January 21, 2005
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Survey a room full of scholars and you’ll probably get a room full of answers to this question: “At what point in history did the destiny of the world hang in the balance?” I’m not a scholar, but I am going to be so bold as to profess that I know the answer. I know the day when the destiny of the entire human race was in one man’s hands.
Before you say, “What’s the point? I’ve got bills to pay, arguing kids to separate, car pool to drive, and a job to find,” hear me out. You may not think the destiny of the human race is on your plate today, but I know something that is: the destiny of your life and the lives of those you love.
Think about it. Whatever action or decision saved the human race might be able to save you from the next crisis that confronts your life (or the one you’re in today). Enough theorizing—here’s the story from Matthew 4:1.
This weighty situation of the temptation of Jesus by Satan didn’t take place in a throne room or gilded court, but instead it took place in the Judean desert, observed by snakes and scorpions. In that place, Satan approached the Son of God to see if he would swap His birthright for a full stomach, a magician’s mantle, and an earthly crown.
You see, Satan had been successful in tempting the first-created children of God, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden. They yielded to the lust of the flesh, eyes, and the boastful pride of life. But, three times Satan tempted Jesus, who had been without food for forty days, and He didn’t budge or fall for his deception.
Your destiny and mine were hanging in the balance that day. Just as the devil approached Jesus, “principalities and powers” often come to us in the deserts of our lives. We are starving for hope and deliverance, lusting after what we can see but can’t have, and longing for a prideful position with resources to insulate us from the troubles of this world.
No crisis you are in is beyond God and His resources if you will remain faithful to Him and His Word. The path out of the desert back to the green valley is always paved with truth. If you know and obey the truth, it will set you free from any temptation, and it will defeat any scheme of the devil.
IF YOU KNOW AND OBEY THE TRUTH—
IT WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE.