Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

After testing Jesus’ trust in His Father to sustain and provide for Him (see last week’s post), Satan moves on to test Jesus’ faith in His Father’s promised protection and care for those He loves. We have all heard that God loves and cares for us, but at the same time, we have all experienced dark days and long nights where we question His love and care. It’s in those moments that many of us wrongfully put God to the test.

For me, this occurred in athletics during slumps, injuries, and a lack of playing time. Selfishly, my attention would remain on my situation as I poured out my frustration on God, doubting His care for me. The tendency and temptation in sports today is to treat God as a good-luck charm to reward us by providing glory and success for ourselves. We perform the prayers, possibly even read CrossRoads, testing to see if God will take “care” of us.

After 40 days in the wilderness, Jesus denies Satan’s temptation to test God and so must we. Instead of testing God during moments of adversity, we should demonstrate our trust in God’s care by persevering, serving others and seeking opportunities to get better. The truth is God deeply loves and cares for you so much. Although Jesus turned down Satan’s lure to jump off the temple, He does so in order to one day die on the cross for you and me. So while you’re in the wilderness, where there is a temptation to test God’s love and care for you, fix your eyes on the cross.

  • Examine your heart. Do you use God as a good-luck charm?
  • Confess those moments where you have used God for your own benefit.
  • Reflect on God’s love for you and ask Him to help you trust His care for you regardless of the situation and outcome.