As we’ve been going through the Gospel of Luke, we’re now talking about the Lord’s time of testing in the wilderness. So far, Satan has tried to influence Him twice. He failed on both attempts.
But, the devil doesn’t give up easily. He tried one more time. Since Christ had used the Scripture to answer each attack, the enemy tried a new strategy. He used a quote from the Bible, itself.
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. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
The enemy tried to use a promise to tempt the Lord. The devil quoted a Scripture that directly referred to the Messiah. Nothing at all could harm the Lord until He made it to the cross.
The enemy uses the same strategy with us. He uses just enough truth to get our minds going in his direction. Then, he hooks us with the final big lie.
Actually, there was more than one verse that the devil was trying to use against Christ. In jumping from the pinnacle of the temple, the Lord would appear suddenly in the temple courtyard. It would take everyone by surprise. This would seem to fulfill another prophecy from Malachi.
“See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
The devil was hoping that all the weight of these Scriptures would convince Christ to follow his lead. He wanted Jesus to prove that God was protecting Him, by throwing Himself off the roof of the temple.
Then, by miraculously appearing in the temple, unharmed, the spiritual leaders would be convinced that the Christ had come. But, by doing this, Jesus would be operating in the power of His flesh to accomplish God’s will.
There are many times that the devil does the same thing with us, trying to get us to test the Lord. Of course, the results are usually different when we’re involved.
How do you respond when you’re tempted to test God? Do you trust Him or not? There’s no need to put God to the test. He’s already proven Himself in Christ. We need to follow the example of Jesus, who once again did not take the bait that the devil put before Him.
Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
This usually turns out very differently when the devil runs this scenario before us. We love to do foolish things, then “trust” God to get us out of the mess. We spend our money on movie tickets, new technology, video games, and new cars. Then, when we can’t pay the bills, we “trust God” for the money.
How foolish! Don’t you realize that the money you spent on your toys was the money God provided for your bills? But we just sit back in bitterness and say, “I tested God and He failed me.” As the people of God, we need to get our lifestyles back in line with the Word of God.
Along those same lines, we look at where the church is today. We wonder why there’s so little power evident in God’s people.
Actually, it’s a product of the sum total of each individual believer. As I get my life in line with God’s Word, the church is one step closer to where it should be. That should be the attitude of every Christian.
Let’s stop putting God to the test. Let’s operate in the faith that trusts the Lord’s Word, no matter what it looks like around us.
Questions: How do our faith and our actions work together? How do they oppose each other sometimes?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi