’The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.”
And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” ’
The devil isn’t creative. He can’t make things out of nothing. God alone is the Creator and every other bit of His creation has to make something out of something.
So when it comes to temptation, the devil has one playbook and he’ll use it over and over. He used it on Eve and Adam, he used it on Jesus, and he’ll continue to try to use it on every on of us.
He attacks our identity.
What defines our identity.
Where we get our identity.
And the things that we want, that often lead back to… our identity.
So when Jesus was asked “If you are the Son of God,” the question wasn’t about heredity or inheritance, it was about Jesus’ identity. His identity would be shown in one and only one way: His obedience to His Father’s will. You can see Jesus do a lot of different things and say a lot of great words, but His number one apologetic was His obedience to the will of God. That is what would get God to shout from heaven multiple times “This is my Son.”
Temptation exposes our identity every time. If I am [one of the cherished and forever adopted] son of God, then get my needs met by fulfilling this greedy desire. Right? It’s never worded that way, but that’s the pure heart of it.
If you are the son of God, you should be happy…
If you are the daughter of God, you deserve this or that…
So the next time temptation comes, look for the attack on your identity. Do you find your identity in your hard work, your money, your pious purity, or your witty rebellion? Every single little thing that we draw on for our identity that isn’t Jesus submitting His life and will to the Father needs to be cleared out.
Every single thing that we get our worth from that isn’t the full life of Jesus needs to be properly priced, labeled, and shipped out to second place. Or third. Or fourth.
We can do it willingly and it’s called spiritual growth, or we can wait and let the Lord do it and call it discipline. Either way, the Lord doesn’t want to be second place on our ID card. As He forms us and makes us into beautiful parts of His Body, He will build His church.
He promised, and He knows who He is.