“Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ Matthew 4:7 NIV
This verse, found in Matthew comes from when Jesus is being tested by Satan after 40 days in the desert with no food or water. To set the scene, Jesus has just been baptized by John in the Jordan river. Heaven has opened up and Jesus has been filled with the Holy Spirit. God proclaims, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17 NIV). The very next verse, we find Jesus being led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. But the tempting doesn’t start until after 40 days of fasting and prayer for Jesus (Matthew 4:2-3 NIV). This is how Jesus started His three year ministry, by fasting and praying in isolation, seeking the will of God. His first assignment, endure Satan’s taunts.
How often do you start anything out like Jesus? How often do you take time to get alone with God and pray? Have you ever considered fasting and praying? When you are enduring the taunts of Satan, have you ever thought it is a way to glorify God?
We want Jesus’s blessing for what we are doing, but we don’t want to ask Him first if we should even be doing it.
I remember when I bought my first car after I had some success in my career. It was a lazy Saturday, I was spending it with a friend. We decided to go looking at cars. I found a fully loaded, custom Mazda Tribute that someone had ordered and then refused once it arrived. I loved it immediately, and with no money down decided to buy it. I was driving 50,000 plus miles a year for my job, I thought I deserved the car. It was while the salesman was running my credit I thought about God. I went to the bathroom, got on my knees and asked God’s permission to buy the car. I didn’t ask Him IF I should buy the car, I asked Him for His permission. I told Him if He didn’t want me to buy the car, don’t let the transaction happen. The transaction did happen, I drove home with the car and a $611 car loan for the next five years. Because of all the miles I drove for work, the car was quickly worth less than the amount I owed on it. God used this car to teach me a valuable lesson. Seek Him first.
I didn’t seek God first in that purchase. I just told God what I was doing and asked Him to bless it. If I had truly prayed and sought Him, I wouldn’t have bought the car. I would have known I couldn’t afford it and I didn’t need it. The car did become a financial burden, but through it God taught me a valuable lesson. Through it, God taught me to seek Him first.
Question of the Day:
Where are you placing God in your decision making process?
For Further Reading: Genesis 5:1-7:24 NIV, Matthew 3:7-4:11 NIV, Psalm 3:1-8 NIV, Proverbs 1:10-19 NIV