By Tim Greenwood
How often do we as Christians give up God’s best - to look for the “easy” way out of things? Adam did this in the garden. When the pressure was turned up, he caved in and handed over man’s dominion and authority to the devil.
Well, thank God that Jesus decided not to take the “easy” way out – even when the pressure was on.
You may remember that Jesus was led into the wilderness to fast and commune with the Father and be taught by the Holy Spirit right at the very beginning of His earthly ministry. After forty days of fasting, when Jesus was hungry and physically at His weakest, guess who showed up to give Jesus a high-pressure sales job?
Luke 4:3 says, that the devil, Satan himself, tempted Jesus by offering an “easy” way out. “It’s a long way back to town, if you really are the Son of God, you could just turn that big stone into a hot loaf of bread and eat it to satisfy that hunger!” But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”’ You know, if the devil had been smart, he would have known that even though Jesus was physically weak from fasting, He was stronger spiritually than He had ever been before – after being filled with the Holy Spirit and basking in the presence of God.
Don’t get me wrong; Jesus was tempted – just like we are sometimes. Man, you know that must have been really tempting! I got tempted just this morning while walking by this big glazed donut after not eating anything for about two hours! Where was I? Oh yeah… Jesus being so hungry could have given in to the desires of His flesh, manifesting as hunger. Hot bread would have tasted great, but, Jesus would not be swayed to take the “easy” way out, and neither should we. He knew who He was; He knew His purpose and kept His eye on His goal.
When we know who we are (in Jesus Christ) and keep our eyes on our ultimate goal, we make it difficult for the devil to distract us. When he brings the temptations and pressures of life upon us, we don’t have to cave in to it like Adam did. Jesus said, “It, (the written Word) is written!” When trouble comes we have the Word of God to hold on to.
I remember when I had no hope and my life was ebbing away, how the Holy Spirit gave me Mark 11:23. To me this one verse became a precious life-ring, a lifesaver in the middle of a raging sea. And there is a verse in your Bible to rescue you from every situation or temptation as long as we refuse to take what seems to be the “easy way” out. God says that He watches over His Word to perform it! And that His Word will not return to Him void. The way God’s Word returns to Him is by us speaking it! Saying it just like Jesus did! “It is written!” When we do this, we convert the written Word (logos) into the spoken Word (rhema). And when we do, mountains must move!
Jesus knew who He was; He knew His purpose and He accomplished His goal by saving, healing and delivering you and me. Now we must follow His example.
So then, we need to learn “who we are in Jesus Christ”! If you aren’t sure then go to the TGM Website and read the articles, “The Authority of the Believer” and “Mark 16 - The Last 12 Verses.” Our purpose as Christians - is to become like Jesus! Walk as He walked, talk as He talked, act like He acted and complete the earthly ministry He began! (You’ll have to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts for that.) And our goal should be to receive everything He redeemed for us, and to spread this good news everywhere throughout the world! (No, going to heaven is not our goal. If you are a Christian, that’s just part of our benefits.)
It would have been the “easy” way out for Jesus to have made that bread, and stepped off of the temple and made that deal with the devil! He would have avoided all of the pains and sufferings of the beatings and the cross. But because He suffered, we don’t have to. And because He died and rose again, we have life eternal!