What a beautiful day for a morning run! It was 33 degrees up here in the Rocky Mountains near Pike’s Peak, but it really felt like perfect weather. The breathing, on the other hand, not so perfect.
I ran 4.1 miles in 33 minutes and 14 seconds. That was an average pace of 8:04 per mile. With 404 feet of total elevation gain, I think 8:04 is pretty great!
I am excited to get back home and to be able to run without my lungs feeling like they are constantly collapsing, though.
Jodi and I will be hiking today, so we should easily get in another 5k this afternoon.
As I was reading through Matthew 4-6 this morning, I was immediately stopped by the first verse:
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. – Matthew 4:1
What incredible insight into the situation! Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.
I can’t tell you how much comfort I receive from reading these words. Do you know what this means for me? It means that God Himself is not only with us during difficulties, but that many times He is, in fact, the One leading us into the difficult situations!
Why in the world would that bring me comfort?!
Because it proves that God is far more interested in our character than in keeping us safe and cozy.
It proves that He is with us in the midst of difficult situations.
It proves that God is sovereign over difficult situations.
It proves that going through difficult situations does not necessarily mean that we are outside of the will of God. Rather, it may mean that we are following Him faithfully!
This is really important to me, because I have certainly been through a few difficult situations that have led me to wonder, “God, did I miss you on this one?!”
To be sure, many of my difficult situations were brought on by my own stupidity, but I am convinced (and this verse validates) that many times it really was God who was leading and walking with me the whole way.
A parallel passage is found in Luke 4. Notice how the Spirit is present and active in Luke’s account:
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness – Luke 4:1
Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” and was “led by the Spirit”
Later, in verse 14, he returns from the wilderness “in the power of the Spirit”.
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. – Luke 4:14
Next, Jesus stands up in the synagogue and proclaims that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Luke 4:18-19
I don’t know about you, but I want this to be true in my life! I want to be full of the Spirit, led by the Spirit, walking in the power of the Spirit, and anointed by the Spirit!
In short, I want my life’s passion to be summed up by a phrase that caught my attention at the end of today’s reading:
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33
May my first priority and passion be the kingdom of God and his righteousness! How do we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness?
By walking in the Spirit!