Temptation

Do you trust me?

Can you picture the scene where Aladdin offers his hand to Jasmine and says, “Do you trust me?”  At that moment Jasmine must decide if she trusts Aladdin enough to put her life in his hands.

When God’s asks “Do you trust me?”  He is asking us the same thing, “Do you trust me enough to trust me with ALL of your life?”  After a great comment and some great discussions regarding last week’s blog temptation, I decided to hit on the subject again this week.  Then at church on Sunday morning the sermon was on just that: overcoming temptation.  Coincidence?  I think not!  I encourage you to check out the podcast or video of this sermon here.  But I also want to continue our conversation from last week with some added insight from this message. 

Let’s begin by looking at Luke 4:1-13. 

 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11     they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Lk 4:1-13

The devil tempts Jesus three times in this passage, but I want to focus on verses 5-8 today.  Mike pointed out a new side to this temptation that I hadn’t considered before.  Here the devil is taking God’s will for Jesus’ life and tweaking it.  Essentially, he is offering Jesus a shortcut on the plan God has for His life.  Jesus knew that in the end God promises that Jesus wins!  When Christ returns He will have all power, authority and dominion over the earth.  But Satan tells him there might be a different way to get to the same end result!  The plan he has will get Jesus to this destination more quickly and without the pain of the cross.  Secondly, Mike pointed out that the devil promised what wasn’t his to give.  Satan does NOT control this world.  So he has no authority offering it to Jesus.  Only God can designate this power.  The devil is making a promise he can’t keep. 

If Satan tried this attack on Jesus, you know he has tried it on you and me, so I have to relate this passage to myself and ask the following questions. 

What is God’s big picture plan for my life? What does He promise He will do long term in my life? (This can be dreams He has placed in my heart, careers I know He has asked me to pursue, etc.)

What shortcuts has the devil “offered” me to achieve the results I desire (and I believe God desires)? 

Have I accepted any of those offers?

Does the devil actually have the resources to back up the promises he has made?

Satan would love for us to believe that we are in God’s will simply because we are pursuing the plans God has set for our lives.  However, he wants us to achieve those plans on a different time frame or with different resources or work ethics than what God has set forth.  Essentially, the devil is asking us, “Do you trust that God will really do what He said He will do?”  He wants us to believe that we can accomplish God’s will for our lives faster and in a more effecient and productive manner than God can. 

I understand that when it is said in black and white like that, we may think, “I would never do that!”  But I know many times, I have wanted to take back the reigns of my dreams and pursue them with my own strength and resources rather than waiting for God’s way and His resources.  I think this temptation is so real in our lives because we have so many resources at our disposal.  Remember the resource doesn’t have to be “evil” to be excluded from God’s plan.  God knows the big picture not only of our lives, but of the lives of the entire world beginning to end, and when we use His resources in His timing the end results glorify HIM much more than we ever could using our own resources.  So today, I am asking myself some difficult questions, and I hope you take time to ask yourself the same ones.

Am I pursuing God’s plan for my life?  Whose road map am I following to get there, mine or God’s?  Do I really believe that His plan is best?  What changes do I need to make to pursue this plan with His strength, His resources and in His timing?  Do I trust God enough to put my entire life in His hands?  How can you live out that trust in a practical way today? 

I’d love to hear some of your responses on how you practically live out trusting God in your daily lives.  Today He is asking, “Do you trust me?”

1 comment on “Do you trust me?

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