Be Still Know
Luke 4:13 NLT
‘When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.’
Years ago in Chichester, the Royal Military Police organised a challenging annual day-long walk across the Sussex Downs. Some soldiers ran the distance with fully loaded packs on their backs. Civilians also took part, like me. I managed to complete the full walk each time, but only by digging deep to find the determination and strength. We are to face temptation in the same way. It will require stamina to see us through all the various circumstances of life, as well as a resolute mind to hold our ground in the revelation of scripture. Ultimately, Satan will depart from us, ready to have another pop at a later stage, yet we know in that moment that we have resisted in obedience to God.
Most temptation comes at us through the three lenses Jesus encountered. The most obvious is our need for security and safety. Satan offers to replace the rocky circumstances of our life with comfortable provision, assuring us of security and contentment. This is a choice between trusting in God or trusting in our own human capability. Then Satan challenged Jesus’ identity. He was already ruler of all, yet this Lordship was to be won through his earthly sojourn and infamous death. The tempter suggests a ready-made shortcut, removing the pain of life. We are always to consider what God has in mind for us ahead of simply accepting the many alluring offers life places before us. We can be successful, and apparently effective, yet remain far from God’s purpose for our life and real fruitfulness.
Finally comes the temptation for profile. So many in my generation, especially those in Church leadership, talk of legacy. It appears to be of some importance that they leave behind a testament to their own existence and work. God sees no place for this. We are to live quietly, faithfully, and entrust the future to God’s hands.
QUESTION: Take time to reflect on where you are most often tempted.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me see that my security, identity and legacy are all best found in you.