i’m teaching sunday school for the young believers again because perze was transferred to the all time dreaded toddlers class who, although are adorabe in their own unique way, are very animated/misbehaved…but the Word Ministry felt it would be a great experience for him.
the lesson was a blessing to me. i liked how the book integrated well known basic educational tools such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into its lesson on temptation.
the levels follow:
1. physiological needs- clothes, shelter, food
2. safety and security
3. love and need
these are the basic human needs to which none are exempt in having. but these are also the tools that Satan uses in order to tempt us, because we are manipulated and lured by its promises in exchange for forfeiting our trust in God.
our basic example and proof, yet hope, is in Jesus, who was tempted by Satan in these levels because He was made flesh. Satan asked him to turn the stone into bread, tempting his primary need for food since He was hungry, having been fasting for 40 days/40 nights. jesus then was tempted at a high place, was shown all the kingdoms in the world, which he could own if He only worshipped Satan. Yet again, targeting Jesus’ self-actualization and need for love, Satan was rejected. He then tempted his security, safety and self esteem by challenging Him to throw Himself off the temple so that he can fully see if the angels will guard Him. Again, no bite.
If Jesus himself was tempted through all these levels, we too can be guaranteed situations that will test our faith. But the hope is in Jesus, that we too can overcome temptation. “It is better to trust God than to test God.” why? because in the end, there is a promise, a promise that says we will be blessed if we trust in God and not succumb to Satan’s seduction and manipulation of our needs.
this leads me to a story that perze told me just a few days ago, about his friend who he met in japan during his college internship. His friend jay didn’t have a lot of money and therefore would buy dollar noodles every day, and sometimes would walk 2hrs one way to get home or to school because he couldn’t afford train fare. He couldn’t ask for money from home because he didn’t want to burden his family in the Philippines. he was also studying as an artist, who needed a specific expensive tool for carving. All the other students had their own tool and Jay was left having to constantly borrow from his friends. But later on, there came a time when it was imperative for him to have his own, but added to all his other needs, he couldn’t afford them.
After some time of having to sacrifice and suffer, his needs were tested. Perze remembered him praying to God saying, “Lord, i know you love me. But if my parents, who love me so much, knew about how i was living, they would hurt to see me go through these things and would try to give all they could so i wouldn’t have to suffer. Yet, You, who I know loves me so much more than my parents, how can you see me like this?”
feeling discouraged yet not all together hopeless in his faith, he went to church a few days later. an elder came up to him and said, “brother jay, i feel like i want to bless you today,” and handed him $300, without hearing any previous complaints from jay about his hardships. after that day, jay was so humbled, knowing that the money came from God’s hands, His mercy, His love.
m y a p p l i c a t i o n :
yesterday, i really took this lesson to heart, for my life. last night, also being our 6 month wedding anniversary, perze and i pondered on our devotion and were really humbled by God’s hands. i thought about jay’s miracle and wondered if God was the same in my life, and He really is…the sunday perze and i got married, we sang “household of faith.” as i was singing the song then, i knew that we’d not only be a family of faith- believing in God or being Christians, but a family that lived faith.
sometimes we see faith as something that just deals with our comprehension, our mind, our thinking…but our faith is also our decisions, our behavior, our actions. faith is not just a conceptualization, wrinkle, or a theory. it is basis for living.
so we may be tempted with our needs, sometimes we don’t know why God withholds certain things. sometimes, we are at a point of 40 days and 40 nights, or we just want to be assured that angels will catch us when we fall, or we want so much from this world, but it is better to trust God than to test God. We should be assured that God loves us best, and He will not forsake us. He knows our personal and specific needs and will not leave us…