[The following devotional is a part of our 2015 Easter Season Devotional Book “Passion Road.” We will be posting a devotional each day on this blog between February 18 – April 5, 2014.]
Grand Temptation by Mark Robinson
Read: Luke 4:1-13
In May 1994, I stood on the Grand Canyon’s south rim with my college roommate. Together we thought we could sit there forever and just admire its beauty. However, we were 21 year old college guys . . . so naturally, FOREVER was only about an hour and a half before we started looking for something more adventurous to do.
It was not enough for us to simply see the Grand Canyon, we had to climb it. I was 10 feet off the ground climbing a 20 foot high bluff near the canyon’s edge before I realized what I was doing. After finally making it to the top of that little bluff, I sat on its edge paralyzed with fear. Meanwhile, my friend just kept going, hopping down the bluff as fast as he had gone up it. If I just followed in his path, surely I could make it back down the bluff. The only problem was, even knowing the way he had shown me, I was still stricken with fear, and could not make myself move an inch. At that point, my friend reached up and grabbed my feet and moved them for me into the correct positions to navigate me back down the mountain. With his strength and direction, I made it down safely. I am convinced that if my friend had not been there, I would either still be sitting on that butte asking passing hikers to throw me up a Power Bar, or I would have fallen to the ground and really gotten hurt. The fear was just that great.
In Luke 4:1-13 Satan tempted Christ with the same types of temptations we struggle with, yet Jesus did not sin. That is why the writer of Hebrews reminds us that Jesus can relate to us AND can help us in the midst of temptations (Hebrews 2:18, 4:15). In the language of my Grand Canyon experience: Jesus has scaled the mountain of temptation successfully, so He can show us the way down to safety. Many of us feel as though temptation is so strong in certain areas that we have no hope of ever successfully resisting it. We live around temptation with a constant fear of falling. After a while, we feel like our only hope is for a Christian friend to walk by and “throw us up a word of encouragement” as we sit on the rocky edges of the Christian life.
In Christ, all of us who have struggled with temptation have a great hope! Jesus has shown us the way to navigate through temptation in a God honoring way, without sin. Beyond that He also offers us the power to navigate temptation, as we trust Him. He wants to move our feet down the mountain. His strength, not ours leads us to safety. In a real sense, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the living Son of God who has stared temptation down and HAS NOT SINNED, offering to live His life through us if we will just let Him. By placing our faith in Him moment by moment, He can lead us down the bluff of temptation one step at a time.
- What is an area of temptation for you today that you need Jesus strength for?
- Pray and ask God to help you overcome temptation to sin in your life.