The Temptation to Question God’s Care

The devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

[Luke 4:3-4]

The temptation of Jesus in Luke 4 teaches us about the nature of temptation. We see that Satan tempted Jesus by questioning God’s care. In Luke 4:3, “The devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Satan knew who Jesus was. At this time Jesus had gone 40 days without eating. Most of us get faint if we go four hours without eating. But Jesus had fasted for 40 days. He was hungry. Satan said, “Look, if You are God’s Son, then You shouldn’t have to be hungry. God gave You the desire to eat, so just go ahead and turn these stones into a nice, warm loaf of bread. There’s nothing wrong with that. God wouldn’t want you to suffer need.” Satan was tempting Jesus to compartmentalize His faith.

How often do we hear that today? People say that how you behave in certain areas of your life doesn’t matter; it has no effect on your relationship with God. They say you can compartmentalize your faith; you can have a great relationship with God and do these things because it doesn’t matter. Not long ago I watched a movie called “The Fighting Temptations.” It’s a story about a guy who finds out that his aunt left him a lot of money, but there’s one stipulation in the will–he has to go to her small Baptist church and take over the church choir in order to receive his inheritance. It’s a funny, cute movie. But there is a scene in which a young single mother who is a member of the choir, in order to sustain herself and her son, sings in a local bar. And in her job she wears inappropriate clothing and sings sultry songs. An older choir member is very judgmental and says to the young mother, “How can you call yourself a Christian and dress the way you do and work in a bar and sing suggestive songs?” The young mother responds, “How I dress, what I sing, and where I work has nothing to do with me being a good Christian.” Everybody applauds. You can almost hear all of America applauding and agreeing: “That’s right. How I dress and what I do has no effect on me being a good Christian.”

Let me ask you a question: If your faith has no impact on how you dress, on what you do, or on what you say, then what effect does it have on your life? What part does Christianity play in your life if it has nothing to do with your everyday existence? You see, that is a temptation we have today. We are tempted to compartmentalize and say, “I can have a relationship with God, but it doesn’t have to affect my everyday life. I can be a good Christian and do all of those things.”

We are tempted to compartmentalize our lives when we question God’s care. Look how Jesus responded: “Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone”’” (Luke 4:4). Jesus was saying, “Look, I am both body and spirit. What I believe has to impact how I live. My relationship with God does impact the rest of My life.”

~ Dr. Robert Jeffress ~

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