First, I came across Jesus' temptation after 40 days in the wilderness (starting in Matthew 4:1):
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."
Notice that the devil was questioning Christ's identity, and trying to make Jesus question it too. How often does that happen to us? I think it's a serious problem for us these days!!
4But he answered, "It is written,
"'Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Every time the enemy said "If you are the son of God..." instead of getting defensive or wondering if the devil might be right, Jesus told him what God said about himself. He completely relied on God! I usually feel threatened when someone questions if I'm genuine, and I usually wriggle in my skin feeling the need to prove myself and make sure they don't question me any more. And if I follow through with that feeling, it ends up making me look and feel sort of dumb I think.
I think that Christ's response really showed that he was secure in God - that he didn't have to do anything special just to prove he was God's son or that he was good enough. He just WAS good enough. And we are, too. If we know that then we're going to love ourselves and not feel like we don't quite measure up, which hopefully will keep us from doing foolish things in an attempt to make ourselves feel/look good enough for other people and God.
You and I are more than conquerers through Christ's love. We are God's children. We can come before him with absolute confidence that he will love us, care for us and answer us EVERY TIME no matter what we have done. We do not have to put up with lies or ANYTHING from the devil because we are not subject any more to his dominion over us as part of the family of God. Who we are has little to do with our behavior - it has to do with what God says about us. So we should maybe love ourselves and take some time to look into what God does say about us!
Knowing our identity in Christ is probably the most loving thing we can do for ourselves and it will make our lives so much more peaceful.
And that reminds me of a sermon I recently listened to... it is highly recommended, and not too long. Do yourself a favor (LOVE YOURSELF!) and listen to it!
Or, if you prefer to read (and you're a woman...) read So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.
TO BE CONTINUED (again)