“Jesus was tempted in every respect as we are yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
Matthew records Jesus’ encounter with Satan in the desert. Jesus overcame the temptation and left us an example.
- Satan waited to tempt Jesus when He was hungry (and presumably weak). His temptation was fitted to Jesus’ situation. “…command these stones to become loaves of bread.” Matthew 4:3
Jesus responded with a Scripture that specifically addresses the temptation. Jesus was prepared with the appropriate weapon to combat the specific temptation.
Lesson #1: Be ready. Memorize Scripture. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 What weapons do you have in your arsenal to combat the temptation of Satan?
- The second ploy, a tactic of Satan, is the use of Scripture in an attempt to mislead or confuse Jesus. Christ’s response was to counter this misappropriated Scripture Satan used with a larger principle of truth. We need to keep the big picture of God’s Word in focus. “…for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.” Acts 20:27
Lesson #2: Be wise. It is important to know the whole counsel of God’s Word rather than just a handful of Scriptures so that we may not be easily misled. Be wise. Be discerning. Check your thinking with the entirety of God’s Word.
- The third temptation, in fact in response to all three temptations – Christ responds: It is written… He speaks with authority and assurance. After the third temptation Christ says, “Be gone, Satan!”
Lesson #3: Be sure. We can be sure that Satan’s temptations will not succeed in the face of God’s truth spoken and believed. Both are necessary to pack a one-two punch to overcome temptation in your life.
Be ready. Be sure. Be wise.
Written by Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and is the Executive Director & CEO of Changed Choices, a Christian non-profit in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Think About This: “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” – Augustine