February 12 – The Test

Read: Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 4:7 ESV)

Testing day was always a day that I dreaded in school. It wasn’t because I didn’t do well, it was because of the underlying question that always accompanied those tests…Are you good enough? I always wrestled with that question growing up and for an insecure kid academic testing always seemed to throw it in my face in the bluntest of ways.

During Jesus’ confrontation with Satan in the wilderness he came face to face to with those same questions of worth, identity, and purpose. Not only did the devil seek to undermine who he was, but he threw out the possibility that God might not actually be powerful or good enough to come to the aid of His son.

I’ve met many people during my years in ministry that often ask the same questions about God and in turn themselves. When faced with difficulty and adversity they begin to wonder if God really is powerful or good enough. I’ve also met those who outright doubt and in turn strive to willfully countermand God’s will for their life in a way to gauge whether or not He might intervene with their free will.

God’s sovereignty and man’s will are not mutually exclusive things. In fact, we have our free will precisely because of His sovereignty. When the test comes its not because God is not good, or God is not powerful. It’s not even because He is trying to determine if we are good enough for Him. God made that decision when He sent His son to die in our place. No, when the test comes it is so that we will do just what Jesus did in the wilderness. We must lean into God, His truth, His Word, His sovereignty, His love, and His will. That is home. That is where we belong.

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