In Matthew chapter 4 we read that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness by the devil.
What a bumpy start to Jesus’s ministry. Right after he was baptised, God announced from the heavens that he was pleased with his son and the first thing that happens is he is led to the middle of nowhere! We are crazy to think that just because we are children of God, that everything will be smooth sailing.
After Jesus had fasted for forty days this was the perfect time for the father of lies to try and trap him. There are 3 ways he attempts this. (Take a couple of minutes to read the passages)
- Matthew 4:3-4 =Hunger
- Matthew 4:5-7 =Safety
- Matthew 4:8-10 =Power
On the surface there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with satisfying your hunger, especially if you are hungry, who wouldn’t want to be kept safe by angels and we could all do with a bit of extra power right? It would seem that the devil is being a nice dude to Jesus, just trying to help him out-NO.
At the heart of these interactions is an attempt to make Jesus use his divine power to have his needs met instead of trusting his father.
Jesus could have easily had his needs met through the calling of angels, or some other supernatural way and come out on top, but that’s not his way. He could see through the devils schemes and instead he chose to resist all 3 temptations with the proper use of scripture.
If Jesus knew how important it was to know, understand and use scripture to stand firm against temptations, what makes us think that we can use our own wisdom when we are being tempted?
There will be times on our Christian journey when we will prefer to deal with temptation in our own way, and in our own strength. But like Jesus, we need to make a choice to follow in his steps by turning to Gods Word for the strength and guidance we need to stay strong. This means knowing and understanding scripture for ourselves, or as it says in Psalm 119, We are to hide the Word in our hearts so that we wont sin.
So when we are tempted we will be held up with the Word of God.
- What does this tell us about God? That sometimes he will lead us into uncomfortable places, but he wont leave us there alone.
- What does this tell us about Jesus Christ? That he understood the importance of the word of God, he knew that scripture was alive and active, and used it when it mattered most.
- And for us? This means we can trust God and the bible, especially when in the wilderness. And part of having the mind of Christ is making good choices to rest on the Word given to us, especially when temptations come our way.
Do you meditate on and memorize scripture so it is stored in your heart and mind? If not, will you now make the time to prepare yourself for when you are tempted to sin and do things your own way?
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