Join us today for an episode about the journey in lent...
Today's episode is focused on Matthew 4:1-11...
In today’s Spiritual Foundation episode, I talk about Matthew 4:1-11. I talk about how lent is a journey that begins (and ends) with a stumble. I also share how it’s about stepping out with a destination in mind, but it’s about the journey as well.
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Episode 1299: Why We Fall Down
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining me on episode 1,299 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:08] Kim Avery: I'm Kim Avery, author of the Prayer Powered Entrepreneur, and I challenge you to focus on your calling as a Christian entrepreneur. One way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.
[00:00:29] Scott Maderer: That's Jesus doing that. That's, he's the kind of example that we should be looking at that somebody that has done this notice the beginning of it, it says in Matthew and the Luke version both. He was led up. This isn't Jesus volunteering to go out into the wilderness. It, it's, he's out running to meet it.
[00:00:53] Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to [00:01:00] become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true. In the Inspired Stewardship podcast, you'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:23] In today's spiritual foundation episode, I talk about Matthew chapter four, verse one through 11. I talk about how LT is a journey that begins and ends with a. And I also share how it's about stepping out with a destination in mind, but it's about the journey as well. Matthew chapter four, verses one through 11 says, then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
[00:01:52] He fasted 40 days in 40 nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, if you are the son of God, [00:02:00] command these stones to become loaves of. But he answered. It is written, one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, if you are the son of God, throw yourself down for it is written.
[00:02:18] He will command his angels concerning you and on their hands, they will bear you up so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. Jesus said to him again, it is written, do not put the Lord your God to the. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and all of their splendor, and he said to them, all these I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.
[00:02:43] And Jesus said to him, away with you, Satan, for it is written, worship the Lord your God, and serve only him. Then the devil left him and suddenly angels came and waited on him. You might have heard the expression, the journey of a thousand miles begins [00:03:00] with a single. , it's from Lazu. And if you think about this I think we know what it means.
[00:03:08] It sounds good. It's something powerful. It sounds like we're setting up something that's impossible. And that impossible thing has humble beginnings. In fact, the original translation they think said a thousand Lee Journey and a Lee was actually about 360 miles. Translate that, that's actually saying a journey of 360,000 miles begins with a single step and 360,000 miles is actually about a hundred thousand miles past the moon that's going past the moon.
[00:03:44] Th this is a massive undertaking that we're saying, and it begins with a humble beginning. We're all on a journey this season of. Is described as a Linton journey. We talk [00:04:00] about things in terms of a journey, and a journey implies at least two different things. One, that there's motion involved.
[00:04:09] We're moving. This isn't about sitting down and contemplating things. This is about doing things. It's about being in motion, having. We often think about lint as a time of quiet and consideration and self-reflection and introspection, and there are things about Lent that are built into the design of Lent that include those things, but it also includes movement walking with Christ, and Christ is going somewhere.
[00:04:40] That's the second implication of the word journey. A journey isn't just random wandering, it has a destination in mind. This isn't about just strolling around randomly. It's about having a purpose behind the motion and the activity. [00:05:00] It's about having a destination. We should be moving towards something and as Christians, as we believe that we should be moving towards the cross, moving towards Christ.
[00:05:13] That's the destination, that's the culmination of this journey. It's not really Easter, sunrise. No. Easter is something completely different. It's not about journeying to Easter because we can't really journey to Easter. Easter is something beyond time and space and a destination it's completely out of reach.
[00:05:39] No. Instead our destination is much more tangible. It's much more real. It's much more earthy, and it's also more painful. It requires sacrifice. It requires surrender. This journey is a struggle. It's latent with difficulties. It's a wrestling match [00:06:00] with the world's greatest foe, your worst enemy.
[00:06:04] I think a lot of times we hope for an external enemy. We hope for someone out there that's a stranger, a threat, a bad guy, we want to put them as the bad guy. We can be the victim in the hero in the story, both at the same time. If there's somebody out there, the evil empire, the enemy, but we have met the enemy and he is us because.
[00:06:32] That's why the journey also has that inner journey, at least in part because it is about us. It is about what we feel, what we think, what we do. We are our own worst enemy. , but we'd just as soon not really think about it that way. We'd like to say, no thanks. I'm fine. Everything's good, I'm good. If it weren't for all of those other people and all of that stuff that's out [00:07:00] there, everything would be great.
[00:07:05] Really. Maybe we should say that a journey of 360,000 miles begins with a single. Because the truth is we fall down a lot. That's really our own story. If you're a parent and you've watched a child begin to learn to walk, they fall down a lot. They sometimes even just give up on it and say, I'll try again another day, and we fall down like that too on our journey.
[00:07:37] Which continually leads us to say, why bother? If the journey is such a massive journey and we're going to fall down and make mistakes and struggle and fail on the journey, even if we're headed someplace, that's good. Why should we do it? It's painful. It's exhausting. It's humiliating,[00:08:00]
[00:08:01] but the truth is, We also have to do it because that strenuous wrestling with ourselves is what leads to surrender and sacrifice and transformation. If you look at this passage from four, Matthew four, chapter one through 11, that's Jesus doing that. That's, he's the kind of example that we should be looking at, that somebody that has done.
[00:08:30] Notice the beginning of it. It says in Matthew and the Luke version both. It says he was led up. This isn't Jesus volunteering to go out into the wilderness. It, it's, he's not running to meet it. He shuffles forward In his, led out to it. The spirit drove him into the wilderness and it doesn't say, but maybe even kicking and screaming like we often.
[00:08:58] Driven [00:09:00] forward on a journey that we don't want to go on, and this journey is one worth taking, even though it seems like it ends in a dead end, but maybe that's the journey that Christ is on, but that's not our journey, right? We're not called to spend 40 days hungry in the. We're not called to spend thinking about these conversations and impossibilities and all of that.
[00:09:30] We can't do any of these things. We can't turn stone into bread. It wouldn't even enter our mind. But we can turn every hunger that we have into a physical one and try to satisfy our spiritual needs through physical acts. We can't leap from the pinnacle of the temple and be caught. Angels, but we often leap into self-destructive habits that lead to death more often than they lead to [00:10:00] any sort of life.
[00:10:01] And we feel immortal as long as we don't think about it. We are often shown the kingdoms of the world, but in a different way because every time we're shown them, we just fall down again. We deserve everything. Anything. Our hearts. And yet we fall down over and over again and recognize that this isn't just about the 40 days of lint.
[00:10:25] This is about our entire life. Every day we're given opportunities to claim the gift of life we've been given in Christ, and we refuse that gift and we fall down again. We surrender to our own temptations, to our own selfishness. We surrender. All of those things that we were given, and instead of surrendering to the cross, we fail and fall down in our brokenness.
[00:10:55] Sometimes we think of lint as a time of falling down, of collapsing [00:11:00] into tears and remorse and regret, and all of these feelings of sinfulness, and that seems to be the only way to move forward. , but maybe also it's to stand in the arms of Christ who stood for us and to let him walk with us to the Christ cross.
[00:11:22] It's about falling down. And stumbling, but it's also about standing and stepping out. It's about taking that first step on that long, difficult journey, even when we don't want to, and walking with Christ throughout the entire journey. Thanks for listening.
[00:11:51] Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit [00:12:00] back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode, do me a favor. Go over to facebook.com/inspired steward.
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Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. – Matthew 4: 1-2