OUR DIVINE VOCATION
By Brian E. Lunsford
January 2, 2016
Concerning this writing, I feel Spiritually compelled to speak of the temptation of Jesus Christ in the wilderness. Many may or may not realize what is the background of the temptation. It is not something in itself, a onetime event, nor just a single incident in the life of our Lord Jesus the Christ. It has long history, going back to the Garden of Eden and the first Adam. For this reason, it is always important to see any part of the Scripture in relation to the whole, and how it fits into the whole disclosure of His truth.
The temptation in the wilderness takes us back alongside the first Adam. That man was put on, sort of speak, probation. The question the first Adam had to answer was: Would he live by a Devine life, or would he live in himself and not of God? It became a question of choosing God over self-centeredness. Would it be a matter of God being everything to him, or, as Satan suggested, a man being self-sufficient? That was the issue of the two trees. The one tree, the tree of life, was a symbol of the fruit of Devine life by which God wanted man to live. The other symbol, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was the fruit of man being sufficient in himself. “You will be like God” and self-sufficient in your own decisions; knowing good from evil.
So it was a question of whether man would absolutely be dependent upon Devine life, or whether he would be dependent upon himself. We already know that Adam failed, and the immediately result was that he was driven from the garden in the wilderness – in fact, everything spoke of the curse upon the earth. So the first Adam, because of wrong choice of life, found himself in a wilderness, and the wilderness represents man making a false choice. Adam failed probation and faced the sentence bestowed upon him.
Now go forward to some centuries later in time and come to Israel, and this same issue was presented to them. It is the crucial to their history. When they were brought out of Egypt in a wilderness for forty years: Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, so the same principle is there. The question for the Israelites was: Would they live by Divine life, or, in rebellion, seek to be self-sufficient? We know that in that probation period Israel also failed. So God presented the same question to a man and to a nation. “Will you live by My life, or will you choose to be self-sufficient (self-centered) in yourself?” The wilderness was positively an outstanding place to exam that issue! God is very practical. From time to time, we find ourselves in a wilderness with nowhere to turn. Can we meet that situation in the here and now through a Divine life, or, are we going to select a self-sufficient mindset?
This has happened down through the centuries. The great men of Scripture all failed when they wondered in to a wilderness of thorns and thistles, but they turned to self- sufficient instead of God’s Devine life. All became sinners at one time or another and had to beg for forgiveness from Him. Why? Because of the sin of the first Adam; self-centeredness. For example: Abraham, certainly a man of God, choose self-sufficiency. Instead of waiting and trusting in God’s promise of a child, he went into the maid servant of Sarah, Hagar. Sarah says, “No, I am too old to have a child. Go unto my maid servant.” So Abraham became self-sufficient, as did the first Adam, and made up his own mind without waiting for God’s promise; His Divine life to fulfill the promise.
Now we come to another phase. There was the first Adam, then Israel, then the last Adam, and all throughout Scripture where man had failed God time and time again. We can find the last Adam, Jesus Christ, in the very same place where both the first Adam and the nation of Israel failed. He was in the wilderness, and He also was on probation for forty days and forty nights. The number forty in the Bible always means probation, a time of testing. Now the issue with the last Adam is exactly the same as it was with the Adam and the nation of Israel. The question is, will he live absolute dependence upon God His Father, or will He take up this challenge with His own strength (self- sufficient)?
The exam was a very practical one if it looks as though you will die. So with that point, it is a question of life or death. No manna from Heaven was coming His way any time soon! Of course, this was much deeper than having bread to survive. This brings us to this fact: “Man shall not live by bread alone.” It was a question of whether He would face His life’s work just on a natural basis or on a Devine basis; of whether He would try to find the resources in Himself alone, or in His Father. Our Lord Jesus answers this in John’s Gospel, in chapter five and fourteen, when He says: “The Son can do nothing out from Himself.” It was not in Him to do it, and that is the situation that He accepted willingly. He unconditionally had dependence upon His Father. “The words that I speak, I do not speak out from Myself.” It is the Father Who did the works through Jesus. It is the Father Who spoke the words through Jesus as written. Jesus had accepted that position, but there was an incredible battle connected with it.
© 2016 Brian E. Lunsford – All Rights Reserve
Brian E. Lunsford has traveled the world, experienced events some dream of and some would never admit to. I have risen to the heights of a VP, skimmed the clouds as a pilot, and fallen to the depths of despair as a bagman on the streets of Vegas. Though a winner of the George Washington Honor Medal for my writings, I am humbled daily by the writings of my Father. In a moment of time, in the oddest place, my eyes saw the abyss of my dark soul. My transgressions were revealed to me.
With twenty years of devoted Scripture, KJV, study using Greek and Hebrew translations, I continue my writings in hope that others having regrets, mistakes, and misfortunes in their life, young or old, see with eyes and ears opened to the knowledge of God's grace.
Brian has no ABC, PhD, or an XYZ after my name. I am an ordinary man in the service of an extraordinary God Almighty living in a chaotic world. I have experienced the seeds of sin planted in minds, distorting the Word of God; creating doubt where there should be faith and hope in the Gospels of Jesus.
"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." – 1 Corinthianss 2:1-2
Brian has a new book coming out in about sixty days or less titled: "Morphed: A Tale of Transformation" (ISBN: 978-1-68254-098-5).