The third and last temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness, according to Luke, was the temptation to take the easy road. Satan tempted Jesus to test God, to presume upon his protection (Luke 4:9-11). Claim God’s promises, Satan said, and skip all the suffering.
It’s the temptation we face today. Skip the hard parts and live an easy, comfortable life.
Pastors face this temptation:
The minister of Christ is placed in a position where his labors and his troubles are incessant … The dark suggestion crosses his mind, “Give it up; leave the work…” (C.H. Spurgeon)
Individuals face this temptation. So do churches. I can’t imagine how many churches are have become comfortable. They’ve given into one of Satan’s greatest temptations and they don’t even know it.
John Piper comments:
Satan skips over adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, murder—those temptations are too obvious. Those are the games that sub-devils play with weak saints. Jesus is no fall guy. When Satan means business with a strong saint, he sticks with religion and he makes the Bible his textbook…
Satan’s aim in this church today is to hinder you from following Jesus when he says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (in the path of suffering)” (Luke 9:23).
This sentence from Piper haunts me: “Satan might do anything to prevent you from suffering.” One of the greatest temptations out there is one that we don’t even recognize as a temptation.