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Temptation and trial kind of run together. It is difficult to articulate the difference between the two. We often read about trial and temptation in the same or similar context.
The devil promises earthly pleasure in order in order to rob us of heavenly reward.
The devil uses bits of truth when he deceives us. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden they did die. Satan attempted to break that down by telling Eve they would not die… at least not physically.
Snakes are strange creatures. They are silent. They are subtle. They startle us. They catch us off guard. Satan is serpent like. He often sneaks in and tests what we believe about what God has told us to be true.
Satan likes to try to get us to believe that human wisdom (our wisdom) is more reasonable than God’s wisdom.
The idea that we can “be who ever and what ever we want to be” is at the root of a lot of Satan’s temptations. He tells us that we are smarter, that we are better that we do know what is best for ourselves.
If what we want to do and what God wants you to do line up… that is the best place to be, not attempt to line God’s will up with what we want. God’s will should dictate how we shape our will.
Does self determination have no value? No, we need to be working to meet and complete goals. How else are we going to be working on the goals that God gives us?
The Bible is clear that we need to seek God’s will for our lives. Not just to say it, but to actually mean it. To seek God’s will and do it.
Jesus was hungry after forty days and forty nights. Satan came to Jesus at this weak point in his life. Satan tells Jesus that if something that they both know to be true is true (Jesus being the son of God), why not make some bread out of rocks? What’s wrong with that? Jesus replies to Satan, “I do the will of the father. I don’t listen to you. I listen to my father.”
After these temptations Jesus tells Satan to “get out of here!”
There is a temptation to back earthly ambition with divine power. Let’s take a closer look at this.
We must never try to match the devils challenges. The best approach is to always respond in the way that Jesus did. “I don’t listen to you. I listen to God.”
It is important to remember where all good things come from while we are being tempted. All good things do come from God, He wants the best for us. Anything that Satan offers us is a twisted version of some good thing that God offers to or has given us.
Power without sacrifices is not from God. Don’t take the devils advice, it isn’t going to be good even if it looks good.
Jesus ministry was one of changing hearts, not of giving a spectacular show.
The power of God is abundantly manifest in us as children of Christ. We are delivered from the bondage of sin and the world. The power that God gives us is more than enough.
Temptation isn’t a pleasant subject, but it does often have a cleansing aspect to it – if we respond correctly.
Out of trials and temptations can come a healthier soul, giving healthier fruit.
Draw near to God. Draw into him. Look to him for sustenance.
Blessed is the one who endures under trial. After enduring he will receive the crown of Christ