Lent Day 4: Temptation
1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil.
Several years ago, my son Kevin worked in a bank, and in that bank, they trained him and other tellers how to count money and determine what was real or fake. In order to do this, they did not give him fake money to work with, they gave him real money and trained him on touch, texture, and feel of the money. So much so that when we were together at an event counting money, he was able to determine that some of the money being counted was fake. Not because he handled counterfeit so much, but because he knew what the real thing was when he felt it.
As we walk this journey together, we are assured of God’s presence, comfort and “assuring voice.” I will be with you, when you call upon me, I will answer. But along this journey we encounter another voice that seeks to derail our future.
Brueggemann reminds us what that voice sounds like. “That voice, however, is countered by a “second voice” that mocks and seduces men and women of faith, making easy promises, issuing facile invitations, urging acts that are against our faith and our identity.”
In the scripture we read above how Jesus himself was tempted for forty days and had to make a choice which voice to listen to. The loving voice of his Father, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," or the counterfeit voice of the devil that was offering cheap substitutes for the abundant life. We too are also called to forsake the worlds trappings and abide in God forever.
1 John 2:15-17ESV
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
This is the choice that we have to make during this 40-day season of renewal, and for the rest of our lives. Will we listen to the noise and clamor of the world, or the soft quiet voice of the Holy Spirit, that causes us to lie down in green pastures, that leads us beside still waters and restores our soul for his name sake?
Let’s pray with Brueggemann: “Teach us in this season how to listen to the voices of promise and seduction and how to tell them apart. May we bear better your voice of assurance and recognize its counterfeit, that we may walk faithfully before you. Amen.”