Daily Radio Bible Podcast
Our readings today are I Samuel 19, I Chronicles 7, Psalm 59 and Matthew 4. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
Jesus is out in the desert being tempted by Satan. In the desert, he is learning dependence on his Father. He is alone in this desert, for 40 days, not eating a thing. On the outside, it might seem that he is becoming weak, but actually, it’s just the opposite. He is becoming stronger, as He exercises his utter dependence on His Father.
And this is the point of temptation, where Satan comes in. He challenges Jesus to turn stones into bread. He wants Jesus to exercise his authority, independent of God. Then he leads him to the temple and tells Jesus to jump off the highest pinnacle, and let his angels rescue him from harm. He again wants him to exercise His independence, apart from God. He wants Jesus, on his own, to make those angels do something. The last temptation is when he takes Jesus up on a high mountain, and promises him all the kingdoms of the world, apart from God. But in the desert, Jesus learned something completely opposite of the world’s wisdom. He was finding strength in His utter dependence on God, every step of his journey.
This is of course, where Adam failed. This is where you and I fail. We face these very same temptations in our own lives. We are always being encouraged to live life apart from God. We are told to exercise our own independence and autonomy, apart from God. And we very often fail to depend on God for all we need. We attempt to exercise our own authority, autonomy and self-determination, apart from God. We fall for the temptation. We build our lives and kingdom, apart from God.
After his time in the desert, Jesus heads into Galilee and shows us a different way. He invite us into a new way – the way of the Kingdom. He says, come and follow me in the Kingdom of God. That’s the invitation he is offering to whoever will hear. He says,
Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. (Matt 4:17 NLT)
He is calling people to repent of self-reliance and the choice to live life on their own terms. He is calling people to surrender to a Kingdom-life. And he calls you to do the same. Allow God to re-inhabit you and lead you in a life of Spirit-dependence, as you learn to allow the Spirit to live in and through you.