Monday, July 23, 2012

voices

     Then Jesus was led by the Spirit up into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. After a fast of forty days and nights he was very hungry.
      “If you really are the Son of God,” said the tempter, coming to him, “tell these stones to turn into loaves.”
     Jesus answered, “The scripture says ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’.” Matthew 4:1-3 (JBP)

I don't know about you, but I can tell you from experience that the voices within and around me that try to convince me of things other than the truth of who I am in Christ are loud indeed.  And, no doubt, they were loud for Jesus as well.  I mean just look at these verses.  Right after that amazing moment in the Jordan when the heavens open up, and the Spirit of God comes upon Jesus like a dove, and THE voice from heaven says to him, "You are my Son, whom I dearly love, with you I am well pleased," he is quickly attacked by the voice of the enemy trying to convince him that it just isn't true. 
     "If you really are God's Son..." says the voice of temptation.  It is an attack directed at his core, trying to get Jesus to either question, or think he has to prove, his identity.  And it is an attack aimed at his place of greatest hunger.  Should it be any surprise that the enemy would seek to attack us in much the same way; in the very place we are most vulnerable, most hungry? Should it be any surprise that the enemy would try to convince us that God is either not willing or not able to meet us in our deepest places, so that we might take matters into our own hands and try to feed ourselves?  It seems that the most successful attacks on my heart and soul and spirit are those aimed at my identity, trying to make me doubt my worth and value in the eyes my God.  Trying to convince me that I need to take matters into my own hands, to feed myself in any way that I can.  Trying to make me believe that I can find satisfaction for my deepest hunger outside of God, which leads me on a wild goose chase in search of someone or something that might satisfy the deepest longings of my heart.  These voices are loud, I must admit.  Therefore I must turn my ear to THE true voice, the voice of the God who made me uniquely and loves me dearly.  The one who says to me, as he did to Jesus, "You are my beloved son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.  That is THE only voice that can give me the fullness and life I was made for.

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