I remember as a kid singing the song, “Trust and Obey” in Sunday School. Trusting God seemed so easy in my little kid brain. After all, why wouldn’t you trust in God? He is so big and powerful — I was not. But as I’ve grown into an adult, trusting God with the outcome of my life hasn’t always been so easy. The more obstacles and difficulties I’ve encountered, the more discouraged I can become. I can start to question and doubt whether or not God really loves me and cares about my future.
In Luke 4 it describes a time when even Jesus was tempted to doubt God. Jesus was baptized and just starting his ministry. Immediately the devil came to tempt Jesus. For 40 days Jesus wandered in the desert without any food; He was very hungry. He must have been feeling weak and vulnerable. Have you ever given something over to God and immediately experience difficulty? It can make you doubt whether or not you did the right thing. The very same temptations the devil used on Jesus, he also uses on us today. It all comes down to this, “Do you trust God? If you trust God, will you obey Him?”
Do You Trust…
God to Provide For Your Needs?
“If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’” (Luke 4:3-4)
I’ve gone three days without food before; I got really cranky. I couldn’t even think straight. All I could think about was food. Carrots looked like dessert to me. I can’t imagine going 40 days like Jesus did! He must have been super hungry. Jesus had a legitimate need for food. So what was so bad about turning a stone into bread? He needed it. He had the power to make it happen. So why didn’t Jesus just do it? Because Jesus realized something that we need to learn today. There is more to life than just getting what we need or want. We need God more!
David Wilkerson writes in God is Going to See You Through Hard Times, “The Lord allowed you to experience hunger. He humbled you by bringing you to a place where all human ingenuity (effort) was in vain. If God had not taken care of you supernaturally, you would have died. The issue was not food, but rather TRUST in Him… all His words are yours by faith.”
Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Bread represents something we can do for ourselves, with our own hands. Manna, or Bread of Heaven, is what God provided for the Israelites in the desert after they left Egypt where they had been slaves. Manna represents something new and different. It is supernatural. It is beyond what we can imagine or conceive. We cannot plan or strategize or create this solution by ourselves. We need God to do it for us. It is beyond us and our ability, but exactly what we need.
In the same way, God asks us to trust Him to provide for our needs. God’s solutions may not look like what we are accustomed to, but we can trust God that it is the best.
Do You Trust…
God’s Plan for Your Life?
“The devil led Him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” (Luke 4:5-8)
Each of us have individual aspirations and goals for our lives. We have a timeline in our minds as to how long we think it should take. But we must ask ourselves, “Are we going to do it our way, or God’s Way?” Do we trust God’s timing to fulfill His promises to us or will we take matters into our own hands and rush ahead of God’s plan for us? Will we wait on God’s timing, even if it doesn’t happen right away? Will we wait for God to promote us?
Jesus was God’s only Son. God had already promised Him that He would be exalted over everything and everyone. But God’s plan included dying to Himself first. The devil offered Him “all the kingdoms of the world” RIGHT NOW, without the pain. But it involved comprising His standards — “worship me [devil] instead [of God].” The devil offered Him a SHORT CUT! It may have looked good on the outside, but inside it was full of lies, compromise, and rejecting God.
The devil will often offer you a short cut to something God has already promised to give you. When your mind is being bombarded with lies, it’s easy to second guess yourself [and God] on what you know to be true. The devil may offer you an easy way out, but God offers you the BEST way.
We need to worship God only, not just what He can do for us. God is more important than what He can give us. We need to ask ourselves, “Do we love God more than what He has promised us?”
Do You Trust…
God’s Goodness and Character?
“The devil led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If You are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw Yourself down from here. For it it written: “ ‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard you carefully; they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus answered, “It says: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Luke 4:9-12)
Do you trust God to protect you in times of trouble? Do you trust God to rescue you? Do you ever think to yourself, “Does God even notice when I’m in trouble or need His help? Does God really care?” In times of crises, can you count on God to help? Do you trust that God is good, really good and wants to help you?
Do you trust that God loves you? Or do you test God’s love by putting yourself in harm’s way, sabotaging what is good for you, or ignoring God’s leading?
I believe all three temptations really come down to a single question, “Do you trust God?” I’m not asking do you think you trust God, but do you really trust God? Do you trust God in the middle of your crises? Do you trust God even when it doesn’t make sense? Are you wiling to surrender every decision, every desire, every need over to the God who knows you best? Does your life prove it?
- Do you trust God to provide for your needs?
- Do you trust God’s timing and that He has your best interests at heart?
- Do you trust God to promote you?
- Do you trust God’s plan is the best plan for your life?
- Do you trust God’s character? Do you trust that God is good, loving and trustworthy?
- Do you trust God to help you in times of trouble?
God allows us to go through trials and temptations in order to prove Himself to us. God proves He is trustworthy. The trials deepen our understanding of WHO God is and HOW God works. We must know this in order to resist the lies and avoid the short cuts the devil throws in our path. The pain and suffering we endure deepens our resolve. We become ready for anything.
What are your Hopes? Dreams? Goals? Plans? How do you think your life should turn out? Surrender your desires to God and allow Him to direct your path. Sometimes you have to die to your DREAM, in order for God’s dream [God’s plan for your life] to be established in you.