If you be the son of God…..Matthew 4:3
What do you do when the word of the Lord is being tried in your life? Joseph had a vision and until that vision came to pass Joseph had many opportunities to question this word from God. Psalm 105:19 tells us “until the time his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tried him.”
The more conservative interpretations of this verse talk about Josephs natural prison experience. Others present this phrase as a metaphor to his soul becoming strong (like iron) as the word was tested.
Our souls becoming like iron is just another way of saying we are stedfast with our believing. It’s the place we come to when we are simply not moved by natural circumstances but strengthened in our confidence that God is not a liar. His word is true and it shall come to pass. We aren’t consumed with a time factor. We aren’t anxious. We aren’t fearful. We are simply committed to God with an unshakeable trust in Him and His promise. We are at rest while His word comes to pass.
We become dull to the spiritual reality of trials and temptations through our wrong understanding of them. We misunderstand their purpose. Every trial, every temptation reveals our hearts condition. It reveals, faith or unbelief, rest or anxiety, fear or love.
Until the word comes to pass, that word tries us.
From Matthew’s gospel, Jesus comes up from His baptism to the affirmation of the Father; “my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. He is then driven by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. All Jesus knows and believes, at this point, will be sifted and examined.
Our lives will not be any different. Once the word comes, there is the examination of our hearts to discover whether we really believe that word is true to us. We are proven in our trust of Him, not the validity of the word.
Every word of God has been tried and has been found true; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 12:6 Psalm 18:30. The circumstances simply reveal our hearts condition. The epistle of James calls this the trying or testing of our faith. This is about us, not God. Again, this is about our hearts, not whether the word is true or not.
The book of Hebrews reminds us, They were not able to enter into the promised land because of their evil hearts of unbelief which caused them to depart from God. The temptation will either remove us from God or we will remain stedfast in our believing. Our believing equates to obedience of activity assigned to us.
Temptations always carry a back door, give us a short cut and present the wide path of escape.
Life’s temptations never change. The IFs and BUTs will lead us astray. The devil is a liar. The Father of all lies and there is NO truth in Him. Jesus said I am come that you would know the truth, and in knowing the truth we are set free.
The word trust is defined as the assured reliance on the character, strength, ability and truth of someone or something. On this earth we shall have temptations, but Jesus said, “I’ve told you these things that IN ME you might have peace.” We err in trying to create an environment that is free of trial and temptations. What we must learn is how to be right in the midst of them. Jesus overcame the world. Jesus passed His test and the “devil left him and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.”
Man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. When temptation comes the right response is to endure with a resounding Yes and Amen in our hearts and minds to Gods promises.