This is Part 3 of a 3-part series in which I describe the 3 biggest temptations used by the devil to shake our faith. If you haven’t read Part 1 and 2, you can begin reading them at The Three Biggest Temptations, Part 1.
Finishing up our series, we are drawing wisdom from Matthew 4:1-11 from Jesus’ own wilderness experience.
Looking Back For Just A Minute
Falling for the first temptation is to believe we’re only physical beings; that there isn’t a spiritual side to our lives. The devil tries to convince us to forget God and do things on our own. If that doesn’t work, then the 2nd temptation tries to get us to doubt God and His Word. Will God really take care of us? Can His Word be trusted? When we still don’t fall, the devil moves to his final temptation.
I Am Perfect!
Have you achieved perfection? Can you say this with me? I…Am…Perfect!
Something just goes in sideways, doesn’t it? If you want to know what true perfection is and how to achieve it, then here’s how.
First, let’s define true perfection. We have been bombarded for so long by the world’s idea of perfect that we seriously can’t bring ourselves to even think we could be. I recently taught at a Women’s Conference about the struggle we have trying to measure up to the world’s definition of perfection. I showed them a poster of an ad for a major retailer with a tall, beautifully tanned young woman in a tight-fitting black dress. She had long, flowing wavy hair. Her eyes were gorgeous and her face flawless. Her skin was smooth and without blemish and even her feet in little strappy sandals looked perfect! I asked the question,
Is your life like mine, marked by too many sad stories, too many bad choices? Does your heart look like someone is using it for target practice?
Starting in early childhood, I was ridiculed for the way I looked. I was skin and bones with a fair, freckled complexion. I didn’t go on a date until I was a senior in high school. My parents divorced after 30 years of marriage leading to the sudden death of my dad 6 months later. I wrote in my journal, “My dad died today of a broken heart.” I was only 16. I have also been through the heartache of miscarriage and divorce, and the debilitating stress of financial ruin, just to name a few. As a single mother of 3 with a boatload of self-loathing, I set out on a mission to prove to the world that I was worthy of a man’s love. I took as my mantra what another troubled friend told me after my divorce, “You gotta go out there and use men before they have the chance to abuse you.” Without going into detail, you can only imagine the places that led me. Because of my own choices and the damage caused by others who hurt me, I became a very miserable young woman. An older and much wiser friend said to me one day with all the love he could muster, “Darlene, if you don’t get rid of that bitterness and anger, it will eat you up like a cancer.”