Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Temptation of God's Children - Part #2

A Look At Prophecy In The Gospel of Matthew

The Temptation of God's Children - Part #2

The Temptation To Misuse Scripture


"When we put our physical needs ahead of our spiritual need, we sin."

"When we allow circumstance to dictate our actions,
instead of following God's will,
we sin.

Warren Wiersbe

An Examination of Jesus's Temptation

Notice the Devil's timing -

"When he became very hungry." In the context of the 40 days fasting implies weakness in body and possibly mind and emotions. We know that for humans physical lack impacts the mind and emotions. Jesus, though God, was fully human.

The Devil starts with the practical - Bread -

The pursuit of the practical becomes the distraction from doing what is God's will. Basic needs are allowed to become the distraction from listening for the words of God.

This is hard for many people to understand or accept but it is one of the ways that Jesus' teaching turns the disciple's life upside down. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." He does not say you can ignore your basic need for food and sustenance, but he does say that life is driven not by the need to eat, but equally, if not more so, by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Our problem is that we use the body's needs as an excuse to spend life on ourself and don't get around to living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. If fact we are very good at picking and choosing which words of God (whether scripture or spoken to us personally) we will let influence or lead our lives. Forget this every word thing. That's just crazy.

You do realize don't you that those last two statements in reality say, "Jesus is crazy!"

Jesus answered with scripture so Satan pulled a trick -

A trick that Satan has used to confuse much of American Christianity today: He treated scripture as something to be put to the testSatan quoted scripture to the author of scripture.

The Devil did this to legally justify a request that God do something. This is called proof texting - the selection of a scripture to justify a person's request or position on spirituality. The thing that separates proof texting from correct use of scripture is the will of God. Yet we build whole theologies, whole systems of prayer, whole taught lifestyle on a claim that "this is the will of God."

The point here is that Satan used scripture to tempt the human desires of Jesus. A friend once said to me, "The reason I became a Christian was because God promised me wealth. Sometimes I don't know what to think, because that hasn't come through yet." He made that Christian commitment decades earlier."

Stop and examine some of the belief systems that you know. Especially your own.

Are these based on scriptures that appeal to the human desires of their followers? 

Perhaps our most popular theologies/practices of Christianity are really Satan using scripture to tempt the human desires of their followers.

"When we put our physical needs ahead of our spiritual need, we sin." 


Photo Credits:
Hubbub In the Morning Outside Penn Station by Joe Campbell some rights reserved

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