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Friday, November 10, 2017

Times of Testing will Come, Be Prepared

In review of Matthew 4:1 it says, “Jesus was lead up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”

Bottom Line:
There will be times of testing

What this means to me:
I will be tested on my obedience and convictions. I need to be prepared. I also need to be willing to share my testimony on times of testing.

In Matthew 4, we are told about the temptation of Jesus. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. The devil came to him and said, "if you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread." But Jesus told him, "No! The scriptures say, people do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."

Then we read that the devil them took him to the holy city, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the scriptures say, "He will order his angels to protect you.  And they will hold you up so you won't get hurt."Jesus responded, "The Scriptures say, "You must not test the Lord your God."

Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. "I will give it all to you," he said, "If you will kneel down and worship me." "Get out of here, Satan," Jesus told him. "For the Scriptures say, "You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him." The devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

Jesus was lead into the wilderness by the power of the Holy Spirit. This means that God took Him on purpose to the place where He was tempted by the prince of darkness himself. This time of testing showed that Jesus really was the Son of God, able to overcome the devil and his temptations. A person has not shown true obedience if he or she has never had an opportunity to disobey. In Deuteronomy 8:2 we read that God led Israel into the wilderness to humble and test them. God wanted to see whether or not his people would really obey him. I, too, will be tested. Because I know that testing will come, I should be alert and ready for it. Remember, my convictions are only strong if they hold up under pressure.

Satan is a fallen angel. He is real, not symbolic, and is constantly fighting against those who follow and obey God. Satan's temptations are real, and he is always trying to get us to live his way or our way rather than God's way. When temptations seem especially strong, or when I think I can rationalize giving in, consider whether Satan may be trying to block God's purposes for my life or for someone else's life.

Jesus wasn't tempted inside the Temple or at his baptism but in the wilderness, where he was tired, alone, and hungry, and thus must vulnerable. The devil often tempts me when I am vulnerable or when I am under physical or emotional stress (i.e.. lonely, tired, weighing big decisions, or faced with uncertainty.) Be he also likes to tempt me through my strengths, where I'm most susceptible to pride. Therefore I must be on guard at all times against his attacks.

Today I should consider what trial I have faced? How have I used it for the Kingdom? Does my testimony change the lives of others? Scripture says we will be known by our testimony. So what am I doing with mine?

The days are short and the time of Christ’s returning grows closer with each passing moment. Don’t wait another day to share the good news of what He has done in my life, someone needs to hear of His amazing grace! I may never know how many lives I will change by sharing my testimony. Just share and God will do the rest.