Grow Pray Study (GPS) Week 2
Wilderness Times – Temptation of Jesus
The journey has begun! However, that same spirit that descended on Jesus on the day of his baptism has led him to the wilderness where many temptations exist. During this second week of Lent, we will be looking at scriptures that deal with temptations and wilderness.
On every journey there are obstacles and barriers. Jesus’ journey is no exception. Use this devotional time to think about the temptations you encounter and the wilderness in which they exist.
Monday – Matthew 6:9-13
The Lord’s Prayer is very familiar to us. This prayer is used by Jesus to instruct the disciples on how to pray. Leading us not into temptation is a request that we should all be making. However, temptation is a reality. Note the very next line: but deliver us from evil. We can attempt to avoid all forms of temptation, but invariably temptation will find us. God is right there to deliver us from evil. What are some temptations or distractions that you are facing in your faith journey? What are some temptations that might prevent you from fully participating in the community of faith?
Tuesday – James 1:12-16
James clearly articulates here that the temptations you have are not placed there by God. God is not the one testing you, but nevertheless, life is full of temptations. No one has claimed that our faith journey would be easy. Making the right choice can be extremely difficult at times. Is there someone in your life that needs your help and support? What are some ways that you could help others endure temptations and receive the “crown of life that the Lord has promised”?
Wednesday – Matthew 26:36-46
All Jesus was asking his disciples to do was to stay awake and pray. It seems like such a simple request, but the disciples gave into the temptation of sleep. What was Jesus’ reaction when he found the disciples asleep a third time? He didn’t leave them there. Jesus said, “Get up, and let’s go.” Even when we fall into temptation, God doesn’t abandon us or leave us be. God is always faithful! There is nothing you can do to remove God’s love and support from your life.
Thursday – Genesis 21:14-21
Hagar and Ishmael were sent away into the wilderness. The wilderness can be a scary place. When Hagar assumed the worst and the wilderness was getting the best of her, God was there. Has there been a time when the wilderness seemed too much for you? Have you ever felt removed from God? The wilderness has a way of disarming us, but God hears us no matter where we are.
Friday – 1 Kings 19:2-15
The wilderness might be a place to retreat when life is not going your way. God has a way of finding us even when we are trying not to be found. God did not come to Elijah in the wind, an earthquake, or in fire. God was present in sheer silence. Sometimes we need our wilderness experience to hear the sheer silence. When has God spoken to you with silence? Have you ever listened for God in the silence?
Saturday – Sabbath Rest
Temptations and wilderness are a part of any faith journey. Just because God has called us on this journey does not mean there will be times when things are not going our way. There will be distractions. There will be temptations. There will be wandering in the wilderness. And there will be silence. God is in them all! Reflect on this second week of Lent with the purpose of hearing God through the distractions and the silence.
Suggested Daily Prayer
God of the wilderness, who calls us despite our longings for earthly distractions. Break through the clutter of our lives to show us a more perfect way. Continue to lead us on this journey by speaking to our hearts and minds your perfect love. Give us the strength to move past the wilderness and continue the journey. Thank you for never giving up on us. In Jesus’ name – Amen.