Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1-2)
Living For The Will Of God
The life of Jesus was remarkable as a man who lived in the flesh yet without sin. It is difficult to imagine how Jesus spent more than thirty years in the bodily form with the onslaught of Satan constantly confronting His soul to give in to the lust of the flesh and Jesus having the strength to remain true to His Father’s will. Pride was a constant trial for Jesus to endure as He had the power to raise the dead, feed thousands and curse living things with death. It would have been a shorter course to glory if Jesus would accept the invitation of the devil to receive all the kingdoms of the world. In all the trials of the Son of God, He mastered His spirit to learn complete obedience by the daily sufferings endured in the vicarious delicacies offered by the tempter. The suffering of Jesus was not what He had to suffer on the cross. His burden began when He confronted the devil on the fields of human flesh tempted with lusts and pride. The focus of Jesus’ life was that He would not waver from doing the will of His Father. He knew the will of God and He schooled Himself in every part of the word of God. When Satan confronted Him boldly at the beginning of His ministry, He staunchly declared that man could not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God. That was not a verse Jesus quoted to deflect the temptation of turning the stones to bread. His declaration was the firm affirmation that for thirty years His goal was to do nothing but what was contained within the word of the Lord. Jesus did not begin a moment Satan tempted Him in the wilderness to decide to serve His Father. From an early age, Jesus knew He had to be about His Father’s work. Living according to the will of God was the only thing that guided the life of Jesus. While the scriptures are silent to the activities relating to most of the life of Jesus, it is clearly defined in holy writ that Jesus of Nazareth was a man wholly devoted to serving God. Obedience came in the same fashion as it did for all men. Jesus learned the will of God and applied the eternal lessons to His life. When Satan came to Jesus (again) and tempted Him, Jesus was prepared. His spirit was ready to do battle with the evil one. Victory for Jesus came from doing the will of God.
There is a Biblical misnomer when the question is asked of when Jesus was tempted. Matthew, Mark, and Luke write in their gospels the story of the temptation but this does not recognize that Jesus was thirty years of age and His confrontation with the devil had been going on for a long time. What made the temptation of Jesus at age thirty so horrific was His fasting for forty days. However, He had endured many years of the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life and the lusts of the eyes. Jesus constantly had to fend off the wiles of the devil as a young man, a man growing into adulthood and a man who stood alone among His peers. At the age of twelve, He told Mary that He needed to be about His Father’s business and that was doing the will of God. Every fiber of His being was dedicated to knowing and understanding the word of His Father. He did not grow to manhood as the Son of God without the temptations of the devil hammering against His soul daily. What steeled Him against the fiery darts of the evil one was the will of God. Nothing penetrated the soul of the Son of God because His will was the will of His Father and Satan could not breach the eternal walls of righteousness. During His short ministry, the Lord continued to hold fast to the will of God. Praying in the garden the Son of God pleaded for relief but was comforted in the knowledge that what was to come was the will of the Father. The final words of Jesus underscore His constant devotion to the will of the Father when Jesus said, “It is finished.” Everything planned from the eternal ages was completed and finished as Jesus breathed His last. The will of God was accomplished.
Peter had seen firsthand the example of Jesus as a man devoted to the will of God. Often Peter would step out of bounds in his understanding of the work of the Lord but he learned how faithful Jesus was to the will of God. It is certain Peter would never be able to remove from his mind his own denial of the Christ and the horrific way Jesus was put to death. His epistles tell the story of a man changed by the life of Jesus Christ and how the sufferings of the Son of God were given as an example for all men to follow. Peter knew to overcome the wiles of the devil that a man must submit to the will of God. The ability to cease from sin is to increase the word of God in the heart. Those who profess allegiance to the Father must strive with every part of their being to refuse to live in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. It is a simple plan but so complex many do not see its value. Jesus left an example of faith in doing the will of the Father by submitting Himself to the will of the Father. There was no question where the heart of Jesus resided. Everything about the Son of God was in accordance with the will of God. If a man is to grow in spiritual maturity he must submit his complete will to the word of God. Being a servant of God requires full devotion to the will of the Master. Those who lack faith will find their weakness in how they follow the will of God. Greater faith comes from greater submission to the word and will of the Father. Live for Jesus. Live for God. Live for the will of God.