Thursday, March 25, 2010
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
In a broad sense, we are faced with temptation all the time. But temptation often comes after times of great blessing. Temptation came for Jesus right after His baptism in the Jordan River, where the Father spoke and the Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove. But immediately after the dove came the devil (see Luke 3:21-4:1).
In the same way, it is often after we have been blessed that the enemy strikes. What was waiting for Jesus after His time on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah (see Matthew 17:1-21)? A demon-possessed child. That is how it so often is. After the blessing comes the attack.
Temptation also will come when you think you are the strongest. You might think, I could fall potentially in area A, B, and C, but I would never fall in this area. Don't think things like that, because you don't really know what you would do. You don't know your sinful nature. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us, "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?"
It was Simon Peter's boasting of his great devotion to the Lord that led to his fall. When Jesus predicted His betrayal, Peter used it as an opportunity to say, "Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be" (Mark 14:29 NKJ). So Jesus effectively said, "Since you brought it up, Rock, before the rooster has crowed twice you will deny three times that you ever knew Me." It was Peter's arrogance that opened up the vulnerability that ultimately led to his fall.
Proverbs 16:18 says, "Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall." Are there areas in your life in which you are feeling prideful? Be careful.
Copyright © 2010 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.