Test one over -
but still in the desert
The Test1-3 Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: "Since you are God's Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread."
4Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth."
5-6For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, "Since you are God's Son, jump." The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: "He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won't so much as stub your toe on a stone."
7Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: "Don't you dare test the Lord your God."
8-9For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth's kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, "They're yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they're yours."
10Jesus' refusal was curt: "Beat it, Satan!" He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: "Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness."
11The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus' needs.
Matthew 4: 1-11 (Message)
Satan takes Jesus to the top of the temple and tempts Jesus to test God the Father.
Satan wanted Jesus to be presumptuous with God. Satan even quoted from the Psalms goading him, "come on, do this, those Angels would have to catch you!"
And they would have.
It was a long way down.
No human could survive such a fall.
the towering temple as it looked in the time of Jesus
But Jesus could have.
He was divine
and He had legions of Angels at His command.
But Jesus didn't jump.
He could see that this was a trap.
It was sin.
Jesus had a ready response from Deuteronomy 6:16.
DO NOT TEST THE LORD YOUR GOD.
Have you ever tested God?
If you ever have done something that you know is wrong, assuming God's forgiveness, YOU HAVE TESTED GOD.
Sometimes I don't realize I'm testing God and Iwill just take on somebody's dare, ready to prove something to them.
You know what I mean?
Proving to that person how wrong they are.
But in taking their dare - You are showing God, that you are not listening/obeying His commandments
(In a futute post we will be tackling how to discern if you are being challenged by the Lord to step in faith, or trapped by the devil to fall in sin. Don't we all need more understanding of this.)
This time of year that particulary bothers me as I picture my wrongs heaped upon Christ upon the cross.
He paid for every time we "test God"
Why would we KNOWINGLY increase His agony?
He didn't jump.
He knew He didn't have to prove anything to Satan.
and indeed as when He resisted the third test those angels who would have caught Him, had he taken Satans dare, were right there to minister to Him.
We can resist too.
We don't have to jump for Satan or those that goad us like that either,
Jesus said in John 14; 15-17
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
So, the best way to show WHO YOU ARE as a CHILD OF GOD is
NOT TO TAKE THE DARE OF A BULLY
but to run this dare past the ONE who does love you.
AND PRAY FOR HIS HELPER, YOUR HELPER
THE HOLY SPIRIT will provide YOUR RESPONSE.
HE DWELLS in you, if you'll allow it.
And THEN YOU TOO WILL KNOW TO RESIST.
Lord, thank you for your heart of wisdom. Help us to know when we are tempted to sin, sometimes we think by doing something we will prove who you are - help us remember that we don't need to take the dare. And that You don't need us to prove anything.
Help us to see those traps of the devil.
Help us not to assume our forgiveness and sin anyway. IT IS TESTING YOU and we are then disobeying you twice. OH LORD WE NEED YOUR HELP IN THIS.
Guide us with your Holy Spirit to STOP, SEEK YOUR SCRIPTURES and respond with YOUR WORD and YOUR LOVE and YOUR TRUTH spoken to the temptor and to our sinful hearts.
We lift up _____________ today, perhaps they have even unknowingly been one to test us, not even knowing that, or knowing how you feel about it. Again Lord, we thank you for how you demonstrated your love for all of us, in the desert and upon the cross. We come to you and praise you on this desert morning in our lives, knowing that you are present ready to help us answer the temptor, if only we would call on you.
Strengthen us for this day that we might serve you and delight you.
In Jesus name, AMEN
Have a great day - and DON'T JUMP in this hike O' life!