August 14 – Perseverance – With temptation

Read Matthew 4:1-11

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the multitude of ways that Satan tries to pull me down.  Sometimes I feel like it is his full-time job to tempt me.  He loves to bring up my past failures time and time again.  He knows the areas that I am weakest.  He knows the things that strengthen my relationship with God and loves to find ways to creatively pull me away from my Savior.  There are times when it appears that Satan is obviously attempting and attacking.  And he prowls around like a lion waiting for its prey.   Sometimes these schemes of the devil may seem harmless at first but all he wants is to trip us up, allowing him a foothold.

Temptation is no stranger to mankind.  The tempter was there in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve and he is present in this day and age to tempt us into sin.  Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was no stranger to temptation.  As we read in Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus faced temptation just like us.  He was in the wilderness for FORTY DAYS and FORTY NIGHTS where He was fasting.  Imagine for a moment going without food for even a week.  What would you be willing to give up for a bite to eat or something to drink? 

Satan tempts Jesus and tries to take the Lord’s focus on to His hunger:

“Turn these stones in to bread”

But look how Jesus responded in his hunger:

“It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God”

Jesus could have given in and fed himself.  But he didn’t!

I think there is something very important here for us to understand about dealing with temptation.  We do not have the will power to fight temptation each time it comes.  But God gives us the weapon and armor we need to fight the battle when we face temptation.  Jesus had the Word of God to strengthen Him in His time of need.  He recited Scripture, the Word of Truth, back to the tempter. 

If that worked for the Lord, then it would do us well to do the same. 

Study the word and memorize it so that, when the enemy attacks you, then you have a sword and shield to go into battle.

Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus was tempted just like we are.  We need not give in to our temptation.  We are in a daily battle with our enemy the devil and he wants to kill and destroy.  It is important for us to realize the importance of fact that we are in a daily battle.  We need the constant reminder to daily PUT ON the full armor of God.  Our battle is not of this world but we are fighting against powerful dark and evil forces.  Be prepared to fight.  Take a moment and turn to Ephesians 6:10 – 18.  This should be a way to prepare daily for all believers. 

Armor up.

Jesus was in the wilderness alone and starving for 40 days and nights but He did not give in to the temptations He faced.  He was strengthened by the Word of God and sought to obey and serve the Father. 

Do not allow the evil one to take your focus away from following God. Put on the armor of God and stand strong!

Nate Mills 

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