Thursday, October 6, 2016

How To Escape Temptation

Luke 4

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

You would think that right after he was baptized, Jesus would begin his ministry right away. Yet, the same Spirit who descended upon Jesus like a dove, led him into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. It says that for 40 days he was tempted by the devil, and for forty days he fasted and didn't eat. Presumably Jesus was fasting as a form of spiritual preparation for the devil's assault.

After forty days, the devil picks the most obvious temptation for Jesus, "to turn stones into loaves of bread". Given how hungry Jesus was, even the stones probably looked pretty good. But at the heart of the temptation was not necessarily doing a miracle to feed himself, but to do a miracle to "prove" He was the Son of God. Of course Jesus could have taken the bait, but he knew that revealing himself as the Son of God's timetable not the devil.

And we see Jesus' main strategy to overcome the Temptstion was remember a quote from God's Word. In each of the next two temptations Jesus will say the same thing in response to each temptation, "It is written". Jesus knew the scriptures from studying in the temple as a young man, and know would use that knowledge to dispel the devil's lies. The Word of God spoken out loud gave Jesus the power to meet and overcome this temptation.

What do you turn to when you are tempted to do something outside of God's will for your life? Temptation can take many forms, even with things that might seem good on the surface, but might not be good for you. In this case turning stones into loaves of bread didn't seem like such a bad idea, especially since Jesus was very hungry. But the real temptation was to rely on God's truth versus Satan's lies. Jesus knew God would provide his daily bread if he trust in him.

Where are you tempted to turn loaves into bread? Where will you turn when you are tempted to rely on self rather than God? Jesus teaches us that we don't have to give into temptation, but we can stand on God's Word! If you need a verse to memorize why don't you try 1 Corinthians 10:13,

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

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