Reflections on how I learn to live life with faith.
About a week ago, the message that was delivered by our Pastor and the Scripture that we have been studying in our Bible Study is regarding Mark 1:9-13 (The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus). What was highlighted in our Bible Study discussion was about the Temptation of Jesus. There was a question where I asked my cell group about temptation. I asked them if they have ever experienced a spiritual attack straight after a spiritual victory. When it was my turn to share my experience, I shared about how grateful I was to get a full time job last year and I come every day to work worshipping and praising Jesus because I offer my job as a form of service for the Lord. Getting the full time job that I have been praying for was a spiritual victory for me, but when my full time job was made redundant, it was a spiritual attack on me.
After the Baptism of Jesus, which is a celebration of spiritual victory, the Holy Spirit came down like a dove, which sent Him to the desert to be tempted. In the desert, Jesus was constantly being tempted every single day for forty days and was surrounded in wilderness with wild animals. After forty days, Jesus came out of the desert victorious. Jesus was able to defeat Satan’s temptations. Jesus came out of the desert without a speck of sin.
Why Jesus did became victorious after his forty days of temptation in the desert? First of all, Jesus came down to earth on a mission. Jesus’ first coming to the earth was to save mankind from death, from eternal damnation in hell. Jesus was sent by God to become the living sacrifice for God, who will carry all the sins of the world past, present and future. The incarnation (God becoming flesh) of Jesus stripped down His powers from a God to man, made Jesus prone to temptation and to sin. Jesus’ temptation in the desert by Satan, was an attack from Satan to make Jesus sin. It was the will of the Spirit for Jesus to be tempted, because like any other man, everyone experiences the same kind of temptation. Temptation is not a sin; God does not allow anyone to be tempted beyond what he/she can do. Temptation becomes a sin when we give in to the will of Satan and not the will of God. Our difference from Jesus was that Jesus fought the devil because He did not give to the devil’s temptation. Now, if Jesus gave in to Satan’s temptation – Jesus then sinned, and if he sinned, God cannot raise Him from the dead. Hallelujah! Praise God! Because Jesus survived forty days in the desert without a speck of sin stained in His body. Hence, Jesus became the perfect living sacrifice carrying all our sins in His body onto His death…. making God able to raise Him from the dead!
A desert is a dry place, away from everyone, a dangerous place, a perfect place for someone to be tempted because there is no one out there to support anyone. But God is faithful. No trials or temptation has seized us except what is common to man (1 Corinthians 10:13). Through this trial, we are given the opportunity to give glory to God. For He has overcome the world! Victory over our trials will be our testimony on the faithfulness of God. Whoever believes and obeys the Lord, is on the top hit list of Satan. If we do not experience any kind of temptation or any kind of spiritual attack, then we should be scared because Satan does not consider us as his enemy. There is no such thing as a Christian who is spared from any form of trial, tribulation or even temptation. As a follower of Christ, we are to experience the same experience that Jesus went through.
Just like any other individual, I am currently experiencing my desert story. At times, I feel like I’m floating on air without any purpose or use with the education that I have. But, God has something prepared for me. I know He is just training me and pruning me in this desert experience. I cannot compare my career experience to the others who seems to have their careers going well for themselves. Everyone is given a different set of experience and training by God, but at the end of the day, we serve the same God. I kept on praying to God to lead me and give me a career that He wills for me. God is very gracious because the following day, my previous employer called me. They explained the whole situation to me that apparently, I still work for them – not as a full time but as an on-call casual employee. It was a form of spiritual victory for me because I know that God has heard my prayers and little, by little, God will bring me to that career that He wants me to do, to bring glory to Him. Just like what Pastor Rick told me, no amount of time that I have spent studying or doing volunteer work has been done in vain. God has a purpose, and those times and hours that I have spent is God’s way of training me to prepare me for the time when I have to serve Him gloriously in the field of work that He has planned for me.
We all go through times of temptation and Jesus came out victorious – Jesus was still sinless. His perfect example of obedience to the will of God is something I really admire. Thus, I know that with Christ, I can do all things! It is not right for us to blame God and tell Him that He does not know what we feel or what problems we are going through at the moment — in fact, Jesus went through the same set of experiences that we went through and STILL Jesus is victorious. When you acknowledge Jesus, He will lead you to the spiritual promise land — and we are no longer slaves to sin. When you go through your desert experience, Jesus will lead you out there victorious!
Why should Jesus be tempted at all? Because innocent faith is not strong faith. Innocent faith may be pure, but it needs testing to be strong.
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” – Job 42:2
And don’t lead us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. – Matthew 6:13
Stay alert and pray so that you won’t give in to temptation. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak. – Mark 14:38
No temptation has seized you that isn’t common for people. But God is faithful. He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it. Avoid false gods to glorify God – 1 Corinthians 10:13