STRESS TEST

Inventive ways to beat the heat
Photo by Tracey Lewis

God placed man in a garden that had a forbidden tree in it and told him “Do not eat of it.” Of course we know Eve was deceived and Adam followed after her hence causing the fall of man. This could be seen as a test, right?

In 1 John 2:16 says, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” If we look back at the temptation of Eve we can easily see all three of these areas wherein she was challenged and failed. First she saw that the fruit was good for food. Here we see the lust of the flesh and how she perceived the fruit could satisfy a bodily appetite or hunger. Next it was a delight to the eyes which of course is the lust of the eyes, and finally it was good for making one wise which appealed to the pride of life.

Temptations strike us in our weak spots that’s what they are meant to do. This made me think of how manufacturers test products. For example when a car dealer is producing a car they run it through what is called stress tests to see how much it can handle. They might place it in extreme environments of hot and cold. They let it run for long periods of time through all types of scenarios to see what it will take to pop tires, break seat belts, fade paint and so on. If the car had feelings it would probably be saying, “Why is this happening to me? How do I get some relief? To the car it may seem harsh or unfair, but to the car manufacturer and the buyer it is absolutely necessary to have it tested to its limits. After all this is the only way to learn wear weaknesses exist in order to make them safer.

Now since Adam failed his stress test there was a need for another trial. God sent his son, also known as the last Adam, to succeed where the first one failed. He is the new and improved model, if you will. Hebrews 4:15b tells us, “He was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”

Adam was in a wonderful, bountiful lush garden when he had his test. The environment was perfect and he was in need of nothing. Jesus, on the other hand, had his day of testing in a desert. In fact, Jesus went for forty days without food or water and then came his testing. God put the last Adam through even more extreme testing than his prototype. In Romans 5:14 we discover Adam was a “type of him who was to come.” Adam was sort of like a test model but Christ is the deluxe addition.

“Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” (Romans 5:12) It was through Adam’s testing and failing that humanity’s weak spots were revealed. The lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life were the three areas that needed overhauling. So Jesus was put through the paces in the wilderness in the same three areas and came out victorious.

We saw how Adam fell but now we can see how Jesus gained victory. Each and every time the tempter came at Jesus with a sneaky suggestion Jesus shot back with the word of God. Herein is found the secret of our own way to victory. Jesus didn’t just say no to the temptation he answered with a yes to God. It isn’t enough to “just say no.” If Adam would have understood this, things may have turned out a little differently. If he would have turned to God when tempted he would have been directed to the other tree there in the garden-The Tree of Life. The Tree of Life represented Christ, who is our life. So you see when we are tempted in any area of our lives the only real way of escape is to look to Christ and his finished work. He passed the test in the desert, and if we are joined to him we too can pass the tests that are sure to come our way.

Written by Louie

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