Are you being tempted or tested?

Beautiful Friday GCT!  Do you desire the Holy Spirit to escort you out into a Spiritual Wilderness or even a physical wilderness?  What if you knew that that wilderness was intended to strengthen you and sanctify you?  Would you enter your wilderness with victory on your mind or defeat?  What would you take with you to insure your success? Think about the perfect, sinless Jesus perfectly controlled by the Holy Spirit, saturated by the Holy Spirit, consumed by obeying His Father in heaven and then that Holy Spirit drives Jesus out into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan and tested by God His Father.  No, God does not tempt, however He does test!  The same Greek word in Luke 4:2 for “tempt” is also translated “to test.”  The Devil says, “I am going to tempt Jesus to get Him to sin and therefore destroy Him and His work.”  God the Father in the same wilderness experience through the work of the Holy Spirit says “I am going to strengthen Jesus by enabling Him to pass this difficult test successfully preparing Him for an even greater work.”

This is exactly what happens in our lives as well.  God tests our faith but he never tempts it.  The purpose of divine testing is always to strengthen and to sanctify us in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The purpose of Satanic tempting is to deceive and destroy us in every way possible where we are vulnerable.

What does this tell us about God’s daily plan for us as we walk through our lives wanting to please our Father in heaven?  His plan for us always involves testings for the purpose of our strengthening!  It is for your strengthening not for your destruction.  We must not think that we are lesser Christian or lesser spiritual when we are tempted or tested.  Instead, let us remember that this testing is for our strengthening just as Jesus was strengthened by His 40 days of testing.  And that strengthening is always preparing you for an even greater work! Let our testimony with Satan be the same as when he was defeated in the wilderness by Jesus, Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.  In other words, Satan left with his head lowered in defeat having lost the battle and Jesus left strengthened for the next task His Father had waiting for Him. When God leads you into your own wilderness it is because our loving and caring heavenly Father wants you there and He wants you to be strengthened and sanctified through that wilderness not destroyed.  Enjoy the wilderness!  It is for your good and God’s glory Your wilderness victory is dependent upon the same sword that Jesus wielded in His wilderness experience, the Word of God.  We cannot expect to live victorious in the wilderness by just owning a Sword, the Word of God, having it on the shelf or on my phone.  Instead, we are called to hide the Word in our hearts, read them, study them, mediate on them, memorize them, while asking the Holy Spirit to teach us His ways.  Wield the sword with boldness for the destruction of the enemy.  We cannot succeed in the wilderness any other way than how Jesus won the victory with the Word of God flowing from His heart. Psalm 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. I look forward to worshiping with you Sunday wielding the Word of God, Steve

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