We read this scripture together in a Women’s Conference:
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.”
And as I heard that within the context of listening to women speak about things real women face after having gone through a few days of having the worst insecurities about who I am, what I face, and not measuring up; I hear my next blog prompt.
Sometimes we don’t think we are good enough to be tempted, so we don’t realize when it is happening. The idea that our struggles that keep us so pre-occupied, distracted and far from pure are lies intended to keep us from our calling doesn’t cross our minds because we forget we even have a calling. Our thoughts of our own worth have become so low that accept that we are just human, just flawed and just weak. We are average. We accept our human condition and we no longer believe we are good enough to present a threat to the World. Not worth a fight to begin with. Of course the enemy wanted Jesus. Look what he stood to lose once Jesus accomplished his mission. Have you thought of what the enemy could lose if you accomplished your mission? If you walked in your purpose? Do you believe you have a purpose?
Jesus, was in the wilderness. I don’t stay stuck, because he was where he needed to be for those 40 days and nights. The scenery may not have been changing much but he was moving forward in his calling. He needed the wilderness. He was hungry, alone, and humbled. Satan comes and offers him food, comfort, and position (Matthew 4:1-11). These things are presented as apparent rights. “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” In other words, “you are Gods child, surely you shouldn’t be hungry.” The world is so good at telling us we have rights to things. It’s so good at making our desires our #1 concern. It makes us believe that it’s what God wants for us. God doesn’t want us to be so unhappy, so go find it, and if you make a mistake God’s always there anyways.
Satan says: Have bread.
Jesus says: That’s not what I need for sustenance.
Satan: Jump, God will save you. Go after what YOU want, God is always there.
Jesus: I won’t tempt God.
Satan: I can give you the world, just give in to me.
Jesus: I worship the Father, I am his and he is mine. Get lost.
Imagine your own wilderness.
Aren’t those things we often find ourselves believing we have a right to as God’s children? God wants me to be satisfied. Of course, he wants me to have abundance of “blessing,” so my “hustle and grind” is ok. God wants me to be happy, so ultimately, He supports my decisions to chase happiness and satisfaction. God wants me to feel good about myself so I can walk away from what doesn’t make me “feel” good and go after what does.
And when temptation and affliction come, are you able to stand against it? It’s tough, no doubt. How did Jesus do it? Yes, he was God’s son, but he came here as human. The key was he knew what his mission was. He knew there was a purpose. There was a purpose in his life and a purpose to his wilderness. There is a purpose to ours as well! Knowing that purpose gave him strength and a knowledge of what is good. Unfortunately, if you have a purpose, you will face temptation.
Here’s the deal; temptation is real. It comes in many forms. It can come as addiction, flashback to our pre-Jesus days, distractions, hedonism, materialism, egoism, lust, pride and more. We can fall to it and let sin win. We can be afflicted by it yet stand strong. But first we have got to recognize its existence and significance in our lives. The world is constantly tempting you and pulling you away from God’s purpose for your life, so much so that you end up thinking it’s you. You think it’s a natural “stage” of life. You may even end up believing that is how you were made and just accepting the condition of your mind and emotions.
You have been struggling so long with your issue that it has become normal to you. It has become so constant that you think it is just who you are. And it’s quite possible that you have just given in to it, you’ve been consumed with it, or worse… you don’t even see it anymore. And how did it get that far? Is it because you haven’t seen yourself as a threat to the world, so the idea of you facing a battle for your mind, emotions, and finances is foreign to you. I’m telling you sis (or brother), you are totally good enough for the world to keep you for its own. You just need to remember it and be prepared.
Where are there temptations and distractions on your life that you’ve gotten used to or begun to think it was just who you were?