Matthew 4:1 – 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ “
Have you ever been going along, doing exactly what you feel God wants you to do, and than, ZAM! All of a sudden, everything goes south. You feel tired and frustrated, and you’re tempted to do things you know you shouldn’t. You start to feel that you must be doing something wrong. Surely, if you were doing things right, if you were really pleasing God, things wouldn’t be so hard.
But this passage proves that Satan targets us during those times when we are doing it right. The Holy Spirit had led Jesus to the desert, shortly after His baptism. Remember, God had announced to the world, “This is my Son. I am well pleased with Him.”
Sometimes, we are tempted by things that aren’t wrong, in and of themselves. But Satan will often tempt us to give in to healthy, God-given desires at the wrong place and time. It wasn’t wrong for Jesus to be hungry. Eating is not a sin. But Jesus had been called to fast during that time. There are other natural, God-given desires which, within the appropriate context, are good. Yet, when we give in to those desires at the wrong place and time, we sin.
Jesus responded to temptation by quoting scripture. Paul told us in Ephesians 6:17 that the Word of God is our sword, which we use to fight Satan. It is important to know God’s Word, and to obey it. Satan knew the scripture as well as Jesus did, but he didn’t obey it. Jesus was both knowledgeable and obedient to scripture, and He won against Satan.
Are you being tempted? Make sure you haven’t foolishly placed yourself in a situation that has brought the temptation. But if you feel you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, hang in there! Obey God, stay close to His Word, and remind Satan what it says.
Dear Father, Thank You for Jesus’ example of how to deal with temptation. Help me not to give in to things that I know are wrong.
For a second cup, see: Mark 1:12; Luke 4:1; Deuteronomy 8:3: Acts 8:39