PASSING THE TEST OF LIFE, by Fr Oluwafemi Victor Orilua, CSSp


Genesis 2:7-9,3:1-7, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11


QUOTE: Every day confronts us with the temptation to sin, but when we are baked in the word of God, we have no fear of failing the Lord.

These days, Satan would derive less joy appearing as a monster to terrify or to tempt people. He would rather vacate some of his posts in the street and locate comfortable niches in the modern systems that embrace his values under the guise of secularism or free thinking, protected by the new world order which fight day and night to hold the nations under siege.

Obviously, the temptation of Jesus shows us the template through which the devil operates in the world today. He operates through the cravings of our hearts and seeks to build a system that meet our fleeting needs. He is creating a world where right is enthroned above responsibility and freedom is seen as a choice to do away with God’s values.

He operates through human lacks or poverty. We have seen how he told Jesus to turn stone into bread. Meaning, he should use what he has to get what he wants. At times, he appeals to our needs as the reasons why we should cut corners. He drugs people into unending craving for wealth.

Jesus refuted the temptation to thirst for fame. In our world today, some have sold their souls for fame. Satan said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God’ he said ‘throw yourself down; for scripture says: He will put you in his angels’ charge, and they will support you on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone.” Let us remember, that if the world endorses us while the Lord has not announced us, we will surely pay dearly for fame.

Moreover, Satan hides behind societal ills which lure people to compromise their faith. He told Jesus “I will give you all these’ he said, ‘if you fall at my feet and worship me” There are many juicy offers out there which make people give up their God-given values to choose what is in vogue. Many have paid heavily for worldly gain because they have been forced to join what they cannot beat.

However, every day confronts us with the temptation to sin, but when we are baked in the word of God, we have no fear of failing the Lord. Ignorance of God’s word keeps us in the danger zone. Jesus did not confront Satan with any other show of power than to make known to him how he has failed by the word’s standard. There are some situations we meet in our homes, workplace, or interaction with others, which bring us close to the test of the devil. We need to pray for God’s wisdom to address them without falling short of God’s will.

Moreover, when we censure what we store in our hearts and keep our mind pure, we develop the best resistant again the tactics of Satan. And as we keep on resisting him without giving in to his wiles, he will be tired and will surely disengage himself.

Our testimony then, comes from the assurance that every temptation we surmount adds new feather to our wings. As the devil left Jesus, angels appeared and looked after him. It is either we are prey to Satan, or we are threat to him. We are victorious over him by our knowledge of who we are in Christ Jesus.

May we never be doubtful of our identity as God’s children and may the word of God dwell in us in all its richness that we may always live above all that stand against our faith in God. Amen.

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