|Christ in the Wilderness - Ivan Kramskoy|
He went into the desert, led by the Spirit, quietly and alone. Into the wilderness, the domain of stones and sand, where water is scarce and food is dust. He would thirst and hunger...
And prayer would be on His tongue.
He held no roll of papyrus covered with symbols forming the words of His father. Every thought of the Almighty was engraved on His heart, for His father's thoughts were His thoughts.
Listen to His meditation and prayer. It is all around us, when we allow ourselves to step into the solitude found in the wilderness. We breathe the air, feel the sun bake our flesh, gaze into an unblemished sky. In the solitude of the wilderness we feel the touch of God.
He conversed with His father and found strength in the conversation.
And temptation broke through, forcing its way into the sacred interlude. Was the temptation doubt? Was it fueled by hunger and thirst?
"Turn these stones into bread. You know it is possible for you. You know that the human part of you hungers. Feed yourself. Why cause your body to experience such pain? It is necessary for you to experience such hardships to simply accomplish your task."
But God has said that we live by so much more than bread. We live by the word, and that word is infused in His heart.
Did Jesus recite a psalm to chase away the tempting hand of the evil one?
Only in God... my Father... is my soul at rest.
And who is Satan to test God's Son from the highest point of the temple? Human weakness gains a small foothold and the sight of the Holy City is stretched out like an oasis. Pagans and believers below, gazing at the immense structure, a house of God, a house for those who are to be found and those who will be lost.
"Throw yourself down into the arms of His angels. You know they will be there. You know the verse of scripture saying they will never allow you to stub your foot on a single stone."
But those same scriptures, written on every fiber of His sacred heart, answer every challenge of evil.
"But kingdoms, Jesus, I will give you all the kingdoms of the world. They are mine, they belong to me. I tempt their rulers and they listen to me, do my bidding. They are people mired in their hedonistic views. What value is there in saving only the small remnant of your father's people. Even those who worship in the temple will smite you."
An inner strength, one of divinity, won the argument. Worship the Lord only. Face your conviction despite the consequences. Scripture says, worship the Lord your God, worship Him and Him alone, serve no other.
And then temptation left.
Validate the word of God in the face of evil and evil cannot withstand its truth. Satan will move on to seek another without the strength of God's spirit. Are we prepared to stand up for God's word in the face of temptation?
copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr