Lessons from Jesus

Beware the Tempter

Matthew 4:1 – Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Temptation comes to all of us in various shapes and forms, but what tempts me won’t necessarily tempt you and vice versa. We all have different weaknesses which in most cases are not sinful of themselves. It’s not sinful to be tempted by a nice slice of chocolate cake but it does become an issue when it turns into constant gorging. There is no sin in buying a ticket to watch ice hockey but when the Sunday match starts to take precedent over church fellowship, there’s a problem. One of the greatest weapons the devil has is Temptation

Temptation is sly and subtle and creeps in slowly. It is cunning in approach, using something simple to lure you in. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and nights and the bible tells us he was hungry. The devil sees an opening, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” The thing about fasting is that it is always accompanied by prayer and you don’t come out of 40 solitary days communing with God in a weakened spiritual state. The body may have been hungry but the spirit was full. Jesus could immediately see what the devil was trying and he answered, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

The second and third temptation are much less subtle as the devil tries to appeal to ego and status. What a complete misjudgement of the Lord’s character. Can the same be said when the tempter comes to us? Has he misjudged your character or have you misjudged his? We need to be so careful with what we allow to take priority in our lives; what we allow to occupy our time. I would say that we mostly know where our weaknesses lie (there are probably some still undiscovered). Ask God to help you strengthen your defences so that not even the toe of temptation can get in the door. Keep your focus solely on the Lord and make sure He occupies pole position in your life. Then be sure to let the devil know that he has no place with you.

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.’” Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

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