Determined Woman Seeking to Remain Spiritually Strong

A daily devotion for June 3rd

True Trust

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. If you are the Son of God, he said, throw yourself down. For it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Jesus answered him, It is also written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.

Matthew 4:5-7

The first temptation was thrust at our Lord's weakness as a man, his basic need for food. The devil cruelly tried to exploit that weakness and make Jesus violate his most important of relations: trust in the Father. Now, in a typically diabolical move, the devil says, I see you really do trust God. Well, that's the best thing you could ever do! Now I suggest how you can manifest that trust. If you really want to show how much you trust God, cast yourself from the pinnacle of the temple, and by that everyone will see that your trust in God is so implicit that you dare put yourself in danger. It's all the more subtle and powerful when he bolsters it with scripture. He quotes Psalm 91, and says, You trusted God — wonderful. Use your trust now to the full, and remember you have scripture for it. The angels will bear you up in their hands. What do you say to that? It is said you can prove anything by the Bible. That is true — if you read it the way the devil does. We shall see more about that in our Lord's answer.

But now notice the force of that temptation. The devil is saying, Look, you want to demonstrate trust in God? This is the way to do it. If you really would like to show people how thoroughly you trust God, here's the pinnacle of the temple. There they are waiting below, the whole crowd. Leap off it, and you will demonstrate how fully God is with you, and that you are a man of God.

This reveals one of the most common misconceptions: the idea that the greatest display of faith is in some spectacular demonstration. You hear this philosophy from those who say that if you really want to show faith in God, you have to do some kind of miracle. But the Lord Jesus puts life back in perspective when he reveals the truth. He said, Again it is written, You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. The greatest display of faith is not in some spectacular demonstration, but in the quiet trust of the heart that rests upon what God has said. Not just what is said in one place, but balanced truth. Truth does not come to us in capsule form. It is a complete account, and one truth needs to be balanced against another. We never have arrived at the whole until the complete account is laid out and we see it in its total revelation.

Lord, teach me not to look to spectacular demonstrations of great faith, but give me the confidence that faith that is real simply rests on the promises of your Word.

Life Application

Do you get swept away emotionally by outward attempts to prove great faith, or are you trusting fully in the balanced truth found in scripture?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

The Temptation of Christ

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