“If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.”
The temptation: To think that we need something or we’re not going to make it.
The devil wanted Jesus to think he needed bread. He tried to get him to focus on his needs. Jesus responded that the only thing he needed was God.
In the same way, I have things I think I need, or I’m not going to make it. Sometimes I think I need people to be a certain way. Sometimes I think need church to be a certain way. Sometimes I think I need a situation to resolve itself in a certain way. Sometimes I think I need to feel a certain way, be in a good state of health, have a certain level of energy.
But all I need is God.
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'”
The temptation: To think that things have to work out, that we must be successful.
The world is a picture of achievement. People have power. Great buildings are erected. There are great products, great inventions. I want God’s Kingdom to be like the world: great in accomplishment. But God wants our attitude to be, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines…yet I will rejoice in the Lord.” (Hab 3:17-18) He wants us to say, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21) Yes, God will eventually do many things that are more than we ask or imagine, but this shouldn’t be what we seek, but instead we should just seek to worship Him always.
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Temptation: To think, “Is God really going to take care of me, ‘guard me carefully?’ This is a hard situation. Will the Lord really give me the strength I need to get through it in the way I should?”
Like the lyrics from “Precious Lord,” we say, “I am tired. I am weak. I am worn” But we still expect that we should be able to move mountains. We demand so much from ourselves and our faith.
But Jesus didn’t entertain this kind of thinking. He just believed that he was always in the right place at the right time, doing the work God wanted him to do. Of course there there would be strength to carry through what God set for Him to do.
Worshiping God, serving Him only, having His mindset, is the way Jesus recharged. This is the way I need to recharge as well. Focusing on my expectations, on the “shoulds,” depletes me. Jesus said later in his ministry, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” As long as I live Christianity according to my agenda, it will be a mockery and I will be tired and discouraged. But when I lose every expectation and just fill myself up with the wonders of who God is, and the holy magic that is worship of Him, I will be refueled.