Today’s Word: ‘SPIRIT’ as in… the same Spirit that filled Jesus in his baptism just prior his Wilderness experience, breathes into us and fills our lives.
The rising and falling of our breath is the constant reminder that Spirit is always present; we are never alone in our hunger, in our agitation, when we’re lonely, when we’re tired.
In the third temptation of Jesus, the ‘tempter’ takes Jesus to a very high mountain and shows him all of the kingdoms of the world in all of their splendor. And the voice of the ‘tempter’ makes yet another false promise that it can all belong to Jesus—all of it, if he puts the ‘tempter’ first before everything else. Of course, as with everything else, the ‘tempter’ makes only empty promises. But before another breath is taken, Jesus turns toward him and says, “Shove off!” Or probably something more along the lines of “Be gone!” And what’s truly remarkable is that at that very moment, the ‘tempter’ leaves Jesus.
Jesus speaks the words: “Be gone!” and the ‘tempter’ is gone.
Jesus then follows that, as he has in the other two temptations, by speaking the strong promises of the Word. In the face of all three temptations the front line of defense in this otherwise offensive confrontation is the Word of promise. Jesus claims for his response to any and every temptation the living, hope-filled, powerful Word of Promise:
“It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ It is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The word of Promise is always our best defense in every offensive moment. Trying to satisfy our own appetites without the Spirit as Provider and Protector in our lives is like circling that knife in the snow thinking it’s just harmless popsicle.
Thankfully, the rising and falling of our breath is the constant reminder that Spirit is always present in us, at work through us, bringing life and more life to every living, breathing moment.