Yes, Jesus was tempted “in every way” just like we are. But the Bible says, “yet without sin”. How did He do that? Can we do that? Let’s take a look….
Jesus learned or developed a perfect and powerful method of handling the barrage of temptation thrown at Him by Satan. We all know the story of Jesus being led into the wilderness to be tempted and tested. He had not eaten in 40 days. He was in a desert. He was tired, hot, famished, thirsty, alone. He, like us, was vulnerable. The enemy thrives on vulnerable.
What happens when you are trying desperately to lose the spare tire around your middle…..someone makes your favorite dessert, or you go out to your favorite restaurant. What about when you and your wife haven’t had any intimate encounters in a couple of weeks….? You get to go on a road trip out of town all alone. And you can pretty much guess what things will be like at home after you’ve had a killer day at the office. Yes – the enemy knows when your weak, tired, on edge, and vulnerable and you can bet your bottom dollar he will try to take advantage.
Satan approaches Jesus where He is most vulnerable first – food. He is starving. I have fasted for a few days before, and I guess I am just a woos. I can’t make it very long. Jesus is on day 40, and a little hot bread would taste mighty good. But Jesus models for all of us the ultimate method of resisting temptation when it comes our way (and it will).
Even though He is quite hungry, He doesn’t give the enemy the time of day. He doesn’t mull over his offer. He doesn’t try to rationalize how God would understand since He is so hungry, and must keep His strength up to do ministry. He doesn’t consider it at all. It is as if He doesn’t even hear it. He immediately 1) takes his thought life “captive” (see 2 Cor. 10:5), then 2) speaks the truth (God’s Word) out loud to the tempter (he doesn’t wrestle in his mind), and uses His God-given authority to rebuke and rebuff the temptation.
Does the enemy run off and hide? Not a chance. He comes right back and tries another angle. Twice more, he circles around and tries to touch another nerve to get Jesus to bite. All three times Jesus follows the same pattern. Do you think there could be a lesson here for us?
You will be tempted, so “be alert”. Especially when you are most vulnerable. Expect it.
Satan is a liar and cannot tell the truth. The temptation will always come as a thought. It is a lie. “You deserve…..”, “No one will know….”, “It won’t hurt anyone…”, “I’ll stop after this time….”. – Satan has a thousand “reasons” to throw at you. If he can get you to bite the hook and agree with one of them, he will start reeling you in. Don’t stop to think about what he is whispering. Don’t listen. Don’t ponder. Don’t agree. Act now.
Speak God’s Word out loud regarding the temptation you are facing.
Satan is not omniscient. He doesn’t know or hear your thoughts. You cannot argue with, or confront him in your mind. Like Jesus, we must learn to speak to the tempter when temptation comes. It is not enough to think, or wish or hope it goes away. We have to know and use the authority of God’s Words….the Bible. Speak the Word appropriate to the situation. Example: “I will set no unclean thing before my eyes” – or “I am a child of the King and my body is the temple of His Holy Spirit”. The Bible is full of truth regarding who you are and what you have as a child of the King and a joint heir with Christ. You are bigger than this. Don’t fall for his schemes.
Use your God-given authority to rebuke and resist his assaults.
Luke 10:19 says – I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; We have the authority of Jesus when we are confronted by the enemy. In His name, we can vanquish all the assaults and schemes of the enemy. Also – memorize:
2 Corinthians 10:4 – The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
You and I have all the authority we need to not only resist temptation – but to live our life in daily victory over sin. The enemy will come. The temptations will enter our mind. What we do with them from there will determine whether we continue to “do those things I don’t want to do” which keep us in guilt and shame – or use the authority we have been given, and the sword of the Spirit (the Word) against them and begin to experience a life of victory and joy.
Let’s Live Like Who We Are.