Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Expect to be tested -- Devotion from Mike MacIntosh

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Matthew 4:1
If God is calling you to do something for Him, expect to be tested.  Temptation is a test of your true character.  Literally, it is a proving of the heart -- a demonstration of your inner motives.  It challenges your convictions and exposes your weaknesses.   But it serves an important purpose.
Jesus, here in Matthew 4, is being led up into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  No doubt He was dreading such a trip -- He hadn't eaten in 40 days, the weather was likely hot, and the mountainous terrain would be rugged.  But it wasn't the devil who led Him up into the wilderness, it was the Spirit of God.
Yes, the Holy Spirit led Jesus.  Notice that word "led."  The transliterated Greek word is "anago," which means "to lead up into a higher place."  You see, the Holy Spirit was leading Jesus into a higher place.  And today, it's so important for you to understand that a testing from God will lead you into a higher place.  So often we think that when negative things happen, they bring us down.  But God's plan is to take you to a higher place.  He wants to broaden your perspective, to deepen your understanding.  And when you overcome, you will see that the real purpose of the test was not merely for you to succeed in a challenge, but for the Holy Spirit to empower you like never before.
Maybe you are in the middle of temptations right now.  Maybe you are experiencing challenging testings.  Realize that God is leading you with a purpose.  Life's trials and setbacks will make you either bitter or better.  They will leave you empowered by God -- strengthened in spirit and grateful in heart -- or bitter and defeated.  It all depends on whether you place your focus on yourself, or on the Lord.  After all, the only difference between being bitter and better is the letter "I".

New King James Version ®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version ® is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.

This devotional message is provided by Horizon Christian Fellowship.
© 2009 Mike MacIntosh. All Rights Reserved.

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