'Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.' Matthew 4:1 NLT

It’s the start of His work on earth, and Jesus has walked into the desert in order to put Himself square in harm’s way. No food. No shelter. No friends. Why? He’s deliberately removed Himself from those helpful things in order to grow closer to His Father. But there’s a winding, sly presence in the desert with Him, out to do Him real harm…

The devil tempts Jesus to miraculously create His own food, throw Himself off a building, and ask for unlimited power. The common factor in these temptations is this: ‘Stop trusting that your Father cares for you. If God can’t provide food, protection, and purpose, then what’s He good for? Just blag it yourself.’ Jesus’ outward weakness and tiredness is an open door for the enemy to launch an attack on the core of His love for His Father.

Jesus let him do this. And it wasn’t just Jesus choosing to parade His undisputed strength: it was a Father-God-given opportunity to make a powerful decision. Jesus (not just fully God, but also fully human, remember…) really could have chosen against His Father. The immense trust that Jesus chose to invest in Father God here, would be with Him on His lonely journey to the cross. He was leaving no space for a dangerous half-doubt that His Father might not have His back.

What Now?

The trust Jesus had for His Father was earned through 40 tough desert days. Amazingly, we get given it *as a gift* (yup, ‘faith’ is a gift of God’s Spirit). Where are you tempted to stop trusting that your Father cares for you? Write ‘I have the faith of Christ’ somewhere you’ll see it in those moments.

 2 Sam 20:1-22:30, Luke 11:1-13, Ps 78:40-55, Pr 16:32




Alternative daily encouragement from UCB, adapted from the Word For Today.

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