Temptation and testing are not the same thing. When we are tested, our weaknesses are explored. When we are tempted, they are exploited. When Jesus was led into the wilderness by God’s Spirit it was in order to be tested. It seems that before he could embark on his public ministry, Jesus needed to pass some tests.
He faced three tests: 1) would he use the power of God simply to serve his own needs, 2) would he take short cuts to achieve his goal, and 3) would he be more interested in impressing people, than in helping them? These are fairly fundamental tests that we all need to face in some way.
During Lent, it is customary for us to test ourselves. This is a good thing to do. The thing with tests is that the gain is not so much from passing them, as in learning from our failures. One of my sons is currently preparing for his GCSE exams. His school are giving him regular tests so that he can learn from his mistakes. That’s how tests work.
Jesus spent 40 days sitting the devil’s tests, and he had is pretty tough time. But that is what he went into the wilderness for.
During Lent we will gain from letting ourselves be tested. However, don’t choose a test you will easily pass. Choose something that will push your limits, that may well involve failures, that will help you to be a human being better.