“God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” 1 Corinthians 10:13b
Early in Jesus’ earthly ministry, He went into the wilderness and allowed Satan to tempt Him. Satan elicited Jesus to prove Himself by turning stone into bread or jumping off the temple without injuring Himself. He offered Jesus the glory, power, and recognition humanity often seeks. Satan sought to seduce Jesus by misusing scripture. However, Jesus refused and rebuked Satan. Being tempted to do wrong is not a sin but giving in to temptation allows sin to thrive. Later in His ministry, Jesus would change the laws of the universe when He fed the multitudes with a few loaves of bread and pieces of fish, when He calmed the storm with His words alone, and when He walked on water. Jesus gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and freedom to the demon-possessed. Jesus did all this not because He had to prove something but because He wanted to show us what we could do if we honour and believe in Him alone.
We should note these two points: (1) God allows temptation, and (2) Satan never gives up trying to tempt us to go against God’s plan. We should especially consider these points as we participate in the MCF mission to share the gospel with the military community. We can learn from Jesus’ response to temptation and draw from Jesus’ temptation that speaks to our own lives.
Suppose we are not connected to God and recognize His authority over all creation and eternity. In that case, we can be tempted to believe we have the skills and abilities to convince someone to be a follower of Jesus. If we set out without God’s grace and support, we are ripe for temptation that makes us think we must modify the message to reach our culture. We can be tempted to promote a plan that may not give God complete honour and glory. Satan can tempt us to think less about God’s role and focus more on our own.
We need partners to pursue our vision to see the gospel shared with all of our military community. We need you to be battle-ready to participate in this mission, so we need you to be prepared to recognize and resist temptation. Scripture provides the guidance, the battle plan, and the expected outcome, while prayer enhances and strengthens us so we are combat-ready. Jesus prayed and quoted scripture to combat Satan and guided us to do the same.
If we accept our calling as disciples of Christ, we will be motivated to reach out to the lost. However, we will face struggles that can derail us, especially as evil tempts us to call on Jesus to prove Himself to us. Pray, read the Word, and join us as we share the gospel.