And after 40 days....tempted


According to the fourth chapter of Luke, Christ was led into the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted by the devil.  And then, AFTER 40 days with nothing to eat, He was tempted.
It’s one thing for me to be tempted when I am in church, or surrounded by my Christian friends, or when I am at the “top of my game” mentally and spiritually, but what about the other times?  God help me when I am not functioning at my peak when I am tempted! And that of course is part of the point here: We’d better have God to shelter and protect us when we are at our weakest and Satan attacks us the strongest. We’re not match for him.
There are good reasons Jesus taught us to pray, “And lead us not into temptation”.   We’re weak and fail surprisingly easily!  We don’t need to be looking for trouble.  This is also why  God said that “It is not good that man should be alone”. We need the support of others (true brothers and sisters)  when we’re weak,  and others need us when they are weak.
When I think about it, the times that I have failed succumbed to doing what I knew was wrong (i.e after I was tempted), in each instance, was when I was:
-alone
-feeling sorry for myself
-in the “wrong place” or with the wrong people, and/or
-at a point and time when I am exhausted
But Jesus was alone, hungry, thirsty, tired, worn out and yet He did not give in to temptation. Surprisingly it was God, His Father, that set all this up! He wanted Jesus to be tempted; He planned for Jesus to be hungry and desperate for food and water; He allowed Satan to tempt His beloved to fail by means of compromise and taking an easy path.
But the difference is that Jesus as not alone—-He and the Father were one.  He did not feel sorry for himself or fall into self-pity…ever. He was here for His Father’s  divine purpose and was never swayed from that vision.  Yes, He was in a bad place, but He was in the place God called Him to be—-and therefore God delivered Him.  And yes, He was exhausted, yet He trusted that God would, in His time, restore Him and provide the nourishment He needed—-and indeed God did at the end of this narrative.
Friends, you’re not alone in this present pandemic and national lock-down. God is there—more now than ever.  Deny the enemy the pleasure of you falling into self-pity—rise above that childish emotion and remember that He has redeemed you to rise and shine for His glory.  God will restore you, your family, this nation and His children all over the world if we determine to trust Him and not trust our own instincts.
Nothing that happens to me—or to you—has caught God by surprise.  Let us look, in great anticipation, to the time when God will send His angels to tend to our needs us just as He did Jesus after His ordeal with the deceiver.
 
Warmly,
Dean Barley
1945 Vineyard Road
Westfield, NC 27053
336 351 2070
www.vineyardcamp.com

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