“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. Then the tempter approached him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. ” and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will give his angels orders concerning you, and they will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. ” Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God. ” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him. ” Then the devil left him, and angels came and began to serve him.” Matthew 4:1-4, 6-11 CSB
Have you ever wanted something so bad and just knew it wasn’t good for you? Or been in a season of your life where you know God has spoken something to you and what was spoken just doesn’t feel like it’ll happen in this lifetime? In the Bible we see Jesus in the wilderness, hungry; He’d just spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting. Can you imagine spending a certain amount of time waiting and working knowing that when it is over something good will come? But when it’s over you see nothing. That can be heart wrenching, and it can even put a dent in your faith. At Jesus’ most vulnerable moment He could have turned the stone into bread. I mean He is the Messiah, the Son of God. He could have called angels down to feed Him at any point. You see even though Jesus was/is God in the flesh at this moment He too was human. If He’d chosen to let His flesh be what dictated His next steps then I’m sure He would have turned the stones into bread. But at the beginning of this passage it said, “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…” (Matthew 4:1) I’m sure Satan (The Tempter) had been watching, and waiting. He waited for Jesus to be in a place of vulnerability and choose time to pounce. He didn’t choose to question Gods plan, but more so to question Jesus identity with “If you are the Son of God…” The question that many of us struggle with today.
We plant ourselves in church families, constantly hoping for someone to give us a word desperately longing for identity which will someday help us find purpose. One that’ll validate all that has been spoken to us. It is when our identities are attacked that we start to allow seeds of doubt to spring to life giving way to every other self-sabotaging traits we’ve once tried to let go. John 10:10 says satan only has one agenda: “A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” — but it is the Lord who has come to give us life, and abundantly. Jesus’ hopes and dream weren’t in who or what He could be, furthermore they weren’t in who He was or what others thought instead; He says: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.” (John 6:38) His purpose was to do the will of the Father. Though Jesus was led into the wilderness, He wasn’t there on His own accord, it wasn’t His agenda that placed him in that place. It was the Spirit of God who led him there. He wasn’t on a mission to complete worldly task or possess worldly possession. Instead because He’d fully submitted to God plans that His plans became Jesus’ desires. Yes, Satan tried to attack Jesus and who He was, but what alleviated the pressure was that He was able refute those attacks, He knew what God had already said. He used the Bible as sword, He used what was true to fight against the constant voice of untruths. “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. ” (Matthew 4:3-4)
When we know what has been said don’t quite add up it is our job to seek truth. It’s our responsibility to learn what God has spoken. So when you’re face opposition, or you’re sitting in a room alone and those thoughts of doubt and deceit start to haunt you, it’s your job to fight back with truth. When Satan wants you to believe: “God can’t love me, I’m just a horrible person.” God says, “Because you are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you, I will give people in exchange for you and nations instead of your life” (Isaiah 43:4). When you have thoughts that “I will never be pretty enough; I wish I could look like…” God says “I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.” (Psalms 139:14) When you say, “I’m alone, with no one who cares.” God says “Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.( Hebrews 13:5) And there are so many more. It is what we allow ourselves to believe about who we are that will either make or break us. Jesus did not, instead He fought back with truth. He took authority and told satan to leave and so He did. So when we are choosing to speak, let it be those things that are true. Let it be what you already know. I pray that you and I would be a people who would learn to be faithful, seeking only what is true, only what is pure and only what is good.
God we thank you that You have already spoken and that You have given us power to speak things on earth as they are in Heaven. Father, I ask that You’d continue to help us all to continue to seek you, to be led by Your spirit and not by our flesh. God if there is anything within us that would stop us from seeing You, or that would cause us to doubt Your goodness and mercies Lord, I boldly ask that You remove it. Set us free from needing others to affirm us. Break the yolk of whatever it is that would keep us chained down. God You’re our Father, You call us children. You grafted us into You as family and You give us a home. Let Your words be what gives us a hope and dreams. Father God, Your will and not our owns. In Jesus’ mighty and matchless name! Amen!
Contributed by – Shani Ford In the midst of my pain I found a God who fiercely sought after me. In 2017 I was in a broken place lost, living without purpose, and wanting to be found. Through the love of God I was able to find a peace that would change a rebel into a righteous women. I am from California, but currently living in Chicago, Illinois. Now walking a path to help change people perspectives on what it means to walk in Gods grace. I believe since I was able to find happiness, and true joy that everyone I encounter should and can find it too. Through The Sanctuary I have been able to grow in my walk while pursing the life that God has called me to.