Our lives as individuals can be so plagued by different types of issues; the need to become, the need to acquire, the need to achieve, the need to do, the need to sustain etc. This happens so often that if and when we are not careful, such needs and how we go about fulfilling them can become devastating to our existence as human beings. We always have the urge to satisfy one thing from/or with another and should be careful in the choices we make in the process.
Jesus at the start of His ministry was, like everyone else, faced with a challenge. He was tempted of the devil. The the Holy Spirit wasted no time in leading Him to the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The idea that the Holy Spirit led Him to the wilderness be tempted by the devil just as the popular Psalmist prayer “He leads me in the paths of righteousness”, is something worth pausing to examine.
There are certain trials and temptations that whether we like it or not, we just have to face in our paths of righteousness for us to be adequately prepared for the work that God Almighty has ordained before hand that we should do. There has to be prunnings, cuttings etc, that has to happen and continues to happen, if we are to successfully please our Master. The likeness of these temptations faced by Jesus, are everyday dealings that we as humans are faced with and will continue to be faced with and must overcome! Jesus has become our example! We can overcome and are more than conquerors if we believe.
The “if you are” syndrome as I would like to call it, in Jesus’ case started in the first temptation, with the enemy challenging him in subtle terms concerning what he believes and stands for. Not just that alone, trying to make Him sabotage His person, to do deeds that would offend God and misrepresent situations!
How many times as children of God have we met situations that subtly required us to compromise? Quietly deny who we are? Or walk/work between the grey areas, just because we are after what to eat, drink and wear?
Even if you are a child of God, would it really stop you from doing so and so to feed yourself and your family? To the ordinary onlooker, what is truly wrong with turning stone to bread after forty days of fasting? Especially since there was no fast food delivery service to turn to at the moment or a “mama put” joint to quickly access and satisfy the hunger pangs.
But you see, the technicalities of what the devil was asking Jesus to do was wrong and incriminating, and the hunger-blind Christian may not perceive the subtleties of the situation until he delves in and is entrapped! Others may not get to see the bad at all even if someone comes along to point it out. They would just chunk it aside as jealousy or the like and move on with their lives.
The second thing we should point out in this very temptation of Jesus by the devil, is that our desire to “prove” ourselves to others is constantly being tried. It tries our silent need to be validated.
The devil knows that Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus was not in conflict with who He is, so why the “if you are” phrasing? Show your strength, ability, etc. There was even “no one” per se in attendance. But the devil would know and most importantly God would know when we decide to do something with the intent to show or prove ourselves. So whether others can read our thoughts or not, God can! We should be wary of falling into the temptation to massage our ego in the name of doing “the necessary” to achieve. Once it has to feed our ego/pride, we are in the wrong lane and would have ourselves to blame if we fail.
I still want to dwell on the point that we shapen ourselves or who we are more often than not with the decisions we make when none else is in attendance. Our thoughts, are inner decisions, what we consistently choose to do and say when we think we have no audience or the audience is of no immediate or substantial consequence, has defining, longer lasting qualifications on who we become.
So while your brother or sister may not be there to take note of your current happenings and access your heart’s intent, God can and the host of heaven bear record while the enemy is present to use it as foothold or evidence against you when the time is required.
As the year unfolds, let’s see to it that our lives are not hijacked by the enemy and we do not succumb to the desire to meet the three fold ministry of the flesh. When we are controlled by our flesh, we stifle the sensitivity of our spirit to the things of God and to God Himself.
This is a New year, let’s begin well. For some, let’s continue well and if nothing, let’s not sabotage the ministry of Angels by the wrong choices that we make. This among other things, is what we stand to loose when the choice is “if you are” pleasing.
Happy New year!
🙂 😉 🙂
Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!