if you are…

Luke 4:1-15 (TNIV)

1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.’
4 Jesus answered, ‘It is written:’ People do not live on bread alone. ”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.’
8 Jesus answered, ‘It is written:’ Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. ”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
‘ ‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ‘
12 Jesus answered,’ It is said:’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ‘
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
Jesus Rejected at Nazareth
14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

I am a child of God. It is who I am, but there are times when I fall for the lies of the evil one and question my identity. That little voice in the back of my head convinces me that I am incapable or underqualified and that God couldn’t possibly love me or include me as long as I’m still struggling with ___________. God couldn’t possibly use me in his Kingdom work until I figure out _________. I fall for the lie and fall into complacency. I get stuck and stop moving towards the vision God has placed on my life. I stop living out my hopes and dreams.

Here’s the thing… the best lies (or at least the most convincing ones) are those that actually use what is true as a weapon. I think this is why it is so easy to fall prey to the kind of identity questions that Jesus was challenged with during his wilderness temptation. “If you are the Son of God…” Essentially the tempter is saying, “Prove it! This is, ‘Son of God behavior’ so if you are… do this. Show me your qualifications.” But Jesus isn’t the son of God because of what he can do. He is the Son of God… period.

The truth is, I AM incapable and underqualified to do what God has called me to do (and this is true for any of us)… on my own. I could never have enough experience or read enough books or find enough “right” answers. These things are true. But it is also true that none of that changes who I am. I am a child of God, not because of what I can do or what I know. I am a child of God because through Jesus I have been welcomed into the family of God. So, I can either listen to the voice of the one who tries to convince me that my resume is incomplete or I can trust that despite my weaknesses God has given me everything I need to be who God is calling me to be. Is it easy? No. Are there going to be times when I mess things up? Yes. Does God still believe in me, even then? Absolutely!

Lord, let me live today as one who trusts in the promise of your presence. Give me the courage to be who you have called me to be.

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