40 Days of Jesus: Day Two

Are there temptations in your life you feel like you simply can’t overcome? Do you try and try, doing well for a while, but sooner or later you give in?

I’ve been there more times than I can count.  There are many temptations thrown our way from food, sex, self-indulgence, etc., and we have a choice to believe we are sinners, will always be sinners, and just give in or we can keep seeking God, asking Him for strength to overcome our flesh.

I’m not here to lecture.  I am not here preaching from a soap box.  I’m here because I too struggle with temptations.  I’m here because I desire to walk with the Lord and live out my faith.  Yes, it is much easier for me to write it than live it, but just because it is hard doesn’t mean I am not called to it.  I am reminded of the Israelites and the Promised Land.  They were promised land, but they had to fight for it…”possession through conflict.”

There are many reason why we fall to temptations, but today I want us to concentrate on how Jesus responded to temptation.   I want us to look at Jesus, what he did and what he said to Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness.

Both Matthew and Luke have similar accounts, with the words of Jesus being very similar (Mark’s description is brief and John did not include it), so in the interest of space, I will only be using Luke’s account because it has more details (click here to read Matthew’s account)

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into[a] the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.

And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

But Jesus answered him, saying,[b] “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ “

Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him[d]all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”

Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you,’11 and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up,

Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

While Jesus did not speak it, the first thing I notice is “Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit.”  This my friends is vital to overcoming temptations…..Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit is often treated like the Cousin Eddie of the Trinity, but Holy Spirit is vital to our spiritual walk.  I know we come from different denominations and backgrounds, but I urge us all to know and understand Holy Spirit.  He is much more than our conscience as many churches teach.  Holy Spirit is our power.  It is Jesus, so to speak, living inside of us.  While we may be jealous that the disciples got to live, learn, and grow with a physical Jesus, those disciples did not really start to live out their faith or were empowered until Holy Spirit was released on earth.  All Christians have Holy Spirit.

 Acts 2:38 “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

The problem being for some, we are just not sure what to do with Him.  Now, I could get way sidetracked here, but I believe Jesus gave us a great example:

And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

But Jesus answered him, saying,[b] “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ “

Jesus knew the Word of God.  Jesus knew just what to say to overcome Satan.  Some say it is because He is God, which is true, but I also believe Holy Spirit gives us the words; brings remembrance of the Word we have read, studied and meditated on.

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

We need to know the Word of God; we need to lean on the power of the Holy Spirit.

Next, Satan tries to entice Jesus’s ego, “all this will be yours is you worship me.”  Once again, we see Jesus standing on the Word of God.  Furthermore,  we see Jesus evoking His power over Satan by telling Satan to “get behind me.”

“Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”

As Christians, we too have the power to overcome Satan.  Now there is great debate as whether or not we are to rebuke Satan ourselves or leave it to God, and I don’t want to go into that today, but here is what I can say…If we resist the devil, he will flee.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:7-8)

How do we resist…..submit to God.  What does submitting to God look like?  Well, I’d say it looks a lot like obedience.  But, be careful….obedience to the Word of God should come from a place of love and not a religious checklist.  I don’t walk in obedience to be loved, but rather because I am loved.  I strive to walk in obedience because I love God and I know He is trying to keep me from things that will hurt me.  Yes, sometimes sin seems fun in the moment.  But even the smallest of sins has lasting affects on my spirit even if I do not see or recognize them.  I am really starting to see the truth of this in my life (more about that late maybe….man I’m picking up many ideas for future studies).

Finally, Satan tries to tempt Jesus into proving God is God.  How many times do we fall into this trap.  We believe we have to prove something to someone.  Or we even try to test God ourselves…..if you are really God…do this…..if you really love me…give me this.  This is wrong, and once again, Jesus demonstrates the importance of knowing and standing on the Word of God.

Above all, I believe Jesus’ words and actions here show us that He was committed to His Father.  Jesus knew His purpose.  He knew His life was to be doing His Father’s work.  My sweet friends, our purpose is the same.  Since we now belong to God, our lives should be devoted to doing His work.  Some may argue, I’m not a minister; I’m not a missionary; I am an ordinary person.  I will say it doesn’t matter.  Whatever we do we are supposed to do for the glory of God.  No, it is not easy, but often times we take possession of promises through conflicts and battles.  Just because it is hard does not mean we are not called to do it or it isn’t of God.

Submit to God and resist the devil……victory is coming.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,

Missy

 

 

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