Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Matthew 4:1
Just after Jesus was publicly declared the beloved Son of God, He is led away to be tempted by the devil. Be alert, friends! I firmly believe the devil pulls out his best moves when we are on the brink of God using us for something big. If you are feeling especially tempted, a huge blessing and calling may be patiently waiting on the other side of your overcoming.
The temptation of Jesus calls out the devil’s strategies, and more importantly, how we can overcome them. You see, the devil is sneaky, but he is also predictable. Three temptations are thrust upon Jesus. Familiar temptations in the devil’s playbook. 1 John 2:16 sums them up, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” These were the same temptations used against Adam and Eve to thrust sin into the world and give the devil a temporary authority over it.
The devil knows our weaknesses…using our gifts for selfish purposes, lusting after and coveting things that aren’t ours to have, needing to prove ourselves, and striving for power and self-glorification.
Adam and Eve failed their temptation by the devil. We do too at times. But Jesus never did and He shows us a way to overcome. Jesus doesn’t resort to some supernatural power unique to Him to combat the devil’s temptations…He uses something available to us too: He is prepared with prayer and fasting before the temptation comes and He uses the Word of God to fight the devil. In response to each of the three temptations thrust upon Jesus by the devil, Jesus quotes Scripture.
Prepare yourself now, before temptation comes, in prayer and abiding with God. When temptation comes – and it will – have Scripture handy. Then with open eyes and an obedient heart, be on the lookout for God’s next assignment that perhaps the devil was trying to keep you from.
Challenge: Commit a Scripture verse or two to memory to help fight temptation when it comes.
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