Volume: 926 October 2, 2023
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All people face temptations at one time or the other. Often, we can choose to do God’s will and way or ignore His desires and do what we desire.
Jesus was not exempt from facing similar temptations. The most famous of Jesus’ trials is in Luke 4, where the devil tempted Jesus.
Although most of us will not rank the personal attention of Satan’s temptations, we can learn how to face our temptations by following Christ’s example. What gave Christ the victory then will help us succeed today.
In all three testings (Luke 4:1-13) Jesus faced, He was victorious. We can also win when we are tempted to sin. We do not have to succumb to the impulse to lie, cheat, deceive, commit adultery, or any other weakness our flesh wants to give in to.
None of Jesus’ trials were won by clever answers, reasoning with the enemy, or compromising. They were overcome by simply quoting and abiding by biblical principles.
When Jesus was tempted to turn the stones into bread, He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “… make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” Satan attacked again and tried to tempt Jesus by offering power and the things on Earth. Christ’s defense was scriptural: “…Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve.…” Deut. 10:20.
By the third temptation, Satan knew how Jesus would fend him off. Satan attempted to counter with Scripture. Satan’s misquoting and misusing of God’s Word (Psalm 91:11, did not hamper Jesus. Jesus simply quoted Deuteronomy 6:16: “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God….”
The key to facing temptation is not running from it, ignoring it, or giving in to it. It is determining if it is wrong, and if so, sticking to the guidelines given in the Bible. That is why reading and studying God’s Word is so important.
One never knows what temptations will be faced. When you do encounter them, will you know what God’s Word says about the confronting trial? Do you know Scripture well enough to make it your protection and guide you through the pitfalls you are encountering?
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13
One of the most important principles for a Christian to understand is that there is a spiritual battle going on. Most of the assault is invisible, but the war against God and His followers rages.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
Peter closed his letter in I Peter with a similar warning as was stated in Ephesians 6:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8
Many Christians trust Christ as Saviour, but that is as far as the relationship goes. They never see there is a spiritual battle around them, they are involved in it, and they are a casualty.
A Christian cannot lose his salvation in the battle. It is already bought and paid for. His name was already written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life. However, a Christian can have his testimony destroyed in the foray. That is the intent of the enemy, Satan. He cannot take a saved man to Hell with him, but he can make sure the child of God is of no use to the cause of Christ. If he can wound one of God’s warriors, that Christian will be out of the battle, at least temporarily.
Sadly, Satan has won many battles. Many Christians have been saved, but the “roaring lion” sought them and devoured their zeal and testimony.
The enemy of God and mankind may have pounced on a Christian’s pride and sent the child of God permanently home from church because his feelings were hurt. Satan’s efforts may have crippled a babe-in-Christ by making it seem like the Word of God was too hard for him to understand, so the believer never read the Bible and was weakened by spiritual ignorance.
Perhaps the enemy used the ploy of leading the Christian to a dead or liberal church. The child of God never grew because he was not spiritually fed or educated with the Truth.
The enemy also may have encouraged believers to read a modern perversion of the Word of God, so they never hear all God desires them to know. They are also weakened because they were not fed meat from God’s Word.
There are thousands of weapons in the enemy’s war chest. Satan hates God and the things of God. Satan’s primary purpose is to make sure that the cause of Christ is hampered. Sadly, he has succeeded with his attacks on many attempting to live for Christ.
We have been warned. There is a battle for the souls of mankind and for the disarming of Christian soldiers. However, if the spiritual armor described in Ephesians 6 is spiritually donned, all can be victorious in the battle for the cause of Christ. With God’s help, we can overcome the trials and temptations we face.
“Whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world,” I John 5:4
“You cannot win the war if you are not even in the battle.” — Author Unknown
The devil does not know the hearts of men, but he may feel their pulse, know their temper, and accordingly can apply himself. As the farmer knows what seed is proper to sow in such soil, Satan, discovering one’s temper, knows what temptation is suitable to plant in such a heart. He tempts the ambitious man with a crown, the sanguine man with beauty, and the covetous man with a wedge of gold. Mankind’s enemy provides savory temptations he knows the sinner loves.
“The temptations of Satan, which he intended for their destruction, frequently become jewels to adorn the crowns of God’s people when they stand before the eternal throne.” — Author Unknown
There is a place in the Hudson River where, as you sail, you seem to be entirely hemmed in with hills. The boat drives on toward a rocky wall, and it looks as if it must either stop or be dashed to pieces. However, as you come within the shadow of the mountain, an opening is suddenly discovered, and the boat passes out into one of the grandest bays on the river.
So it is with temptation. You are not to seek it and not to surrender to it. God promises no way out in such a case. But, if it meets you on your Heavenward journey, you are to go straight on, though you see no way out.
God does not promise “… a way to escape …” (I Cor. 10:13) until the temptation actually comes. If you keep on, the “way” will reveal itself in due time. Remember, as in that river, the beautiful bay lies just around the frowning rock. So often, your sweetest and best experience in life lies just behind your most threatening temptation.
“When meeting temptation, turn to the right.” — Author Unknown
One day Bob was given definite instruction by his mother not to go swimming in the nearby pond. Shortly afterward, he was to pass the pond enroute to the ballpark. He took along with him his bathing suit, just in case he was tempted. The boy made provision for the flesh to fail.
It was different for an older man. He knew what tempted him and how he would react. “When I pass a watermelon patch, I can’t keep my mouth from waterin’, but I can run past it.”
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Rom. 13:14