Path to the Kingdom

Isaiah prophesied of the coming Messiah.  He would be called King of kings and Lord of lords.  The government would be on His shoulders.  In a word, He would be powerful.

In his own twisted way, Satan offered to “help” Jesus ascend to power.  He showed Jesus the kingdoms of the world.  If Jesus would simply worship Satan, then Satan would give Jesus power over the kingdoms.  Think about that for a moment.  Satan must have believed that the Lord’s mind was addled after fasting in the wilderness.  Jesus had been baptized in the Jordan River by John.  The Spirit descended.  God said, “This is my Son.”  Jesus knew His place in the world.  And after all of that, Satan offered a deal so that if Jesus would pay homage to Satan, then Satan would give Jesus a place to pay homage.  Jesus knew that the most powerful servant of Satan was still nothing more than a servant of Satan.  It hardly took Jesus a moment to turn down the offer and send Satan away saying, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”

Even though Jesus was God’s own Son, He knew that worship belongs to God alone.  In His human form, even Christ owed worship to God, just like us.  The Lord relied on the scriptures to reply to Satan.  Throughout His ministry He would rely on prayer to go to God.  This need to look to God and rely on prayer was well expressed by Joseph M. Scriven, who penned the words to What a Friend We Have in Jesus.  This beautiful hymn, originally titled Pray Without Ceasing, instructs and inspires us to rely on God and His Word throughout our lives.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Jesus faced trials and temptations beyond anything we will ever know.  Whatever we face on our pilgrim journey, Jesus understands it.  We can talk to Him about it.  We can take it to the Lord in prayer.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Challenge of Power, day 43 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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