In a recent blog, “…and away we go,” I referenced the solid rock layer discovered by the workers attempting to dig a hole for the pool installation. Rather than dirt with many rocks, they encountered what appeared to be one massive rock below the first foot or so. We stayed in the Branson area, where rocky ground is prevalent, so this wasn’t completely unexpected. However, it surprised the workers how resilient this rock proved to be.
I watched them hammer at the rock one afternoon. They approached it from one angle and then another, chipping away edge pieces and looking for weaknesses that might cause larger chunks to drop off. Sometimes the flat tip of the hammer slid off the edge because it was too close, but small adjustments in the angle of approach caused the edge to splinter off in chunks that the other skid steer grabbed with the bucket and carted off. Piece by piece, they chipped away at the rock, trying to dismantle it to rubble. Their efforts eventually failed that day when the entire hammer tip broke off. The workers left for the day in anticipation of returning with new equipment and resuming their work.
As I contemplated these events, it reminded me of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Each of the temptations was a direct assault and attempt to get Jesus to crack and break. Two of the three temptations started with “If you are the son of God…then.” Their goal was to get Jesus to depend on his own efforts instead of trusting God, to reject the will of God, and pursue self-exaltation. Scripture records that after Jesus remained strong and overcame the temptations, Satan “departed from him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13, ESV)
We face similar temptations to take care of ourselves and pursue our own interests instead of God’s will. Satan attacks us like a jackhammer looking for some weakness to break our trust in God. As we resist, he changes tactics and comes at us from a different angle. We fight the same way Jesus did, by remembering and standing on the truth of Scripture. When he is unsuccessful, he may leave us until a later time, hoping to catch us unawares.
Jesus understands our struggles and is there to help. “…because we don’t have a high priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses but instead one who was tempted in every way that we are, except without sin. Finally, let’s draw near to the throne of favor with confidence so that we can receive mercy and find grace when we need help.” (Heb 4:15–16. CEB)
What we need…what I need…is a rock-solid faith to resist Satan’s efforts to weaken and break my trust in God’s faithfulness and provision.