In crisis, the Devil seeks to get us off track. We are susceptible to be deceived. I am thankful for the presence of the scriptures…
In Luke 4 and Matthew 4, the Devil tempts Jesus. We can relate to the temptations. Today, let’s focus on the responses of Jesus. These responses can be ours as well:
Jesus answered,Luke 4:4, 8, 12 NIV
“It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ ”
“It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ”
“It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
As a result of the fall of Adam and Eve, we trust ourselves and the work of our own hands and fail to see that God is a good and faithful Father who will provide. In this time of financial instability, the Devil will try to convince you that you must be your own bread maker–but our response should be the same as Jesus’–we don’t live on bread alone, but every breath is at the behest — or will — or command– of God. He generously supplies the oxygen for each breath we breathe. He will also supply everything we need. If a change in material provision has become a topic of anxiety, I encourage you to repeat–“man does not live on bread alone….I will have everything I need.”
Life is changing rapidly. I have heard several people say that the idols of our culture are falling down. An idol is anything that seeks to divert our attention, trust and affection in our Good Father–the One True God. These can be man-made gods–carved statues and their accompanying religious rituals, but idols can also be the things and stuff of this world that we adhere to with a hope for meaning, security and identity. One of the big idols of our culture is self-determination or individualism or self-reliance or personal autonomy. This powerful little virus has quickly shown us that these idols cannot deliver on their promises. You can’t determine your own path. You can’t rely on yourself and as a member of humanity, your autonomy must bow before wisdom.
Jesus says, “worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” On bended knee before the Lord of Heavens and Earth we can navigate how to serve our fellow humans, but if we choose to remain bowed to ourselves first, we will be trying to flourish cut off from the giver of life. Today, take some time with your favorite worship music and worship God.
The Devil then tempted Jesus to fling himself off the Temple Mount in a spectacular display that would’ve impressed everyone who saw. Jesus reminds the Devil that we aren’t to test God. In this time of crisis, bravado, defiance of public health rules and superior attitudes test the Lord. Let us choose humility in this season. We have no record of the early apostles defying public health warnings. They did defy the authorities demands not to preach the gospel, but we have not been silenced. The gospel is going forth.
The Devil seeks to use this present crisis to confuse us–Let’s let our responses be like Jesus’–
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’ ”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’ ”
Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
Shine brightly for Jesus today!