January 12

Text: Matthew 4:1, 2

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.   (NASB)

Temptation is a challenging subject.  God never challenges those who belong to Him to fail, though He may challenge them to grow.  Why?  He knows when we individually have the ability and capability.  Satan tempts us to cause spiritual failure.  Satan’s specific objective is to place as much separation as possible between the person and God. 

The person is tempted because of his/her personal desires.  Sometimes the way we feel makes it difficult for us to grasp whether God has confidence in us or Satan seeks our failure.  It is simple for us to transform desires into needs and justify the declared needs.  It is possible for God to seek our growth and Satan to seek our failure in the same incident.  Because we have the ability to grow may not mean we have the desire to grow.

It is essential that those who belong to God understand that temptation is not sin—surrendering to temptation is sin.  All that the experience of being tempted proves is that the person is human with human desires.  Spiritual growth results when human commitment is superior to human desire.  Separation from God occurs when we reject commitment to God by surrendering to human desire.

It is astounding that God would care about us so much that He would allow His Son to become human in an evil world.  It is astounding that the caring Son would subject himself to such pain and suffering.  It is astounding that Jesus would be a continuing example of the fact that commitment could be greater than human need in the most demanding situations.

Suggestion for reflection: Can you distinguish between God’s desire for your growth and Satan‘s desire for your failure?  (Consider Hebrews 4:14-16.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell