HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.” (Luke 4:1-2).
Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost, and yet He was tempted. Temptation often comes upon a man with its strongest power when he is nearest to God. As someone has said, “The devil aims high.” He got one apostle to say he did not even know Christ. How many Christians has he gotten in his hands today that deny the power of the Holy Spirit?
Very few men have such conflicts with the devil as Martin Luther had. Why? Because Martin Luther was going to shake the very kingdom of hell. Oh, what conflicts John Bunyan had! (Read THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS)
If a man has much of the Spirit of God, he will have great conflicts with the tempter. God permits temptation because it does for us what the storms do for the oaks–it roots us, and what the fire does for the paintings on the porcelain–it makes them permanent.
You never know that you have a grip on Christ, or that He has a grip on you, as well as when the devil is using all his force to attract you from Him; then you feel the pull of Christ’s right hand. It is through the temptation that Christ is revealed to you and where you gather your strength. Like David said, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my strength.” He further reminds us that his strength comes from the Lord who makes the heaven and the earth.
Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. God hath many sharp-cutting instruments, and rough files for the polishing of His jewels; and those He especially loves and means to make the most resplendent, He hath oftenest His tools upon.
I bear my willing witness that I owe more to the fire and the hammer, and the file than to anything else in my Lord’s workshop. I sometimes question whether I have ever learned anything except through the rod. When my schoolroom is darkened, I see most. If you need to see where you are in this world and what is your purpose, turn off the lights. For the light of God shines best in darkness. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. That is when temptation brings out the best in the believer. Let your light shine before men that they may see your good work and glorify your Father in heaven. Blessings to all.