Monday, December 12, 2011

When the Son of God had His patience tried

It has long been a joke amongst mothers to never pray for patience for then you just might have to use it!

In my continuing study of Luke, I observed in chapter 4 that Jesus was led BY the Holy Spirit into the wilderness TO be tempted by the evil one. There Satan tried the patience of the Son of God. Would Jesus be willing to wait for physical provision, willing to wait for the truth to be revealed about him at the resurrection, willing to wait for God's timing to have all that the Father promised? Or...would he choose to make it happen and have some of

When His patience was tested, we see that Jesus used the Word of God to defeat Satan's tactics, keeping the main thing the main thing and avoiding specific challenges by him.

The scriptures He chose give us guidance for what we should do when our patience is tested while we wait on God:

**Find nourishment in the Word of God just as much as actual food... (Luke 4:4, Deut. 8:3)
**Worship solely the Lord and not any hidden idols of pride and selfishness in our lives... (Luke 4:8, Deut. 6:13)
**Don't put the Father to the test by doubting His presence and what He has promised in His timing. [Jesus words here in Luke 4:12 are a direct quote from Deut. 6:16 which references the Israelite's doubt in the wilderness in Ex. 17:2-7].

We need to be aware that Satan can use scripture to tempt us to put the Lord to the test in our lives....(Luke 4:10-11, also Gen. 3:1). Putting the Lord to the test seems to involve doubting what He has already said He will do (Ex. 17:7), asking for a sign to validate what God has said (Isa. 7:12), not taking obedience, sin and it's consequences seriously (Acts 5:9). [The Ex. 17:2-7 is repeatedly mentioned in scripture throughout the old and new testaments as a warning not to put the Lord to the test.]

Now, if the Evil One knows scripture, that encourages me all the more to make my times in the Word a priority. I don't want to be like Eve, and get it wrong (Gen 3:3). Thankfully, we have someone we can go to that understands and has the power to help us in our struggles with patience.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. -- Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV

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