Test in the Wilderness!

1st Sunday in Lent
Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11, Romans 5:12-19
Our lives and the world are full of temptations. Even when we are living a good clean life, we as Christians allow ourselves to drift away from our loving Savior and slip into the hands of Satan. We are created with free will. And with the free will we desire our way and actions in our lives that do not please our Lord. Even the Son of God, Jesus, was tempted. Are we stronger than Him?

Absolutely not! Our hearts are stronger in the love for our Lord, but our flesh is weak.

Jesus was tempted after spending 40 days and nights in the wilderness. Satan saw His condition and confronted Him with 3 temptations. The pains of hunger must have been great, wherein the devil told him to use His power and turn the stones into bread and quench His hunger. But Jesus replied, “You shall not tempt the Lord.”

So the devil tried a 2nd time. Taking Jesus to a high mountain, he showed him all the glory of creation. “See all this glory, it is mine. I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me.”

Once again Jesus replied, “You shall not tempt the Lord.”

Now the devil doesn’t give up easily. A 3rd time he takes Jesus to the Holy temple, placing Him on the highest point. He challenged Him to fall down, because IF you are the Son of God you will not be injured. After this temptation, Jesus told Satan to be gone, and Satan left Him. The angels came and ministered unto Him. If Jesus faced temptation, what makes us think that we will not be tempted by the devil, because we have confessed our faith in the Lord? It is here that our freedom of will kicks into high gear.

This is what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were in a paradise on earth. Eve was tempted by the devil to take from the tree of good and evil, then share with Adam. It was then they saw that they were naked. Hearing the voice of God, they hid because of their nakedness. God called them, and Adam responded telling Him that they hid because they were naked. God knew they had eaten of the tree of good and evil. Adam replied, “The woman you gave me gave it to me”. So Adam tries to pass the buck, blaming not only Eve but God Himself for His downfall from grace. God makes clothes out of leaves and chased them from the Garden, telling them of their punishment for disobedience to Him. Eve will bear great pain in childbirth. Adam shall make a living for himself and loved ones by the sweat of his brow.

It is because of that same free will; want to have it our way and not God’s way in our lives, that we face the temptation of the devil daily in our lives. Some says that they have not sinned; facing temptation in their lives is the spirit of the devil. If you confess and believe that you are walking on very, very thin ice.

We don’t go out to sin against the desires of our Lord. It is because of our self will that we do things we want and not in the covenant of our Lord. Good people slip into sinful actions ever so easy. Good people shoplift, taking small item that they can slip into their pocket or purse. I have heard of cases where professionals go into the restroom with their briefcases with books under them and proceed to put them in the briefcases and leave without paying. I know of a barber who had a very profitable business. He would steal Kool-Aid and serve it to his customers up till the day he was caught. Sadly, he could afford it. An example of a good person who let self will slip into their life.

The devil causes all of us from time to time to yield to the lower nature of our humanity. Be aware, he is more active in the Christian’s life where he works to see what can cause the Christian to fall from grace.

Let us pray.