In the first Sunday of Lent, we have the Gospel reading of the temptation of Christ in the desert by Satan. The Gospels tell us that the Spirit drove Him, or led him, into the desert where He fasted for 40 days and nights. The words, “The Spirit led Him into the desert” caught my attention.
One of my doubts constantly is that I’m not actually following the Lord, that I’m following my own path. Especially considering all the trials and sufferings I’ve experienced since I really began to walk with Him some 9 years ago. I often think that I must have gotten off the straight and narrow path somewhere along the way because He certainly would not let me suffer so for so long. And then, I see here that the Spirit led Our Lord into the wilderness. In the wilderness, He suffered and was assailed by doubts and temptations and whisperings of His inadequacy as a Son of God…”If you are the Son of God, then…” Two out of the three temptations begin that way. I often hear that doubt myself, “If you were truly God’s daughter, you would…” The Gospels clearly tell us who is behind that voice. That is the voice that sneers, “You would do this better, you would be successful, you would do amazing things…” and on and on it goes. And when it’s not those temptations, then it’s the “God is not good” temptations. “He would not let you suffer, He would not have led you into a mess and abandoned you, if you weren’t so sinful He would not have to punish you so much…” The temptation of Christ on the cross was the temptation to despair. “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me!” But then, He as God’s Son immediately follows up that thought, that agony, with the trustful abandonment of His whole being to Our loving Father, “Father, into Your hands, I commend my Spirit.”
Lord, let me also recognize that voice of the deceiver. Let me also recognize when he tries to twist Your Word to serve his own destructive purposes, and let me counter him with the appropriate application of Your Word, as you did. And let me follow up each moment of doubt and temptation with abandonment to Our Father, “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit.”