Nothing Like It…
Have you seen anything like what’s happening now in the world? Being careless or forgetting can actually become a matter of life and death. Uncertainties and insecurities are fed by press, posts, information, precautions, restrictions, and they have been changing almost daily. Thankfully one thing we can count on is that His will doesn’t change. I’m so grateful that God has also given us direction on how to navigate these very times. It’s in is Ephesians 5:15 -17.
“15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”Ephesians 5:15-20 (NIV)
The scripture above describes the times as “evil.” I agree, don’t you? When times are “evil,” God warns that we need to especially careful to live wisely and drives home that point by specifying that we should not live like “the unwise.” Throughout the book of Proverbs, there are no kind words for the “fool.” Verse 17 implies that to understand God’s will is not being foolish. How can we know his will when our minds and hearts are overwhelmed? How can we know what to do with the plethora of information whirling through the airwaves? I ran across something that could help in the famous section of scriptures the “Temptation of Jesus.”
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”Matthew 4:1-4
The Carb Temptation
The carb temptation during this quarantine is real, I have an intimate understanding of this temptation. Jesus used the “It is written…” response of the scriptures to stand against the temptation. It’s interesting how the devil didn’t say another word after Jesus whips out the word. However, that old snake came right back at him with something different. The devil decided to use a tactic that was close to the heart and the very philosophy of Jesus, the very thing Jesus just used to stay safe. He used, “It is written…
“5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”Matthew 4:5-6
I Told You Once
I love that we have this passage. Just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean we can use it for any purpose. The devil and life are tricky. It’s often the nearest and dearest people or philosophies that the devil can use to manipulate us. Jesus gave us the key in his response.
7 Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”Matthew 4:7
I like the use of “again” in Jesus’ statement to the devil. He put the devil in his place. He was, in effect, telling the devil, “I told you once!” This temptation demonstrates that we can be deceived even by God’s word if we aren’t seeking God’s will and God’s way. Verse 15 of Ephesians 5 rings true again, “don’t be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Lightning Rods And Trusting God
You’d call me a fool if I stood on my roof, with a lightning rod saying I trust God to keep me from harm. I don’t see much difference between the lightning rod, gathering in a crowd, or not wearing a mask to the store. Do you think it’s right to expect God to jump through hoops to solve problems don’t need to have if we were acting wisely? Maybe God doesn’t want us to tempt him to give us the consequences of our foolish actions. Could God’s command not to tempt him possibly be to avoid putting him in that heartbreaking position? Maybe tempting God is the opposite of what we think it is. Perhaps our silly actions tempt him to go against his sovereignty to save us when we deserve consequences. Maybe it’s both.
Faith For Real Miracles
It’s tricky. The scriptures that the devil tempted Jesus with are good, right, and even intended for us. The temptation, however, was to use these in the wrong way, not understanding what God’s will is, and that’s how we can be manipulated into something foolish. It was against God’s will for Jesus to listen to the devil and to tempt God. Do you think God gets any glory from us being careless or wreckless by protecting us when we “Tempt God?” God’s words were designed to teach, correct, save, and help us. We aren’t supposed to make our own trouble and heartache so we can claim these promises. It’s such a waste. Let’s save our prayers and acts of faith to pray against this virus, to pray for miracles and healings instead of protection from something that’s in our control to stop.
God loves us more than we can fathom. He’s not angry or condemning. Jesus reached out his arms and died to open heaven to us. If we come to him today; he will receive us with open arms.
Love and Blessings,
Happy Palm Sunday
Today is Palm Sunday. I wrote a new poem this morning in honor of this amazing day. Click here to see it.