Cultural Must Read Rant on Matthew 4:1-11
believes we choose to use our means to manufacture the miraculous rather than wait for God’s deliverance in His time. Mat 4:3-4 @WeeManWest
Matthew 4:1-2 God path for our lives isn’t always the easiest or simplest path. He always leads us where He leads us for our own good. Sometimes we NEED to be led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He will refine those of us who are His. How do we respond in the wilderness? Imagine that you’ve been in the wilderness 40 days and 40 nights fasting and you are starving, how are you going to respond to temptation then? Even the longest periods of temptation that we face will be temporary and will come to an end. Endurance is God’s goal for us in these times.
Matthew 4:3-4 Satan begins by tempting Jesus’ flesh. “Are you hungry? Why not just use your “God” powers and make yourself some bread out of the rocks?” Personally, I couldn’t imagine a 40 day fast. My longest fast was 3 days. Admittedly I was starving. Satan is trying to get Jesus to use His own available means to deliver Himself rather than wait on God and trust in what God will do. We don’t like to wait for deliverance in our culture. We need an immediate answer from God. We need an immediate deliverance from our bondage. Yet, if we seek to jump God’s timing for our lives then we ruin the harvest that God has waiting for us once we have endured. Are we trying to deliver ourselves by our own means?
Matthew 4:5-7 Jesus, having endured and overcome the lust of the flesh is now going to be tempted in the pride of life. He is going to be tempted to exalt Himself above all else. However, such a platform is the opposite for the way in which God works. We don’t exalt ourselves, but rather God exalts us. Basically Satan tempts Jesus to throw Himself down from the top of the temple and expect/demand God intervene and rescue Him before He goes splat! The emphasis here is on preservation and presumption. The temptation is also to use the miraculous to bring glory to yourself and the “make a name for yourself”. Such sin is ancient to mankind. We are not to test God. We have no right to demand God save us from any of our bad decisions. If we make a poor decision we must face those consequences. When we miss out on the consequences, then we miss out the lesson we could have learned and the blessing we could have received. Are we tempted today to “miss out” on the consequences of our sinful and bad choices?
Matthew 4:8-10 Jesus faces the lust of the eyes. The temptation is to have what you see…to desire all that you see…and to covet, cheat, steal to get what you desire. All Satan wanted, in order to hand the world over to Jesus, was for Jesus to worship him. Jesus would get the whole world, yet would bypass the cross…How many people do you know who have traded their soul for all they can get out of this world? The temptation is so real. We see what others have an we want it. We don’t understand why we cannot have it so we covet. We don’t realize how powerful a venom is contained in the trunk of covetousness. We don’t realize that merely seeing and wanting what someone else has is the first step into the pit of the sin of covetousness which leads swiftly to jealousy and discontenmentment. Hence we find ourselves ready to compromise everything in order to have what we see. Jesus said, “Be gone!” Covetousness causes us to worship what we see and desire what we see rather than to worship and desire the God whom we can’t see. Covetousness replaces living by faith with living by sight and we become trapped creatures of this world. Are we tempted today to have what others have for ourselves even if it means compromising our faith?
Matthew 4:1-11 My summary is this: we fail at every point when it comes to these sorts of temptations. We give in. Christ did not. Christ overcame them and in Him alone can we overcome them as well. We need His power in our lives. We need Him in our lives. If we try to work harder at not falling into these sins we will fail. We’ve got to instead spend out time in Christ, abiding in a relationship with Him in which we are listening to Him. We fail in these temptations because everyone else does. However, if we are listening to Christ we will spot and recognize these temptations for what they are and will have His power availalbe to overcome them. Don’t work hard, but rather rest (in Christ) and resist (Satan). We have to come into the battle with the humility to recognize that we cannot overcome our sin, only Christ can, and He can overcome our sin for us if we humble ourselves and allow Him to do so.