—By Dr. Abayomi SANUSI.
May God direct you to find the place! Continuing in this month of Divine Direction we look at the account of Jesus’ triumphs over the evil one in Luke chapter 4. (Responsive congregational reading of the entire chapter)
Following fasting and continuous prayer similar to what we have been engaged in as a church so far this year, Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit and power. He had spent considerable time alone. He was found by the devil, who took the opportunity to test, tempt, examine and trouble him. Obeying God’s word and being in line with His plan is good protection against the devil, who is sure to target those who determine to live a righteous and holy life.
In the context of the record from Luke chapter 4, I want to highlight seven aspects of divine direction, as it should apply to us.
1. In verse 16 the scriptures confirmed to us that it was the custom of our Lord to Read God’s Word. He studied and was familiar with the scriptures. His mastery of understanding, and authoritative handling of the scriptures ensured He could use the scriptures as a tool to teach, inspire, evangelize, and rebuke. The scriptures were central to perfect understanding of history, life, current affairs and politics. There can be no better example for us. Today we need the Word more than ever before to survive, prosper, and remain responsive to God’s leading (Deut.12.28, Josh.1.8, Psalm119.9)
2. Fasting and Praying Jesus was in the spirit and expertly handled not only the tempter, but various other issues of life including demons, instruction and encouragement of disciples, and ministration to his generation. Indeed he declared that some things are impossible without fasting and prayer. (Luke 4.1-4, Mat 17.14-21)
3. Christ Jesus found the place in Luke 4.17. With a culture of familiarity with, public declaration of and identification with the written word; together with a life of prayer-with-fasting, Jesus had no trouble identifying exactly what his purpose and ministry was. He found the place! My prayer is that God will reveal His purpose for your life, career, education, family, future and ministry. May He use this special season of fasting and prayer to lasting effect in each of our lives. Like Jesus you must find the place. You must discover God’s plan and will for your life.
4. Jesus Christ overcame the adversary. He was never overcome by sin, evil, or the ways of this world. Luke 4.3-13, Rev 12.11, Is 43.25-26. We have an example in Him, a confidence in God’s promises, abilities and reputation, and a duty to be overcomers.
5. By virtue of his understanding and the dogged determination to follow God the carpenter boy from Nazareth became unrecognisable. Luke 4.22. I pray that God will use His word, blood and power to transform not only our minds alone, but also the entirety of our life to the extent that we will become unrecognisable. People that once knew him could only marvel at the authority, power and unction of God on his young life. I pray the same upon every aspect of your life.
6. Luke 4.43 suggests that given these transformation Jesus became preoccupied with God’s desire for his life. I pray that regardless of the demands of family, work, career and social expectations our preoccupations will be with God’s desire and His will for our lives.
7. One can only imagine why consequently divine direction was Jesus Christ’s natural direction, inclination and tendency. I am persuaded that regardless of our stage in discovering God’s plan for us as individuals, if we simply obey the great commission, by His spirit we will be guided in God’s direction for the rest of our days.(Mark 16.15-20)
We pray that as individuals and a congregation, you will assist us in getting entrenched in your word; and as we fast and pray find the place! Help us to continue to overcome the adversary and the world as you transform us beyond recognition, and get us preoccupied in doing only the business of your heavenly kingdom. Guide us by the power in the name of Jesus to follow you in the divine direction you are and will continue to show us. In the powerful name of Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
Delivered on February 9th, 2014.