirect?  Why can’t it be “I joined the Christian Culture, done.  I follow all their suggestions.  I read all their best seller books.  I listen to their most current worship songs.  Why isn’t this working?  I suggest to you it is because the process is vital.  Change is a process with God.  It is a deconstruction and undoing before it is ever a construction and building.  It’s not the way the world suggests.  The Kingdom has to come.  Christ must be formed in you.  The Spirit of God must dwell in you.  This is an extremely different way of living.  God promises it is the most satisfying way to live.

Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Romans 12:2 NIrV

ASHLEY (contrary to the world) 

The Message is a paraphrase of the Bible and it paraphrases this verse in this way:

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Romans 12:2 The Message

Jesus is a like a 2nd Moses.  Both were babes sent into an existing culture by God to overthrow and bring HIS Kingdom. Moses came in the old testament to deliver God’s people.  And I’ve been in Egypt, felt the sand at night blow against my skin.  Heard the sounds of their language and thought of the powerful acts of God to bring out an entire nation.  Moses delivered the Israelites out of a culture they were enslaved in for over 400 years.

If you and I are going to be equipped to go where God has called us to go and do what God has called us to do we must cultivate a relationship with Jesus.  We know this because the culture is not the best pathway to life.  It will eat us for breakfast, leave us betrayed, self hating, and hating others.  It is full of clicks and clubs.  We need a more abundant life.  We need to live awake, to be aware.

Jesus more powerful than Moses has the strength to free us from the restrictions and limitations of our culture.  We have to follow him.  He is the way.

Let’s start in Matthew just after Jesus baptism where he is confirmed audibly as the Son of God and filled with the Spirit without measure.  Here in the timeline of the life of Jesus lie the powerful keys to living an UnConformed life.   Let’s pick them up tonight.  Before Christ’s emerging mission is launched the Spirit of God leads him into the wilderness. This is the why to your hard place.

Ashley Are you in a hard place right now? That’s ok.

The equipping of the Spirit in the life of Jesus holds the pattern for HOW we too are equipped.  I never saw this as an equipping passage but I do now.  Jesus weakened by hunger out in the wilderness has the most powerful confrontation with temptation and with Satan.  Don’t miss HE spent 40 days in fasting up until this moment.

Stand resist him, firm in the faith.  Read MATT 4

Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
5Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:11,12)”
7Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test. (4:7 Deut. 6:16)”
8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. (4:10 Deut. 6:13)”
11Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Key 1

Become aware of what sustains you.

ASHLEY SUSTAIN EXERCISE (become aware of your breath)

I’m actually dependent upon him, his word, God is life.  Food alone doesn’t sustain.  The underlying question asked here is do we trust God to meet our needs.  Will God be enough?

Jesus answers the temptation with, “man doesn’t live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the the mouth of God” and there is the key.   Jesus owns the word and he is declaring it.

I have what God wants me to have- and it starts with his word.  You and I must find out what the word of God says.  The enemy comes with suggestions for how to live.  Suggestions for how to meet your own needs.  And they are powerful suggestions.  But at their core they are self-reliant. Our hardest battle is fought over our needs.  Jesus needed food.  It’s here that the struggle to trust God is so fierce.

ASHELY, often times we actually don’t give God the opportunity to meet our needs when we are self-reliant.

You must find out what God’s word provides. You must find out what God says.  Declare God’s word.  I don’t want you to just read it, you must own it.  Memorize it.  Say it.

Psalm 23 (Exercise)

ASHLEY we must be CONFIDENT.   JESUS IS GIVING US A WAY TO PASS THE TESTS ie the challenges.  It’s all in the book.

Key 2

Jesus is discerning.  The greek word, peirazo is a the base for the word test.  In verse 7 the meaning is translated test or tempt thoroughly.  If Jesus threw himself off the cliff it would be a test of God.  When talking this portion over with my friend Jamie Ronning she suggested Jesus faced what Adam failed.  The not so subtle- did God really say? The doubt hits hard after Jesus was publicly affirmed by God.   Jesus in simple acceptance of an already proven fact (GOD SAID IT, I BELIVE HIM) submits to the Holy Spirit’s leadership.

The key given us –is a right response, trust.  Jesus didn’t presume to take the word of God which Satan quoted from Psalm 91 and throw his life away on an “out of context” application of scripture.  This doesn’t minimize the real temptation to believe outrageous misapplications of scripture.  Jesus needed discernment.

He responded rightly within the context of his circumstances.  God’s voice isn’t foolish.  God’s voice sounds like faithfulness and reliability.  I will say it again, Jesus is discerning and responding.  The enemy is quoting scripture, and Jesus actively discerns a no fly zone here!  He is an emphatic, no, I know my Father’s voice! I KNOW my dad’s voice, “do not put the Lord your God to the test”.  I AM IN relationship with him this doesn’t fit with the context of the whole counsel of God this doesn’t fit what he just told me.  Jesus isn’t here to test God.  God won’t say throw yourself in to danger.  Jesus trusts the Fatherly care of God without disbelief or a need to prove it on demand.

Key 3

Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.   The temptation is to take the prize, the promise fulfilled without the process ahead of Jesus.  Jesus had a pre-ordained plan from God, three years of intense and God honoring ministry. He would need to perform signs, and walk in a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.  Consider a young girl had not been raised from the dead, the blind man had not received their sight, the woman at the well had not been proclaimed and told that Christ was the Messiah. Jesus values the process. Jesus also will not take what is offered because it’s coming from the wrong hand. Jesus before fulfillment of God’s promise serves God and worships God and waits for God’s timing, we see the cross, the crucifixion, and the resurrection had to happen.  Jesus keeps the main thing the main thing. God is honored God’s way.

The point of worship isn’t to draw attention to self but to give our attention to God. Ashley Peterson

It’s an act of humility to bow down.  The posture is interesting to me here.  When we sing to God we say I am less than you.  Jesus knows it’s not about the ultimate prize and splendor of the world.  It’s about a greater KINGDOM.  His Father is worthy as Lord of a better KINGCOM.  Jesus came to bring us something more.  Something beyond what we already know.  Jesus reorientates our understanding of what is priority.  Worship reorientates us.  When everything around us AND the enemy is pulling we find our way back to what matters in and through worship.

Worship exposes that what enemy offers is never enough.  Jesus knew in this frail 40 days fast as he was famished ie beyond hungry what the important things are to sustain us.  Worship God.

Don’t miss the point of your process.  There is purpose in it.  There is worship in it.  God leads you and I for HIS name.  Again worship God alone.

The last important insight you can take from the passage tonight is when Jesus chose to worship God and he left the wilderness in power for the mission ahead.  Choose wisely. Choose life.  Choose God.  Love ya, Charity


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