6 December 2021
Be Careful of What Others Wish for You
There's the saying "Be careful what you wish for." However, another saying offers good advice: "Be careful of what others wish for you." This doesn't mean wishes are always bad, but "Be careful..." Jesus experienced this during His temptation in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-4 (NIV):
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Consider the context. Jesus hadn't eaten for 40 days. And Satan tempted Him with food! That's what the enemy does. He kicks you where you are most vulnerable and tries to get you to sin. Satan was wishing Jesus would use His power in a self-serving way, in a manner that was flesh-serving, not God-serving. While Jesus was tempted, He did not sin. What did Jesus do? Jesus went to God's Word. Specifically, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3b:
Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Jesus went to the truth and emphasized the truth. That's what we are to do when tempted.
What does the culture wish for you? Self-centeredness with you having all your personal preferences immediately satisfied? More money? More stuff? The latest and greatest? Popularity? Fame? Sexual perversion? Perhaps something more subtle? With what does the world, the flesh or the devil tempt you? You've heard the ad: "There's an app for that." Well, in regards to temptation, there's a truth for that. Or more accurately put: there's the truth.
And there is God's grace. In 1 Peter 1:6 refers to "all kinds of trials". The Greek word is poikilois (ποικιλοις) which is translated to "various" but means "many-colored." So, we face trials and temptations of all kinds. Yet, in 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV), the scripture says the following:
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
The word "various" in that verse describing God's grace is the same root word used describing trials -- "many-colored." There is an application of God's grace for every type of trial we face (and that verse also indicates we are to be faithful stewards of His grace).
When tempted, when under pressure, where do you seek answers? Google? Instagram? Facebook? An app? Or are you seeking Godly counsel (stewards of His grace) and going to God through Christ and seeking the truth? Consider Hebrews 4:16 (NIV):
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Even if you have messed up, even if you have sinned, go to Him. Go to His Word. That is a practice that will not only bring you to repentance but a practice that will bring victory when you are tempted. It will be a weapon for how to face the challenges when others wish for you the things of evil and wrongdoing. Jesus had the Word ready when confronting the tempter. Even if you are walking though a door to sin, you can say, "No." Reflect on His Word. Bury it in your heart. And in this manner, you can have the discernment to be careful of what others wish for you. Then, you can be a steward of His grace and encourage others to do likewise.
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