Saturday, November 09, 2013

The Challenge Continues, Day 307: Hosea 9-10; Psalm 102; Matthew 4

God as our Sufficiency
Jesus is in the wilderness, facing temptation. Three times the Accuser challenges him to use his power, his privilege and his autonomy to either abuse what God has given him, or use it to his own comfort and benefit. The assumption is that the hunger, thirst and want Jesus is experiencing will trigger his inherent weakness as a human being and lead him from temptation into sin.

But that isn't how it works out. It turns out, and the narratives of the Gospels bear it out, that the one thing we need more than anything else is to recognize that our true sufficiency is in God. Water, food, shelter, comfort and power come and go. We will sometimes not have enough, and sometimes have more than enough to survive. What we need more than anything else is the awareness of, and a connection to, a God who is intimately involved in our lives and is invested as we are in an outcome that fulfills God's will for us.

When we "need" or "want," we are letting our worries, our fears and our hungers out from their pens in the depths of our being...allowing them to see the light of day in the hope that when sated they might be quieted. The problem with assuming that we could possibly be able to control these elements in ourselves without God's love and nurture is in the end the goal of the Accuser. "I don't need/want God" is the threshold of sin. It's what gets us into the deepest forms of trouble. It is why Jesus is in the world in the first place, to embody the truth that a human will in alignment with God's will stands apart from simple want. When God is our sufficiency, then all else is possibility. We don't live by bread alone. We don't need to put God to the test. The world's power holds no special attraction for us.

God is enough.

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