Matthew 4:5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
The fact that Jesus would allow himself to be taken anywhere by the devil astounds me. What was going through His mind at those moments? Here he was, led by His own Holy Spirit, to spend time with evil. Here he was entering the beginning of His public ministry dealing with a defeatist devil. Our present thinkers tell us to feel good and be happy and then minister. Our present ideologies point to pleasure as the entry to ministry. Jesus allowed himself to be taken into the presence of evil itself. This was His entry point into public ministry. He allowed testing. He presented himself for inspection. He was taken.
Pushed to the max, Jim was about to pop. This was supposed to be his year to get the big promotion. It began with pain. Employees were livid with some decisions he had made. Every emotion in him was twisted. He had worked night and day and given himself totally on behalf of these. They turned on him. The year before, he had handled the torrents of accusations from a disturbed man. The threats had been against these very employees that now turned on him. For defending them, he now stood their accusations of being unfair and inequitable. Was this how to start his big year?
He resigned himself to stand through the accusations. He remembered that the name, Satan, really meant Accuser. He remembered, Jesus had stood testing before His big year. Surely, he could allow the Healer to live in and through him in this critical time. “Father, forgive them”, he whispered, “They don’t know what they are doing.”
ACT! Testing is never fun. When God has something big, He can allow life and, yes, even the devil a place to sort out our intentions and grace living. Is there a place of testing in your life? Is God preparing you, stabilizing you for the next big thing? Submit to the test. Let it prove you out. Don’t fight. Let God fight for you. Take time to pray Psalm 35 and see what happens.
PRAY! Father, I am not my own defense. When life and the enemy rise against me as a flood, You be the boat of my salvation. Carry me away from that which is too strong for me. Deliver me from the hand of my enemies. Cause in me conviction to repent of those weaknesses in me that could have led to this situation. Cause holiness to well up in me. Cause me to crucify any flesh that needs changed. Let these troubles be a directional that causes me to become closer to You in thought and word and deed. Cause me to be more like You than ever before. Then, in the next big thing, I will be able. I will be founded. I will be strengthened to do that to which You have called me. I surrender myself to be taken.