When the Test is the Test

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daily text logoMarch 15, 2016

Matthew 4:5-7

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

CONSIDER THIS

“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down.

Old Scratch is at it again. He always goes for the jugular; always attacking at the level of our deepest self identity. Note what he’s not saying. He’s not saying, “If you are the Savior of the World,” or “If you are the Lord of Heaven and Earth,” or “If you are King of all Kings,” or “If you are the heavyweight champion of the world.” Satan strikes at the core of his core identity, his sonship. That’s the relationship Satan constantly tries to destroy. If he can undermine the moorings of our deepest worth, which can only be known in relationship to the one who created us, he can set us on a path of never-ending, ever increasing insecurity. It sounds cliche, but no less true—unless we know whose we are we will never know who we are. If Satan can rob us of our birthright as the children of God, he can turn our daughterhood and sonship into slavery. This is at the very heart of the nature of salvation, to be rescued from slavery and restored to beloved sons and daughters.

Once we begin to generate our own worth, it is a never ending slavery to maintain it. Our worth must come from beyond ourselves. Satan is not called the “Father of Lies” for nothing. Get this—he commands the Son of God to destroy himself—throw yourself down. And of course, he cites Scripture in support of his command.

For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Let’s remember, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tested; not for Jesus to test God. It’s one thing for God to put us to the test and to meet us in the midst of that testing. It’s quite another for us to put God to the test. Jesus clears that up quite nicely.

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Enough said.

Daily Text MATTHEW 03-15-16

THE QUESTIONS

1. The Spirit of God leads us to understand what we do from a much deeper sense of who we are. How does the Father of lies twist this?

2. How does trying to prove who we are by what we do a form of slavery? Have you or are you caught in this slavery?

3. Paul wrote, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15). Reflect on how this text sheds light on today’s text.
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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ.  jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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