“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1
The call of God does not come without a price nor does it come without a test.
If you’ve been called by God, you are more than likely either in the midst of a trial, you’ve been through one, or you will face one soon.
How do I know?
Well, I’ve experienced it. But more importantly, story after story in the Bible tells of men and women who faced such trials. These were people destined by God to make a difference on this planet before they were called home.
Many of us know the story of Joseph. He knew God had big plans for him. But Joseph was sold into slavery, falsely accused and thrown into prison. He spent 11 years as a slave in Potiphar’s house and 2 years in prison. It was 13 years before Joseph fulfilled his calling–his purpose.
The disciples went through a period of testing as they watched the Messiah die. The most famous testing was Peter’s. He denied knowing Jesus not once but three times. Do you remember what he did after his failed trial? He went back to his old job convinced that Jesus would never love him or use him again. How many of us have done that?
Did Jesus call him back? Yes.
Was he used for the Kingdom?
If you call 3000 salvations/baptisms after your first sermon “being used for the Kingdom” then the answer is YES. (Acts 3:41) Peter was one of the greatest apostles. He walked in the power and authority of Jesus so much so that “…people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and they all were healed.” (Acts 5:38)
If the trials and testing of biblical characters doesn’t convince you of this truth, then consider what happened to Jesus right before he began to preach. Matthew, Mark, and Luke tell us that the Spirit led him out into the desert where he was tempted by Satan. If Jesus endured such testing, why wouldn’t we?
I think there are two reasons why we face trials and temptations after the call from God:
- We are in a spiritual battle, and we have an enemy who is threatened by our destiny.
- God uses our testing to grow us. Strengthen us. Purify us.
The first two temptations Satan hurled at Jesus began with these words: “If you are the son of God…”
As I ponder these temptations and think back to my own trials and testing, I realize that Satan wants us to doubt who we are and what God has called us to do.
If you are…
How many of us have doubted God’s call? God’s love? Some of us doubt our salvation. Satan loves that.
The third temptation involved gaining the world. What a silly “temptation” for Satan to throw at Jesus. This was no temptation for Jesus because He knew He was God’s son and the position He would one day take on the throne. Maybe Satan was offering a short-cut. But Jesus knew who He wanted to reign with–the One True God.
The testing and temptations do not have power over us if we stand sure in who we are in Christ and God’s love for us. God’s good plans.
Are you being tested? It’s actually a good sign. I think it proves your threat to the enemy. Stand firm in what you know beyond knowing. Claim Scripture which states who you are in Christ. Jesus refuted Satan’s temptations with Scripture–Truth.
Here’s some Truth to stand in today:
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
You were created for a purpose. Go do it!
How do I find my purpose?
What if I’m Wrong?: God Blesses Faith