Luke 4:9–13 (NIV84)
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.
This week, we have seen the crafty and cunning ways that Satan works. He will stop at nothing to get us to fall into sin. He was just as relentless with Jesus. For his third temptation, Satan tried to beat Jesus at his own game and use words of Scripture (Psalm 91) to trick Jesus. His argument was that if Jesus did not jump from the top of the temple to the depths of Kidron Valley (approximately 450 feet down), he was showing a lack of trust in God to protect him.
Of course, Jesus saw through this foolishness and used the words of Deuteronomy 6:16 to remind the devil about the difference between testing and trusting God. What about you? Do you always see this difference in your own life?
In his novel The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis emphasizes how he believed Satan works more through subtle distrust than he does blatant disobedience. God said he will be with me always, so why do I feel so alone? God said that I can do all things through him who gives me strength, so why is school such a challenge? God said to ask and it shall be given, so why hasn’t he answered my prayer yet?
Recognize that thoughts like these are, first and foremost, misinterpretations of Scripture. Understanding the power of God’s promises and the entire context of Bible passages is important. Additionally, they are temptations designed to lead you to distrust God, his promises, and his providence in your life.
God does not have to prove anything to you, his creation, but he does. Despite your lack of trust, he time and time again reminds you of His presence in your life; he helps you through all of your challenges; he answers your prayers. But if you want to see the ultimate proof of God’s love in your life, look at Christ’s cross. Through his perfect life, innocent death, and glorious victory, you can trust that Jesus trampled Satan! God gives you the strength to trample all of your disobedient and distrusting temptations, as well!
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I praise you for the lessons you taught me this week about the various kinds of temptations I face. Forgive me for doubting and not trusting completely in you and your will for me. Remind me to always pray “Thy will be done,” not “my will be done.” If it be your will, continue to shower me with reminders of your love in my life. In your name I pray. Amen.