5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”
The second trial of Jesus was a temptation of ego. He is encouraged to use His power as the Son of God to demonstrate his ability to perform the superhuman task of falling 300 feet and surviving in the presence of others. Especially interesting is that the Devil begins his request with the word "if". "If you are the Son of God". Both He and Jesus knew that He was the Son of God. So why question this? The enemy of our souls, the Devil, has centuries of observing human beings and he knows how to use devices that are effective against us. His aim is to create a deep chasm between us and the God who loves us.
"If" is at the heart of one of the most powerful weapons used against us. The weapon of doubt. The desire of our egos to be recognized, known, and loved is a natural one. The myriad of ways that we find to fulfill that desire leads to fear and insecurity. That insecurity, in turn, leads to us fomenting the same kind of turbulence in the lives of those around us. The cycle perpetuates itself, generation after generation.
But what if there was a remedy that could break the cycle of uncertainty that the "ifs" in our lives have produced? Knowing with certainty God's unconditional love for us reverses the cycle. In His Word we come to understand that the God who made us in His own image wants to see it restored to us. Saying God's words and believing them is soul nourishing behavior. It initiates an outbound redemptive flow to those in our sphere of influence who have also struggled with doubt.
In what areas of your life is God calling you away from the lies that cloud your thoughts and fears that govern your actions so that you are free to act upon the truth of His Word?
Lord, our fragility is revealed each time we manipulate our circumstances and relationships to satisfy our own ego needs. Help us, Like Jesus, to count your Words as the bedrock reality upon which we base our actions. What you say is true even beyond our own thoughts or imaginations. We can trust what is written. Help us to be so grounded in our relationship with you that we are able to bring peace to the restless, ego-driven world around us and see it transformed by the grace you are working in us.