Have you ever been through a wilderness period in your life? You lose your job. Your heart gets broken. Your health takes a hit. Nothing seems to be going right. Your heart feels shrivelled, and your soul feels dry.
I went through a pretty bad wilderness period after an unexpected break-up. In those moments, it seemed that the Enemy, Satan, was ready with all kinds of lies that were too easy to believe. You’re not good enough. You will never find love. You are not valuable.
Maybe you can relate. In our wilderness moments, we’re tempted to believe all kinds of lies about ourselves. We’re tempted to make decisions and act in ways that will be ultimately harmful.
That’s why I love the story in this chapter of Messiah.
(Chapter Twelve: Temptation in the Desert)
Jesus is in his own wilderness, and the Enemy is throwing every trick and temptation at him to try and break Jesus and derail God’s plan. But Jesus fights back. He counters the lies of Satan with the truth of what God has said.
“[Satan] attacks our weaknesses, whatever they are… We are tempted to distrust God, to question His love for us. If Satan can discourage us and break our hold on God, he wins. If we face him as Jesus did, with no discussion or explanation, with only the promises and commands of the Word of God, we can escape his temptation.” Messiah p 76
“Every promise found in the Bible is ours to depend on. When temptations strike, don’t look for excuses because of the situation or because of your weakness. Look at God’s word.” Messiah p 78
For me, facing down the Enemy looks something like this:
“You are unloved. God doesn’t care about you.” àBut God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (See Jeremiah 31:3)
“Look out for number one. Do what you need to do. You’re in this alone.” àBut God says, “I will never, never, never abandon you. I will provide what you need.” (See Hebrews 13:5-6 and Philippians 4:19)
“I’m too busy to rest. Besides, my value is based on my productivity and my performance.” àBut God says, “Come to me and rest. Remember my Sabbath; take that day and just stop. Remember that your worth isn’t based on your work. Your value lies in your status as my creation and my child. Just rest in that.” (See Matthew 11:28-30, Exodus 20:8-11, Ephesians 2:10, and 1 John 3:1.)
It’s not easy. But Jesus shows us that it ispossible to fight back and choose to believe truth, to depend on God’s promises and follow His way for living an abundant life. And I have found this to be true in my story too.
Join in our book club discussion in the comments below!
- What lies and temptations are you struggling with? What truths from God’s word can you use to fight back against the Enemy?
- Let us know how we can pray for you!
These chapters of Messiah are based on Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13 if you want to check it out in your own Bible.
Listen to Lynette share chapters from “Messiah” on The Breakfast Show every Thursday after 8am. Or catch up later via the podcast.
If you have questions, or you’d like to get a copy of “Messiah” by Jerry D Thomas or a free Bible, let us know.