temptation 3: assurance…

It has come to this.

40 days of wilderness. Hunger, thirst, emptiness. Turning our back on easy victories and instant fulfilment.

Choosing the road less travelled each time, further and further into our weaknesses to fully understand our need.

but are you sure that it’s all been worth it? What have you got from this? Where have you grown? Who has noticed this ‘change’ that you’re so proud of…

The whisperer is back for one more attempt to nudge us away.

prove it. Come on. Show us all that you’re important. You speak of trust and following…well..now’s your chance…

We stand alone. 

We are at our lowest ebb.

Broken, pride drained, empty.

Now would be the time to know that it was all worthwhile, that there was a purpose for all we’ve been through. We’ve proven our faithfulness, plunging on even when all seemed lost. 

One step of faith. A leap into the unknown. 

Surely our faithfulness would…no, should…be rewarded…

…if you were truly loved, you’d be caught…

Assurance is what we all want, isn’t it?

And yet we know there are no guarantees. We’ve seen many before us crumble, many around us suffer. 

No safety nets here.

The Way isn’t about success. It isn’t about reward.

The Way leads to pain and torment and loss…

The Way leads to a bleak hill just beyond a city wall…

if you are who you say you are, why don’t you rescue yourself…

You know where it leads to, and yet you know you had to follow.

You know that the point isn’t what you get, but who you are.

You know that death is life. As crazy as it sounds, true freedom is found here.

And so we turn our back one last time on those whispers that seek to undermine and destroy and choose instead peace and shoots of growth.

The whispers will return, such is the cost of following. But we know who we are, who we are becoming…that is enough for now.

This week, reflect on all we’ve been through on this journey together.

Embracing emptiness, rejecting cheap fullness…

Choosing weakness, turning our backs on power…

Valuing fear and uncertainty, knowing true faith is risky…

It ends here, and yet it all begins.

To experience life, we must walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Not rush through, but enter humbly into the way of the cross.

True life is found here.

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