The temptations of Jesus. Often I wonder why is it God would have Jesus be tempted by Satan. The common response was so that he would experience temptation just like the rest of us. Another common reason given is to show how to respond to temptation, with the words of Scripture. All of the above seems to be an appropriate answer as well. It seems twice Jesus faces major temptation, at the beginning of his ministry, and in the Garden of Gethsemane. Both times Jesus is presented with options which would keep him from fulfilling his role in the redemption of relationship between people and God. When we give into temptation we are forfeiting our role in the redemption of relationship between us and God. In both temptations Jesus responds by choosing God;s glory over his own prosperity. I wonder what there is for us to learn in that?
Husbands love to read the first two or three verses of this section and stop reading. Wives like to skip the opening words and get right to the ending. The reality is we must read the whole thing. Wives and husbands have expectations of how they will be in relationship with each other, and it is based in our relationship with God. Verse 21 must be attached to this section as we are reminded to submit to God in everything. A husband is the head of the household as Christ is the head of the church. A willingness to die for the household is a part of being a good husband. Yet the wife must allow the husband to be that head. In our day and age these roles have been distorted for many reasons. Husbands have failed to live into their God called role, and wives have failed to allow their husbands that role. Really however, is is not about husbands and wives, rather it is about our willingness to allow God to have control n our lives, and trust the design of God for our lives more than what we think is the way to do it. No easy task.
Anyone who has chased after God has asked this question, "How long God are you going to allow others to persecute me?" We may not use those words but we use the sentiment. Persecution and ridicule are often a part of the equation for a follower of Christ. This is so painful because no matter what we say, it matters what others think about us, or at least it seems to impact us more than we like. This is a matter of trust, do we trust in the Scriptures, God's teaching, or do we trust in others. When we got to the testing time in this decision we cry out to God, but where do we go for the answer?
1 Kings 17-18
This is quite possibly my favorite Old Testament passage. Elijah challenges the Ahab, the king, to a battle of gods. There is not philosophical debate. No theological treaties developed. There is a very public and direct confrontation. The heart of the question, whose god will show up and be revealed as God. the prophets of Baal do their best, and Elijah pokes fun at them as they cry to their God, and nothing. Elijah has them pour water on the altar three times. Interesting, that much water being used in a time of drought. A wealth of resource was being poured onto the sacrifice. The very thing the people and land craved, Elijah was sacrificing to God as proof of who is God. How often do we doubt the provision of God? How often to we withhold the very thing God is calling us to sacrifice? What or who are the false Gods we are trusting more than the One True God?
Forgive me Lord for all the times I hold back from you the sacrifice you desire. Cleanse me from my my sin through Jesus Christ, that I may not chase false gods but chase you Lord with my whole heart. You have shown yourself to me might, now may I submit my life to you. In Jesus Name, Amen.