Here are other notes from “Anonymous”:

TIMING

  • God never wastes anyone’s time. He’s neither care-less nor cause-less with how he spends our lives. He sees every season of our life the “main course.”  “main” is right now, happening this very second. it’s not on hold until we get married, or get a better job, or absolve debt, etc.
  • only three years, less than 10 percent of jesus’ life, are visible through the bible. over 90 of his time on earth is unknown to us.
  • we must learn to wait because God is worthy; we aren’t the first who have had God-given (but unfulfilled) dreams and made to wait for years: Sarah waited 25 years to give birth to Isaac after God promised her a baby; Joseph waited 20 years to rescue his family from famine after being sold into slavery Moses waited 40 years to lead his people from slavery; Esther waited 25 years before she stepped up for her people; Paul waited 10 years after his spiritual encounter with God before he officially started ministry.
  • every choice we make is an investment in a future we cannot see.

TEMPTATIONS

  • hidden years grant us the space to learn to discipline our passions, cravings and desires. God allows us to wrestle with our appetites before our lives are at stake, to struggle with our passions privately rather than when we’re in the public limelight. if we have to deal with them prematurely, we can be crushed. we need the gift of hiddenness before rushing into more than we’re prepared for. we need to be able to grow in quiet anonymity.
  • The author says, “i feel that trials do not prepare us for what’s to come as much as they reveal what we’ve done with our lives up to this point.”
  • God leads us into deserts to: humble us, test us, know what is in our hearts, see if we will keep his commands, teach us to depend on him, discipline us as his children.
  • when tempted, we fall prey to the lie of “just one.” we rationalize this is only about one moment of splurging or one brief gland or one… we disconnect the moment of temptation from all other moments and how they add up and build upon one another.
  • the temptation of vain imaginations: thought patterns that puff us up from the inside out or invite us to escape from reality and experience a more affirming existence in our minds. (tempted in our thoughts by the attention and awe of mankind). these thoughts make us discontent with our current realitie

JESUS’ TEMPTATION

  • Jesus was tempted, in the desert. the devil tries many approaches:
    * dangles a lure (by offering something attractive);
    * exploits a natural longing (appealing to an innately human desire like eating). food in itself is not sinful, and here’s where satan’s lures can be deceptive. it’s not about what jesus would eat as much as about when. would he obey God even when obedience required delayed satisfaction of legitimate needs?
    * identifies the means (suggesting how to get what we want);
    * offers an inviting invitation (mixing truth with his lies).
    * SATAN’S MOST EFFECTIVE LURE: immediate gratification (not having to wait on God’s timing)
  • satan, in this way is predictable. the way he tempted jesus is how he tempted Eve, yet we continue to fall prey to his ways: we continue to crave instant satisfaction, daydream of public admiration, be hypnotized by wordly power/possessions, etc.
  • when devil finished tempting it says “he left him (Jesus) until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13)–meaning that satan would return again to tempt him. satan is going to come and continue to tempt us at strategic times in our lives, at crossroads.
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