40 Days in the Desert | Day 8

Day 6 | Keeping God’s Word on Your Heart (part 3 of 3)

The last exchange that Satan and Jesus have in the desert goes as follows…

“‘If you are the Son of God,’ he [Satan] 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.’  Jesus answered, ‘It says:  ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test”” (Luke 4:9-12).

Jesus defends himself with the truth of the Word from Deuteronomy 6:16 against Satan’s last attempt to cause Jesus to stumble in his faith and mission.  Here Satan foolishly misinterprets scripture and is poking at Jesus to call upon the powers of the almighty to save him from a foolish act.  In Deuteronomy 6:16 God is indeed promising His people His protection but not at any human whim of foolishness.  Jesus recognizes Satan’s misinterpretations and not only defends himself against the lie with scripture but accurately picks a scripture that will set Satan straight.

Challenge 4 | Memorize a Scripture Verse

It is good to read the Word daily but the best way to fight lies with the truth is to not only have the ideas from the Bible swimming around in your head but to have the exact words inscribed on your heart.  To do so takes memorization.  It seems daunting but any of these verses Jesus fired back at Satan would be fairly easy to add to your armory of truth.

40 Days in the Desert | Day 7

Day 7 | Keeping God’s Word on Your Heart (part 2 of 3)

The second exchange between Satan and Jesus goes like this…

“And he [Satan] said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.  So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’  Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only”” (Luke 4:6-8).

Here the devil had arrogantly attempted to succeed in his fight against God by diverting Jesus from his mission.  It is a simple fact that Satan owns the world but Jesus knew all to well that to gain the world by submitting himself to Satan would be failure.  By submitting himself instead to a death on the cross and rising from the tomb he not only conquered death and the fires of hell but he revealed a glimpse of God’s glory and won lost souls over to the kingdom in the process.  There are so many times in life when the obvious route, although in itself is not wrong or harmful, takes us off the path God intended to bring about his kingdom in an even greater way.  By knowing this verse Jesus recites from Deuteronomy 6:13 we too can avoid failure by taking a short cut.

40 Days in the Desert | Day 6

Day 6 | Keeping God’s Word on Your Heart (part 1 of 3)

Knowing and obeying God’s word is an effective weapon.  In Luke 4, Jesus shows us three examples of how he used the Word against temptation.

Luke 4:4, “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.'”

In this instance he is using the truth from Deuteronomy 8:3 to rebuttal what Satan said, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”  Satan is fully aware that Jesus is in the middle of a 40 day fast and that one of his weaknesses ought to be food.  He is also, however, poking at man’s pride by claiming that Jesus could not be the Son of God if he is unable to transform a rock into bread.  Jesus sees through the deeper meaning, the temptation to doubt his identity, and fires back with the truth that ultimately it is the Father he lives and works for.

There are so many times in life when it is easy to succumb to the lies and fall to children of the world rather than where our true identity lies as children of God.  In this exchange we are encouraged to be strong in our faith and identity in Christ.

40 Days in the Desert | Day 5

Once again, I am found slacking… when I made my commitment to posting every day of the Lenten season I had not anticipated a big life change.  A few days ago my grandma passed away and I’m stubbornly getting back on track today.

Day 5 | The Temptation to Doubt

A few weeks ago I had a terrible, but normal, moment where I could classify my feelings towards God as doubtful.  I had just crunched a bunch of numbers and realized our available finances could not fill our budget.  With much deliberating I was able to gather enough money to pay the bills but everything else fell by the wayside (even groceries and gas).

To clarify, this was a first.  God has so faithfully blessed Josh and I for following his calling for both of us to be daring and enter into the world of art rather than the land of a regular job with a regular pay check.  Normally, I bring in the monetary bulk from May – December with wedding season and fall family photos and Josh pulls the financial weight from January – April by playing for a whole bunch of church youth retreats.  In this season, however, we find ourselves scraping by because the Citizen Way is on an unpaid tour instead of in the middle of well paid retreats.

One of my top three spiritual gifts is faith so to shake me in that area is pretty significant.  When I found I didn’t have enough money to put gas in the car I spent a good amount of time mad at and stubbornly removed from God.

In Luke 4:3 Satan is attempting to tempt Jesus to doubt Christ’s true identity: “The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.'”  This being said in the middle of a 40 day fast walking through a dessert would surely be hard to resist but Jesus counters with the truth in the Word of God: “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.””  Of course Jesus is wise enough to know that Satan is tempting him to do more than just take a suggestion of his but by allowing himself to listen to Satan at all he is giving him a foothold.

Times of questioning our faith are good.  It is important to be honest before our creator and always seeking for answers to hard questions.  However, it is also important to not give in so far as to succumbing to temptation and sin.  While questioning, keep your toes aligned with God’s path and your heart steeped in truth.  As you seek for answers keep your mind daily in the Word.

In my case, it’s hard to admit I doubted God because I’m not certain it was doubt I was experiencing.  I simply wasn’t sure if God wanted to provide for us.  I’m too keenly aware that, despite God’s promises of provision for those who love Him, He sometimes leads us down an undesirable path for the greater good of His kingdom or to test us and strengthen us toward Him in the process.  Ultimately I am willing to follow whatever road he sends me on and it’s important to remember that.  Finances are only the troubles of now and God will find a way to feed us and cloth us if not more than that.  Ultimately He is our Great Provider, our Savior, and our reason for living regardless of the circumstances!

Days 1 – 4 of 40 Days in the Desert posts…

CLICK… Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4

40 Days in the Desert | Day 4

Day 4 | Temptation Comes in the Highs and the Lows

I love how I find so many times in ready the Bible how it goes directly with lessons I’m learning or need to learn or problems that just came up.  This has been happening freakishly a lot lately and I am thankful.  Today is one such lesson.

My husband, Josh, is in a band called Citizen Way and they are currently touring the US with Big Daddy Weave and Chris August.  They have been gone for 2.5 weeks so far.  I also found out a week ago that my Grandma is dying.  The loneliness meshed with the heartbreak cast me into a very low valley.  Because of my struggle I found my mind weak and prone to letting in lies that ordinarily wouldn’t even register within me.  So not only was I feeling alone and grief-stricken but Satan took my low position as an opportunity to pounce and whisper lies into my weak mind and heart.  And why wouldn’t he?  I’m sure he knows that I am a huge, if not the biggest, sensitivity of Josh’s and he is currently out spreading the Lord’s love every day.  This is a high point in his ministry and a crucial time for Satan to try and bring us down.

I am blessed with fantastic parents so when I was talking to them a couple days ago the both called it out as spiritual warfare.  And guess what?  Since we prayed over my weakness and for Satan to back off I have been just fine.  God is so good!

Jesus is dealing with something just like this in Luke 4.  He is on the brink of his ministry, he just got baptized and is entering into his major years of ministry.  So when Satan has him all alone and vulnerable he seizes the opportunity to try and overcome the Son of God with fleshly needs and desires.

It is times like these, when we are vulnerable, that we need to be on our guard. And, if we are attacked by the evil one, to rest assured that we must be doing something right or are on the brink of something great for God or else he wouldn’t bother.