SOAP Devotional 2014-09-08
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
Part two of five with this text…
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. During that time the devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’ ” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the LORD your God.’ ” Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the LORD your God and serve only him.’ ” Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus. (Matthew 4:1-11 NLT)
If Jesus would sin, the he would no longer be the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. First temptation: Tempted to provide physical desires. The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.” The devil knew that Jesus was the Son of God, Jesus knew he was the Son of God, Jesus hunger was legitimate after forty days of fasting. The temptation was to use his position of authority to meet personal desires. Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3 in response to the temptation. Obviously, from this passage, a desire can be legitimate and still out of the right way of doing things. It was not sinful for Jesus to eat. What Jesus quoted indicates that we are to rely on God’s provision in God’s time and in the manner that God sees fit.
“Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 8:3 NLT)
We are told all the time about our rights or our authority in Christ, but all of that is to come under God’s authority. “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” (James 1:14 NLT) Even if a desire is to meet a legitimate need, we need to rely on God’s provision in God’s time and in the manner that God sees fit. This is what God was teaching the children of Israel in the passage that Jesus quoted. I don’t need to force things happen myself when God is leading me to rely on him. Instead we work within the plan that God has for our lives and we rely on Him to provide in His way. We are not to claim our rights and authority for our own personal desires. Sometimes we get meat and vegetables and other times we just depend on manna from heaven.
Father, let me be one that depends on you for all that I need in this life. Show me where and how you would have me work and let me depend on you to meet all my needs according to your grace. Do not ever let me misunderstand privileges and rights to mean that I can have whatever I want without considering your will for my life.