TEMPTED TOWARD INDEPENDENCE

Temptation is designed by the enemy to pull us away from our union with the Lord. From the beginning Satan has been luring man into acting independently from God. He told Eve, concerning the forbidden tree, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” He was telling her if she ate the fruit she would be able to make up her own mind about what was good and evil; she wouldn’t need anyone else to tell her anything; she would be in charge of things herself.

Further along in the narrative of the Bible we meet Moses. One day he came upon an Egyptian beating a Hebrew so Moses broke it up. Actually he killed the Egyptian and attempted to cover up the murder by burying him in the sand. Of course he was found out which led to him being on the run for the next forty years. Could it be that Moses knew he was destined to be Israel’s deliverer but he tried to make it happen independently from God? Obviously God has his ways of working these things out for the good, but it seems to me it was Moses’ independent thinking that led to his long hiatus.

The scriptures are filled with these kinds of stories but let’s move on into the New Testament. When we look at the life of Jesus we see where he never acted independently of the Father. He would say things like, “I only do what I see the Father doing, my teaching is not my own and the Father abiding in me does his works.” Never did Jesus behave as if he was in charge of his own life.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry he was bombarded with temptation to act independently of the Father. Immediately after being baptized he was sent into the desert to be tempted. As you probably already know he was tempted in three distinct ways but there is one thing they all had in common. They were all designed to pull Jesus out from his union with the Father and get him to act independently. It was brought to my attention recently how the enemy used this strategy all the way to the very end of Jesus’ earthly life. As Jesus hung on the cross the enemy took one more shot at him. Some of those passing by shouted “Save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

We know Jesus could have called as many angels he wanted, in order to rescue him, but he didn’t. He chose to live the kind of life humans were designed to live. He lived without ever sinning because he lived without ever acting independently of the Father. Even right up to his last breath when he said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Written by Louie

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