BRP Insight Post for Week of January 14, 2019
As I write this, I’m watching the silent snowfall outside my window. It’s Sunday morning and I’m home instead of at church. I’m grateful that we were able to get Saturday evening’s service in since we had to cancel our services today. I hope that you are all enjoying the snow day as much as I am.
Saturday’s reading in Matthew 4 was the account of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness following His baptism. Mark gives very little attention to this in his biography, just pointing out that it happened, and Luke’s telling (we will read this in Luke 4 this week) is similar to Matthew’s. Luke, however, gives us the clue that even though this is the only recorded instance of temptation for Jesus, it wasn’t his last (see Luke 4:13).
I often think of temptation as being centered around areas of weakness in my life, whether through circumstantial weakness or areas that I need to strengthen. But in some of the reading that I did about this passage in Matthew, I was reminded of the thought that my areas of strength can also be opportunities for temptation. In Jesus’ case, there wasn’t anything that Satan was tempting Him to do that was outside of His ability; the timing and circumstances weren’t right and would have circumvented God’s plan. How often am I tempted to do things that are within my power to do and are not overtly “wrong”, but circumvent God’s plan? How often do I confuse being a strong leader who makes decisions in a timely way with going my own way and not taking the time to discern what God may be saying? I’m tempted to let my pride lead me into self-reliance instead of true obedience, listening, discerning and the dreaded waiting that I struggle so much with. My biggest temptation is to rely on myself more than I rely on God and I face it every single day.
God has been stirring my heart about what it means to live a transformed life, what it means to deny myself daily and submit to His leading and guidance. And what it means to seek Him and wait. What if your greatest strength is also your greatest area of temptation? What might God be calling you to do about that this week?
Executive Director of Education and Outreach