∼The Middle of the Garden∼

My experiences from walking and talking with Jesus in the middle of life's garden…a blog by Janet Williams

Have you ever felt that the greatest emotional wounds you’ve ever received come when you’re the most relaxed? They seem to come when you feel you can finally let down the walls and just have fun. They appear like a blindsided attack when you’re finally relaxed and comfy, don’t they?

Today, I want to discuss a couple of scriptures about what I call “the 4th temptation”. It is the temptations that come when you’re the most trusting, the most vulnerable and completely off guard.

In Genesis 3:6b…Eve finished her 3 temptations then went to her husband. The one closest to her. The one she could relax and be herself around. She was the one he felt he could trust and relax around. That’s when he let his guard down, trusting her he ate the forbidden fruit. 

In Luke 4:16… Jesus finished his three temptations of the devil and the devil left him, Jesus went back to Nazareth. Nazareth was His home town. He was surrounded with all the people He knew from His childhood. If there was ever a place He could feel at home and relax, this was it! There must have been a pull to let His guard down but Jesus was onto the devil’s tactics. Jesus knew what was in the hearts of all mankind and it wasn’t good. He knew that His family and closest friends had ulterior motives in wanting Him there and they weren’t good motives either. This was Jesus’ fourth temptation and the one we, His followers need to learn the most. 

Because Jesus learned His lessons well, He knew that Adam and Eve fell into the temptation of the relaxed and familiar. So, Jesus rebuffed the attempts by those whom He grew up with. The narrative goes on to state that Jesus rebuffed their pressure so well that they hauled Him out of the city and tried to throw Him off a hill.

Jesus stayed true to the will of the Father and didn’t cave in when something better or more friendly or more familiar came around.

Jesus stayed true to His first and most essential covenant partner, His heavenly Father even when it meant that He had to choose between those on earth He dearly loved and a heavenly Father that felt far away. Either they all followed Jesus as Jesus followed His Father in heaven or Jesus was going to let them go.

There are times when strings that bind us in relationships have to be cut because you can’t follow someone any farther. You can’t continue to be a pal or a buddy or a BFF. You have to offer to them the path that you are taking and make it plain that if they choose your path then that’s great but if they don’t you have no problem in cutting the strings of the past, friendship, the familiar and home to follow Jesus as He follows the Father.

Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40 that there were two great commandments. The first is to love the Lord your God with all your soul, mind and might. The second is this which is to love your neighbor as yourself. Yet, most people today want to uphold the second commandment while ignoring the first. They think that since they find what they are doing, thinking, believing and feeling must be from God, the Father because it feels so good and so right. It is so pleasing and makes them feel so comfortable in their own life. They begin to think that those who oppose what they think and feel is right are people who are narrow minded and wrong. They push and cajole into getting everyone else onto their train. They feel convinced that if anyone disagrees with their thoughts or lifestyle that they are backwards and idiotic. Yet, Jesus had no problem in leaving them immersed in their own deception.

When we ask ourselves what does it mean to love God with all your heart, it means to follow Jesus as He follows the will and word of His Father. What is the will and word of His heavenly Father? For us to be transformed (Romans 12:2) in our thinking to come into alignment with the Father’s will and word. It is not for us to convince the heavenly Father that He should come into alignment and change His thinking into ours.

Isaiah 55:8 “For My (the heavenly Father’s) thoughts are not your thoughts. Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

and again in Romans 12:2, Paul says…

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)

Do we shrink back and stay the way we are crying out that we were born this way or that we’ve had overpowering urges all our life? Do we convince ourselves that we shouldn’t fight it but give in? Shouldn’t we just relax and get comfortable in what we’re doing?

Jesus didn’t and Adam shouldn’t have.

That’s what the cross does in my life. It forces me to choose between doing life my way or doing life God’s way. It forces me to choose the painful way of the cross over feeling relaxed and comfy in my own delusional thinking.

Luke 9:23  Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (NKJV)

…..Just another BlinkingInSunlight post for thought…

…..BLIS.BLOG…..by Janet Williams…..



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