Obedience

Jesus suffered temptation so I can experience victory. In Michael Card’s book “A Violent Grace,” he writes:

Until Gethsemane, Jesus’ life has been one continual yes to the Father. And that doesn’t change this night in the garden. The only begotten Son is on a mission of love–a mission that He affirmed in that first assault in the desert–and the Father’s desire is for Jesus to finish the work He has been sent to do. Where does Jesus find the strength to overcome? I find the answer in seven perfect words: “Not my will, but thine be done.”

When you think about it, every temptation we face gets its power from our desire to say yes to ourselves–to our own rights, wants and needs–and no to God. The Bible’s word for that response is disobedience. It’s a pattern that began with Adam and Eve. Surely the serpent deceived them when he tempted them to taste the forbidden fruit, just as Satan often deceives us in our moments of testing. But deception is just the bait. The trap is always sprung by a clear choice to disobey God–to say, “Not thy will, but mine be done.”

At Gethsemane, although Satan has done his best to confuse and deceive Him, Jesus chooses painful obedience. If choice is one side of the coin in overcoming temptation, then cost is the other. To make a choice is to slay the alternative.

Praise God for Jesus’ victory in the garden and His perfect accomplishment of God’s will, in spite of the agonizing temptation to choose not to. With His gift to us, by choosing love and obedience, He provides me with the will and the grace I need to obey completely. And I can thank Him already for victory in every darkness because I know He is sufficient for me in all things.

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