Last week we looked at Matthew 4:1-4 which is the first of the three recorded temptations of Jesus. This week we will be looking at Matthew 4:5-7 says, “Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’
What I realised is that the devil didn’t go at Jesus’ identity once. The devil knows that our victory starts by us knowing who we are. If he can get us to lose our identity, we are already losing the battle. Part of not quitting is being grounded in who you are. Do you know who you are? Not who the world says you are, not who your parents, cousins, friends say you are. Your true identity. Do you know who you are?
No one can tell you who you are but God. He is the Creator. He is your Father. He designed you and fashioned you after Himself. So to know who you are, you need to know Him. The more we get to know God, the more bold we become in our identity in Him and the less we find ourselves being defined by worldly standards.
In Matthew 4, the devil wanted Jesus to doubt His identity. If you are the Son of God, you will do this or that. The devil does the same thing with us too. He tries to get us to prove ourselves and when we fall for it, our attempts at proving ourselves crash and burn because God is not in it. Not because He doesn’t love us. Our identity is in Him and He doesn’t need to prove Himself. Our confidence needs to be in Him and His ability not in us and what we can do. Our efforts will always leave us disappointed.
If we are to remain strong and grounded in our faith, we cannot be striving to prove to others who we are. The Bible says we shall know people by their fruit, Matthew 7:15-20, let the fruit of your life do all the talking. When we try to prove ourselves, it is exhausting. Most people are getting tired and quitting on their faith journey because they are too busy putting their energy in things they shouldn’t be putting their energy into.
Jesus did not spend all night explaining to the devil all the reasons why He was the Son of God. He didn’t prepare a 10 point sermon with illustrations and demonstrations of power just so He could show the devil who He really was. He just addressed the temptation head on using the Word of God and He moved on.
Are you spending time on things you shouldn’t be spending time on? Imagine you have a special car and only one place can fuel it up for you. You fill up your tank with enough fuel for a return trip to a specific destination. You leave to go on the journey but instead of going straight to the destination, you decide you want to make a few pit stops and take a detour. Then you think it would be good to make some extra cash so you do some Uber pick ups and drop offs along the way and the fuel finishes before you reach the destination. Most people at this point get mad at God but what we need to realise is that life is full of distractions.
Feeling the need to always prove yourself to people can be a distraction. Don’t fall for the trap. Keep your eyes on Jesus. If you want to finish your race like the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, then you cannot allow distractions to deplete your resources.
Don’t waste your energy doing things God did not ask you to do. Focus your energy on the things that God focuses on and don’t expend energy on unnecessary things. Our job is never to convince the devil of who we are. Our job is to remind him who we are because we already know and are secure in that. I am a child of God because that is what the Bible says and that is that.
Love and blessings,