When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, the enemy’s attack was focused on His identity. Because Jesus knew Who He is, that He is the BELOVED Son in Whom God is pleased, no amount of the devil’s scheme could dislodge and budge His identity.
The first strike was when Jesus was hungry after He fasted for forty days and forty nights. There is no need of explanation how hungry one gets for not eating in one day, how much more for forty days and forty nights. And it is in these moments when we become weak, the enemy comes and takes advantage to give us a punch.
“And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “IF You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” (Matthew 4:2-3)
What a revelation it is for me to see that before Jesus was tempted, if you look back into the 3rd chapter of Matthew, the scripture says that God’s voice was heard declaring Who Jesus is to Him. “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
The word “beloved’ may just be one word but the power and effect of that one word is beyond what we can think or imagine. It is such an anchor to Jesus’ identity that made Him respond to the tempter with such confidence that His identity as the Beloved Son of God cannot be validated by what He can do. He didn’t succumb to the temptation that He needed to turn those stones to bread just as so the tempter can be satisfied at the same time revalidate Himsef that He is the Son of God. But because of what God has spoken to Him and was fully persuaded, He wasn’t moved by the tempter’s voice.
Picture with me on this that if you were born as a son of Bill Gates, you didn’t need to do anything to qualify yourself to be his son. You just became one upon birth.
What powerful way Jesus responded. “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4)
What was the word that God has spoken to Him before the temptation came? That He is the Beloved Son in whom God is pleased without Him having to do anything. This spoken word was His plumb line that failed the tempter and made him proceed to his next stinky scheme.
At lot of times, Christians are in doubt of them being believers of Christ most especially when they don’t see and reflect in their lives the prosperity of what has been promised. The attack is in the provision, may it be in finances, health or relationships. But the good news is that a Christian doesn’t need to prove to himself and to the world that he is just one because of what he possesses. He became one when he confessed with his mouth the Lord Jesus and believed in his heart that God has raised Him from the dead, then salvation happened. (Romans 10:9)
Remember that the enemy is the accuser of the brethren. Oh yes he will continuously, perpetually, tirelessly and relentlessly accuse us until he penetrates our minds and voids the very word that has been spoken and promised to us by our Heavenly Father. “Be alert and of sober mind. Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
What word of promise God has spoken to us, not in mere knowledge but in the revelation of His word that the Holy Spirit unveiled our eyes to see? Such revealed word the enemy seeks to abort for it not to come to fruition. He seeks to reduce and diminish our identity for our strength comes from the JOY of knowing who we are in Christ and Who He is to us. Let it then be our identity as His beloveds be the reality in our lives in spite of what’s going on around us. Our outward circumstances are meant to bow down and submit to the inner reality of who we are in Christ if we don’t tarry in believing that He Who began a GOOD WORK in us if faithful to finish it.
Let us not be discouraged by what we see but be encouraged to press on to see what has been promised for He Who promised is FAITHFUL and TRUE. We live by faith and not by sight. I believe one of the reasons why at times we don’t see the manifestation of the promise right away is because God wants us to know in our hearts that our identity lies on who we are IN HIM and not on what we do, accomplish and possess. He desires us to be fully persuaded who we belong to, all because of the finished work of Jesus Christ at the cross. It is by the power of His death and resurrection that sealed us into Himself. He is our portion and inheritance that apart from Him we can never be made complete, lacking nothing.
Let our identity’s validation not come from the provision from God. But let our identity and significance be settled by the Word of God that He has spoken that you and I are His beloved children and there is nothing and no one can change that except ourselves.
“SEE what GREAT LOVE the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called CHILDREN OF GOD! And THAT IS WHAT WE ARE! (1John 3:1 NIV)
Prayer: Father, thank You that You have lavished Your great love on us that You called us Your children not by what we do but by the finished work of Jesus Christ. Thank You that it is You who made us stand firm in Christ, anointed us, set a seal of ownership on us, put Your Spirit in us as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come. Reveal to us more of Who You are that we may come to a deeper knowledge of who we are in You, that we are the apple of Your eye, the object of Your affection and Your precious prized possession. This we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen!