“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” (Mt. 4:1)
I want to talk about temptation. I don’t, though, want to talk about temptation in the usual ways. I’m not going to speak about our temptation to lust, be lazy, spread gossip, hold grudges, fuel anger, deny our responsibility to help others, or be envious.
Instead I want to talk about our temptation to live lives that are much smaller than what God intends. We live small lives when we allow a defeat to defeat us; when a betrayal keeps us from ever trusting again; when we think our sins are greater than God’s grace; when we pretend we are weaker than we actually are; when we deny our incredible gifts; when some hurt leads us to stop living, stop hoping, stop acting, stop loving.
Why are we here? We are here to give glory to God. We give God no glory when we live small lives. We have an awesome and incredible God, which means that God wants us to have awesome and incredible lives. We have a God worthy of praise, and God desires that we worship with every breath we take.
Jesus didn’t come to this earth so that we would make this earth a small and confining place. He didn’t confront the forces of darkness so that we would be cowards. He didn’t risk everything by going to Jerusalem so that we would shirk our responsibilities. He didn’t go to the cross for us to snivel and flinch. He wasn’t raised from the dead so that we would retreat into our own tombs of fear.
Instead of being tempted to lead small lives, Jesus encourages us to live large, live strong, live bountiful—for His glory and for our joy.
If you are currently living smaller, weaker, and are more afraid than God intends, how come? Who or what put a lid on your energy, a limit on your joy, a drain on your confidence?
What might living larger, bolder, and stronger look like for you?
Are you giving glory to God by how you act, walk, speak, serve, commit, and think? If not, isn’t it time to do so?