Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 21, 2011

EKG Devotional Day 20

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”  Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him."  Matthew 4:1-11

After Jesus had fasted forty days and nights in the wilderness - a reminder of the forty years Israel spent in the wilderess (Deuteronomy 8:2-3) - Satan came to Him. (This is typical, Satan always approaches us when he thinks we're at our weakest,) The first temptation struck hard at Jesus' immediate needs: lonliness, hunger, and credibility.

All alone out here, Jesus? What kind of father leaves his son all by himself in the middle of nowhere  with nothing to eat?

Hungry, Jesus? Surely for a miracle worker like You, these little loaf-sized stones are only bread in disguise.

You're the Son of God, Jesus? I might believe it myself if you'd prove it to me.

Jesus responded by quoting from Deuteronmoy 8:3: "He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers alone had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live by bread alone but on every world that comes from the mouth of the Lord." Jesus knew what Israel had failed to comprehend - that we, God's people, can rely on the Father for our every need. But we have to put first things first.

Jesus first desire was unquestioned obedience to the Father's plan for His life. Thus He would do nothing - absolutely nothing - that would compromise their relationship. This "first things first" reality is what Jesus would later teach His disciples, telling them to "seek first the kingdom" and trust our spiritual needs, God takes care of our physical needs without even having to think about them.

When does temptation come to you? When you are hungry, lonely, afraid? Reflect on your temptations and the events and emotions surrounding those times. Ask God to help you through such difficulties in the future so that you can put first thisng first and focus on the kingdom.