I’m staying on in the dustbowl
Tested by the Devil
1-2 Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.
3 The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: “Since you’re God’s Son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to really live.”
5-7 For the second test he led him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the Devil said, “They’re yours in all their splendor to serve your pleasure. I’m in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. Worship me and they’re yours, the whole works.”
8 Jesus refused, again backing his refusal with Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”
9-11 For the third test the Devil took him to Jerusalem and put him on top of the Temple. He said, “If you are God’s Son, jump. It’s written, isn’t it, that ‘he has placed you in the care of angels to protect you; they will catch you; you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone’?”
12 “Yes,” said Jesus, “and it’s also written, ‘Don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.’”
13 That completed the testing. The Devil retreated temporarily, lying in wait for another opportunity.
This week we’re focusing on the reading found Luke chapter 4: 1-13 as our key passage for reflection. The temptations of Jesus in the wilderness as recorded by Luke summarise the temptations of everyman. There is a tussle that goes on in all our hearts between the power that seeks to control and lead us into addiction and the power that sets us free.
In his reply to the tempter, to turn stones into bread, Jesus reminds us that we cannot live on bread alone, but we require the life giving Word of God to sustain us. The prophet Isaiah elaborates on this he says, “God’’s Word will never return unto him void, but it will accomplish all it sets out to do” (Isaiah 55.11)
There are times in our lives when we feel disconnected from God’s Word. This text tells us that God’s faith in us does not depend on our faith in him. When he speaks a word he brings to pass
his purposes in all of our lives. Now that is not any easy concept to grasp, but if we believe in a God who deals with the eternal, perhaps what we see as it were ‘through a glass ever so darkly,’ is only a fraction of the effect our living has actually achieved and will achieve.
I can’t turn stones into bread
But sometimes I am tempted to try
I take the easy option
I look for a miracle
An easy way out
When all along
I know what is right
I know I need to hold my nerve
Let your Word soak into my fear
Allow your Word to nourish my soul
For I know I am more than dust
I know you have plans for my life
Today I’m moving forward
Perhaps hungry and disappointed
But I’m turning away from the stones
I’m going to let them remain stones
I’m staying on in the dustbowl
But if you work with me
We’ll turn this place into a garden