A waitress brought food to our table. We asked how we could pray for her. She said her brother has Asperger’s and wanted prayer. Holding hands, we offered prayer to God.
Awhile back, we gave a Bible to a different waitress. The following week, she served us again. I shared the following: man’s brokenness, God’s design, Adam and Eve breaking God’s command, sin entering the world, human strategies made brokenness worse, Jesus coming down to earth to die for the forgiveness of sin—rising from the dead—coming back to rule and reign on earth, and how I personally trusted Christ’s death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sin that put me on the pathway to experience God’s design. I asked her, “Would you like to receive Christ?” She said yes.
Those who serve the public like waitresses feel much stress and temptations. Taking time to relate has the potential to transform them in Christ. Let's journey with Jesus to learn how to move from temptation to transformation in Christ.
1. Expect temptations
The devil tempted Jesus three times in the wilderness. Like Jesus, the devil tempts you to consider who to trust (appetites versus His word), what you submit to (world versus God), and who you worship (ego versus the Holy Spirit) (Luke 4:1-12).
2. Be aware of vulnerable times
After these temptations, the devil departed until a more opportune time (Luke 4:13). Satan exploits vulnerable times when you might desire pleasure to satisfy your flesh, seek power to accomplish worldly pursuits or pursue prestige to gratify your ego.
3. Recognize your need of Jesus
At the height of popularity, Jesus read Isaiah 61:1-2a in the synagogue: the Spirit empowered Him to preach the gospel to the poor (recognize sin), proclaim release to the captives (slave to sin and disease), recovery of sight to the blind (spiritually dead), set free the downtrodden (lost hope) and proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. He said Elisha cleansed Naaman the Syrian of leprosy, yet people in the synagogue drove Him out of town (Luke 4:14-30). Jesus heals and sets free those who recognize their need for Him.
4. Depend on Jesus’ power
People in Capernaum were amazed Jesus' teaching had authority. Jesus rebuked a demon in a man saying, "Be quiet and come out of him!" Jesus rebuked the high fever in Simon's mother-in-law. She arose immediately and served them. Jesus healed those with various diseases by laying His hands on them (Luke 4:31-41). Jesus' word has power to cast out demons for emotional, mental and physical healing.
5. Spend time alone with God
Jesus knew his purpose was to preach the kingdom of God in various cities so everyone had a chance to believe. Jesus received His power and marching orders during His times alone with God (Luke 4:42-44).
The more you make an active effort to spend time with God in prayer and His word, the more He will empower you as a change agent and difference maker to overcome temptation, preach the gospel to heal those enslaved by sin and disease, awaken the spiritually dead, and give new hope to those beaten down by life.
We invite Lincoln, NE, area folks to our next All-Night Prayer Meeting Fri., June 14th, beginning at 7 p.m., Praise Chapel, 1201 Benton St., to experience spiritual awakening in our churches, cities, and world