In my last post I showed that Christ refused to be tempted to claim a promise. This is the opposite of what many believers do today. We’re trusting God to provide things we don’t even need just because we found a convenient Scripture to “stand on.”
Paul talked about this in his letter to Timothy. Paul warned Timothy about people…
…who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:5b-6
I believe that there’s something inherently wrong with a message that continually focuses on my happiness, my comfort, and my pleasure. It’s true that God loves us and wants the best for us. I also believe that there is a scriptural prosperity that God wants for His people.
But I also believe that many have taken this too far. As a result, God’s people are spending too much time, prayer, energy and “faith” running after the things of the world that they think will satisfy them. At the same time, they ignore the work of the Kingdom of God. As a result, they never lay hold of what will ultimately fulfill the desires of their souls.
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.”
Again, the enemy tried to use a promise to tempt the Lord. He wanted Jesus to prove that God was protecting Him, by throwing Himself off the roof of the temple. Satan uses this same strategy on us as well. Of course, the results are usually different when we’re involved.
How do you respond when you’re tempted to test God? Do you trust Him or not? There’s no need to put God to the test. He’s already proven Himself in Christ. We need to follow the example of Jesus, who once again did not take the bait that the devil put before Him.
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
This usually turns out very differently when the devil runs this scenario before us. We love to do foolish things, then “trust” God to get us out of the mess. We spend our money on movie tickets, CD’s, video games, and new cars. Then, when we can’t pay the bills, we “trust God” for the money.
How foolish! Don’t you realize that the money you spent on your toys was the money God provided for your bills? But we just sit back in bitterness and say, “I tested God and He failed me.”
As the people of God, we need to get our lifestyles back in line with the Word of God.
Questions: How do our faith and our actions work together? How do they oppose each other sometimes?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013