“The devil led him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all of the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours. Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” Luke 4:5-7
Kingdom Men, the devil is tempting us the same way, over these last two weeks we have been discussing the kingdoms, the battlefields that the enemy shows us from the “high place”: media, government, business, academia, family, arts and entertainment, and religion.
We get tempted in these areas. Jesus was tested. Sure, in the moment He could have chosen to worship the devil, but that choice runs contrary to what He had already decided in His heart. He had been in training before his ministry started (Luke 2:46-52). He only allowed in that which would be fruitful and give Him endurance. He walked so solidly in freedom that when the testing and temptation came the victorious road was the only possible option. For Jesus, It would have taken more effort to succumb to the pressure from the devil than to resist it. He was prepared. The devil’s snare wasn’t something that sneaked up on Him. The temptation did not catch Him off guard. He saw this coming. He had been preparing His whole life to pass the test. As Luke 2:52 reports, “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
Our victory on each of these flanks also depends on how we see the battlefield and engage. Honestly brothers, it hinges on what we have “pre-decided” to do. The world, our culture and even common sense would lead us to fight from a position of brute strength, cunning or title. This is what the devil was offering Jesus. But as Kingdom Men, we are called to a higher plane. Because of Jesus, our fight and our tactics do not look like the world’s, but they are far more decisive and convincing in victory.
The battlefields may vary. The season when we fight along with the surrounding environment where we fight will change. But our tools and tactics for victory are straight forward. They are simple. The Lord gave us simple instructions and commands: Love God, Love one another as I have loved you (Matthew 22:36-40, John 13:34). Time and again by example, he demonstrated how we, as Kingdom Men are to engage. He knew the battle could knock us around. But we have to train in it. We have to create reps so that it becomes muscle memory. This is what James meant when he said, “Consider it pure joy brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3). It’s like what the soldiers, firefighters and EMTs say in the interviews after a stressful event, “The training just took over.”
So we must build muscle memory in Loving God and Loving One Another. We want our training to “just take over.” This is where our victory lives. TJC routinely teaches 3-ways to apply those commands. 1) Serious Pursuit of Holiness (reading & knowing the Word, detesting our own sin & confession), 2) Praise, Worship and Fasting, 3) Hospitality (or what we refer to as Love Does) (James 1:22).
This week I had a conversation with a brother, he was telling me about a friend who wanted to ensure that his son knew how to properly handle a weapon. They took a week-long trip together out of state for a professional intensive training course. The instructor led the father and son through the basics, safety, maintenance, firing positions, loading, targeting etc., building a foundation upon which they could add more skills. By the end of the week, they had gone through countless reps, his son felt very comfortable and the father felt even more proficient. They took their training seriously, and the only thing on the line was a good hunt and home defense…
Daily Battle Order:
Brothers, the above story is pretty common for all of us. You may not be training to be more proficient, with weaponry, but you are training diligently in something. Maybe it’s a home improvement project, a race or other activity. The point is you’re preparing hard for the victory, but the glory is temporary. That crown will tarnish.
Kingdom Men, Spend some time today planning your “intensive training course” toward your Serious Pursuit of Holiness, Praise and Worship, Fasting and Hospitality. Being proficient will allow us to walk in a freedom that will turn temptation into a test where victory is our only course of action!
Join us next week as we remember those who have faithfully served our country.
Kingdom Men, we will be mustering at Fredericksburg Battlefield on June 25-26. Friday-Sunday; for those able to participate Saturday only, you will receive the benefits of the TJC Battlefield training. Let’s “PRE-DECIDE” to train together! Make the Victorious Road the only option!