“Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test.” Matthew 4:1
After Jesus had been baptized, he spent forty nights and days in the wilderness to prepare for the big “Test.” We know the “Test” was his journey to the cross and all that he would encounter along the way.
We’ve just entered the season of Lent. It’s no coincidence that Lent is also a forty-day period (from Ash Wednesday through Easter, minus Sundays) we observe to affirm the mission God placed on our hearts at our own baptism.
Some folks give up something they value or enjoy for Lent as a way to remind themselves of the sacrifice Jesus went through. Others take on a new quest to enhance their journey. This year, I’ve decided to do neither a quest or sacrifice. Instead, I’m working on the same thing Jesus faced during the forty days in the wild–temptation.
The Devil accompanied Jesus into the wilderness. On three occasions he tried to persuade Jesus to succumb to temptation by (1) breaking his fast, (2) challenging the angels God assigned to protect him, and (3) trying to convince Jesus to worship him and receive the earth’s kingdom. Weak, tired, and lonely, Jesus refused to accept the Devil’s ploy and said, “Beat it, Satan!”
The Devil tempts me in less dramatic ways. Yet, I need to be aware during my wilderness experiences, the Devil will want to interfere with the choices and decisions I make. I will need to repeat Jesus’ words and simply say, “Beat it, Satan!”
Lord, send angels to watch over me when I’m weak, tired, and lonely. Amen.