Monday, March 30, 2015

Are You Tempted?

Mark 14:38  "Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation."  Meditation and prayer would keep us from rushing unbidden into the way of danger, and thus we should be saved from many a defeat.  Yet we should not lose courage when assailed by temptation.  Often when placed in a trying situation we doubt that the Spirit of God has been leading us.  But it was the Spirit's leading that brought Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.  When God brings us into trial, He has a purpose to accomplish for our good.  Jesus did not presume on God's promises by going unbidden into temptation, neither did He give up to despondency when temptation came upon Him.  "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  He says, "Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High: and call upon Me in the day of trouble:  I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me." 1 Corinthians 10:13.  Psalm 50"14,15.

Jesus was victor in the second temptation, and now Satan manifests himself in his true character.  But he does not appear as a hideous monster, with cloven feet and bat's wings.  He is a mighty angel, though fallen.  He avows himself the leader of rebellion and the god of this world.

Placing Jesus o a high mountain, Satan caused the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, to pass in panoramic view before Him.  The sunlight lay on templed cities, marble palaces, fertile fields, and fruit laden vineyards.  The traces of evil were hidden.  The eyes of Jesus, so lately greeted by gloom and desolation, now gazed upon a scene of unsurpassed loveliness and prosperity.  Then the tempter's voice was heard:  "All this power will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.  If Thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be Thine."

Christ's mission could be fulfilled only through suffering.  Before him was a life of sorrow, hardship, and conflict, and an ignominious death.  He must bear the sins of the whole world.  He must endure
separation from His Father's love.  now the tempter offered to yield up the power he had usurped.  Christ might deliver Himself from the dreadful future by acknowledging the supremacy of Satan.  But to do this was to yield the victory in the great controversy.  It was in seeking to exalt himself above the Son of God that Satan had sinned in heaven.  Should he prevail now, it would be the triumph of rebellion.

When Satan offered all the kingdoms of the world to Christ if He would just worship him, Christ's answer was, "Get thee behind Me, Satan; for it is written, Thous shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve."

To men he offers the kingdom of this world on condition that they will acknowledge his supremacy.  He requires that they sacrifice integrity, disregard conscience, indulge selfishness.  Christ bids them seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; but Satan walks by their side and says:  Whatever may be true in regard to life eternal, it order to make a success in this world you must serve

Satan had questioned whether Jesus was the Son of God.  In his summary dismissal he had proof that the could not gainsay.  Divinity flashed through suffering humanity.  Satan had no power to resist the command.  Writhing with humiliation and rage, he was forced to withdraw from the presence of the world's Redeemer.  Christ's victory was as complete as had been the failure of Adam.

So we may resist temptation, and force Satan to depart from us.  Jesus gained the victory through submission and faith in God and by the apostle He says to us, "Submit yourselves therefore to God, Resist the devil and he will flee from you."  James 4:7,8.  We cannot save ourselves from the tempter's power; he has conquered humanity, and when we try to stand in our own strength, we shall become a prey to his devices; but "the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous  runneth into it, and is safe."  Proverbs 18: 10.  Satan trembles and flees before the weakest soul who finds refuge in that mighty name.

(We can find refuge in that mighty name too.  We can also use the verses in the scriptures and tell him It is Written and he will flee from us.  So we have no excuse to fall before the tempter, do we?  Let's be faithful to all God's requirements and we will come off victorious.  Grandma Joan.)  Taken fro Desire of Ages, chapter 13.

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