Before Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, he spent 40 days in the wilderness. Before those 40 days he was baptized in the Jordan River. Water dripping off of Him, God the father spoke providing Christ with his true identity. "This is my son. I love him. I am pleased with Him." (Di's version) Then boom, the Holy Spirit lead him into the desert and he suffered temptation from Satan. Those temptations were for stuff (bread), fame (cast yourself off the building and let the angels save you), and power (rule the earth).
This is what I heard in church this morning. What follows is what I thought.
At 9 I was baptized. I didn't really understand, try as I did, what grace really meant but I knew it was important. A few months later, bam, I found the pornography that caused me to pull away from my human father. This left a huge painfully confused gap in my soul. I no longer had someone to speak my identity as a child's father should.
At 14, a college student shared his recent encounter with Jesus and this time I understood. I gave Him my heart and experienced the love of Christ within. A few months later, my cousin told me of her abuse at the hands of her brother in law but instead of running the other way, I ran to him, hungering for the attention.
At 17, I was engulfed by the Holy Spirit after crying for weeks to God that there must be more to this Christian walk. Within the month, Bob arrived on the scene as my new youth pastor and I chose his affirmation of my feminine self over what the Lord had to give me. For the next 4 years, hell reigned on and off in my life. And, for all these years since, I have battled against shame and the hunger for attention and affirmation from those in authority - whether it be church or school or work.
Three major steps in my life followed by three major temptations - all that I failed to conquer. Thank goodness Jesus did not fail, for in my failing, there is now the mercy and grace of God to hold on to.