In Matthew 4:1-11, we see how Jesus was tempted by Satan.
The Temptation of Jesus
4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and” ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (1 Cor. 10:13 NIV).
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 NIV)
WISDOM FROM GOD’S WORD
We resist not by will power but by submitting to God’s will (a heart attitude) and knowing His word (an active pursuit). As I pondered this temptation of Jesus, it became clear that Christ did not use his heavenly powers but, as a human being like you and me, he was able to overcome each temptation by using the Word of God. This is indeed a struggle because jobs, family and other things of life can take away the time we need to pray, read and memorize God’s word and yet it is clear in this passage of Scripture that the word of God is the strength we need to overcome temptation. Hebrews 2:18 also tells us that because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. So as I think further about this, I believe rather than deny or repress the temptations we succumb to, we need to confess it to Jesus and ask for his help to overcome it while doing our part to bathe our minds with the Word of God and stand our ground against the temptations that come our way. The good news is that God promises that we will never be tempted beyond the common experiences of others or beyond our ability to deal with it. This devotional is an encouragement to myself and you that we may devote more time to prayer, the study of God’s word and the memorization of Scripture that will equip us to overcome temptation better.
A PRAYER YOU MAY CHOOSE TO PRAY
Heavenly Father, you know what I am being tempted on and today I choose to trust You. Help me overcome my temptation with the power of your Word. Give me strength to stand on your Word until Satan flees. I choose to obey you God and thank you that you will not let me be tempted beyond what I can bear. In Jesus name, AMEN.
Here’s a cartoon illustrated by Dana Long on temptation published in “I Never Knew That Was In The Bible” by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Don’t give up, persevere!