This morning, I was thinking about a “ministry” writing project I started a month ago and then got discouraged about and quit, feeling suddenly inadequate for the task and just plain stamp-my-foot resistant to doing it.
Conflicted about what to do, I prayed….
“Lord, You know I want to forget about the whole thing, throw the notes away, and pretend I never heard about it. But there it is, niggling in the back of my mind. Did You call me for this project and I am just resisting because its hard work and I’m lazy? Or is this a temptation from the devil to keep me from a blessing and obedience to You?
“What should I do? Should I just power through? If so, I so need strength and determination. I need face-flintedness!”
(Isaiah 50:7 – “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.”)
“Lord Jesus, were You ever tempted to NOT do some hard thing?”
His immediate answer….
“Ha! My child, you KNOW the answer to that question even before you finished writing the words. You did! I WAS tempted thus, and I countered it with scripture. Read about it again and draw strength from Me.”
So I did.
Matthew 4:1-11 “Then Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry.
1) And the tempter came and said, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of.'”
2) Then the devil took him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,”he will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your food against a stone.'” And Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test,'”
3) Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these I will give to you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.'” Then the devil left him.
Jesus used the WORD to defeat the devil’s temptations (which were contrived to keep Him from going to the cross and saving us). This is the way to overcome temptation. The WORD (hidden in our heart, ready to use) keeps us from sin. It is the only offensive weapon in the Armor of God. The Sword of the Spirit is the WORD of God, able to deflect all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
Jesus, I confess…
“I am lazy. I don’t want to do all that is involved in the project (lots of time and work and re-work involved). I’m afraid it will not be good, that I will completely blow it. I want to do fun things instead! I don’t want to be accountable. Help me, please…
“For because He himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18
“For we have a high priest (Jesus) who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace in the time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
It is written.
God’s Word is powerful.
Will I believe it? Act on it?
Thank You, sweet treasure Jesus. What a wonder You are! What a savior You are! What a caring high priest You are. Thank You!
“You are welcome always to my help and wisdom and love. Just open the WORD.”