The Devil Made Me Do It

April 22nd, 2008 • Category: Gospel of Luke
by David Zier

Today’s scripture: Luke 4:1-13 (ESV-text and audio) (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Zier):

The story of Jesus’ temptation after his Baptism may be symbolic of the 40 years Israel spent wandering after God liberated them from Egyptian slavery on their way to the “promised land.”

But in our own lives, it seems to serve as a warning. Even after we experience God and we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and seek Jesus’ path of justice and peace, we can fall into our own wilderness periods.

When I was younger, I was under the impression that accepting Jesus as Lord meant that a light switch was turned on, and nothing bad was ever going to happen to me and that I would never do anything wrong again. Sometimes I wonder how I ever thought it was just a one-time event.

Like Jesus, we get led around by the devil, who tries to draw us away from God. Unlike Jesus, we may not be very successful at resisting.

We choose to worship the stuff that takes us away from God. How many times do we get drawn into having the latest style, or the latest technology, or living in the biggest house or driving the most expensive car to make us look good? What about the times we get drawn into gossip, or hurt others by our words, or not do the things that Jesus calls us to do, even though we know better? We can get lost in the wilderness of distractions.

But even when we get lost in the wilderness, God is there. God is always there and waits for us. Some people go to be alone in the dessert or the forest to spend time with God. The desert can be a very spiritual place. Being alone with God seems to also mean being vulnerable to attack from the devil. But just because the demons seem to get ahead of God in our lives at times, our conversion experience and our call of discipleship is a source of strength. The more we experience God in our lives, the easier it is to overcome the demons that haunt us and take us away from God.

Thought for the day: What have you done today to draw yourself nearer to God? What demons do you need to overcome right now in your life?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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