Summary: God has an adventure for you! What are you willing to sacrifice?
How many of you have used a GPS? We got one last fall for our trip to visit our friends in Fredrick Maryland. I have to say that it takes getting used to. We had to do a bit tweaking to it. We changed the voice to a British accent and we named it Jeeves. We did this because a British accent is easier to ignore. We tried using the voice of a Hungarian grandmother but she just made me feel guilty.
GPS’s really don’t have a bunch of value when you are in an area that you know well because chances are that you can pick a better route than Jeeves. Where Jeeves shines is in unknown territory. Jeeves did a great job getting us around Maryland and West Virginia in the fall and Phoenix in the spring and Cleveland a couple of weeks ago.
What Jeeves enables us to do is go to places we would never find without his help. GPS’s are great for finding local areas of interest, stores and restaurants. In fact, I have all the Tim’s and Starbuck’s locations in North America keyed in to Jeeves so we can always find a coffee! Ultimately a GPS just gives you added confidence to get out into the world of the unknown and be more adventurous.
One of the things I have noticed about myself is that there have been times when Jeeves would say one thing and I would begin to question whether he actually knew what he was talking about. There have been several times when I have had to make a decision—either trust Jeeves or trust my instincts and in those times I have consciously thought to myself—Jeeves hasn’t lead me astray so far so I should trust him. Still, sometimes I listen to Jeeves and sometimes I listen to myself, get lost, and then listen to Jeeves.
Now I realize that GPS’s are not fool proof. You also have the responsibility of being aware of your surroundings. A GPS doesn’t replace your eyes or common sense. Every once in a while you hear of people like the woman who recently drove her car into the water, or the truck driver who cut off the top of his trailer going under a bridge because his GPS didn’t know he was driving a truck, silly GPS, or this poor guy in Milan Italy who took a “wrong turn” and ended up on train tracks holding up the train for hours. But still, I have learned to trust and obey Jeeves, particularly in unknown territory, because he has a proven track record.
Please turn with me to Matthew 4:1-11, p. 815
Today we’re going to look at the “Mountain Of Trust.” Now, as we turn there and you realize that we are actually looking at the wilderness temptation of Jesus, you might think that this sermon should be about temptation and not trust. Well, you’d be wrong, so there!
Actually, I would agree with you since my sermon was entitled “The Mountain of Temptation” until Friday. But as I studied Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness, I noticed that Jesus’ temptation was really all about His relationship with, and His trust of, the Father.
Beginning with verse 1 we read: “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” Let’s stop there for a moment.
Notice the ‘Then’ that begins verse 1. The ‘then’ shows a connection between what has just happened and what is about to happen. You will remember that Jesus’ baptism was just prior to this time of testing. In Jesus baptism’ we have the acceptance of Jesus to begin what would become three and a half years of focused, driven ministry that would end in His sacrifice. From this moment on He would be about doing the will of the Father by building the kingdom He came to establish. But, He would do it by being a servant—not a ruler. And His ministry would be characterized by sacrifice—not privilege; suffering—not ease. Ultimately the cross casts a shadow across the waters of Jesus’ baptism.
Matthew 3 ends with these words: As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17)
At Jesus’ baptism, Jesus was officially identified by God as His Son and the Spirit came upon Him. Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. You got to love this. One moment we have this amazing transcendent celebration as God in the fullness of His nature testifies to Jesus’ anointing and ministry, but then the Spirit leads Jesus into the desert to be tempted by the devil—so much for the celebration.