In reading the gospel of Luke this morning, I read about the temptation of Jesus. An interesting passage to say the least.
Often we are taught, and/or reminded that we are not to put ourselves into a position in which we can be tempted. Like being alone, and staying up late with your girlfriend/boyfriend. When you are tired, you are more easily temped and less able to resist. And this raised a question: am I the sole reason I am tempted? I mean, if I live a sinless life, could I avoid temptation?
Genesis 3 and Luke 4 offer some good insight.
In Genesis 3, the first man and woman were living sinless lives. Everything was “very good.” Yet they were tempted by the serpent.
In Luke 4 we find Jesus, the Son of God (God the Son: fully man, fully God) living a sinless life. Yet, He too was
tempted. How do we explain this? Did He place Himself in a bad position? The simple answer is “No.”
In fact the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. This seems almost shocking! God led Jesus, His Son to be tempted? But James 1 tells us that God will not tempt anyone. He will, however, test us. So Jesus was being tested, as Satan did the tempting.
In reality temptation will happen no matter how “sinless” we are. God tests us: our faith, our trust, our endurance, etc. Satan tempts us to not have faith, to not trust, and to give up. When giving in to the temptation, I find disappointment, discouragement, and/or annoyance as the temptation never meets expectations.
But when I turn back to my Lord, I find redemption, love, and fulfillment. He does not condemn. He does not point the finger. Instead, I find He understands, because He was tempted Himself. He knows my struggle with it. Yet, through Him I can overcome. By knowing God’s Word I can learn how to say “no,” and when I fall short I can receive genuine forgiveness.
So, be prepared. Temptation will come. Satan will tempt, and God will test. And if you resist the devil, he will flee and so will the temptation.
Pastor Terry, his wife and family came to Suedberg in 2003. There have great times, good times, and well, not so good times. But through it all God has been good. This blog will share the goodness of God as seen in the midst of the great, the good, and the not so good of our world.