Recognizing Temptation


Temptation awaits us in the world, but we are not of the world.

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Matthew 4:1 – Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

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When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting, those temptations were real.  They were not just word pictures or images to create ideas for us.  Jesus, as a man, was tempted.  The Scriptures declare it.  Yet Jesus, the Son of God, though tempted, overcame that temptation using the same tools, weapons, and patterns that are available to us as sons and daughters of God.  Think of it!  If you think you’ve faced difficult temptations, think of Jesus.  How great must the temptations the perfect Lamb of God have been?  Still, He overcame with a simple, yet profound truth every believer should firmly grasp.  At every point of temptation Satan brought against Jesus, His response was of the same pattern.  “It is written” was the lead into His defense against Satan.  And following “it is written,” Jesus quoted the Word, inflicting serious injury to the enemy of His soul.  That action indicates a rich knowledge of God’s Word which He quoted.  At that point, Satan left Him for a more convenient time, which by the way, he never found.  Jesus ALWAYS stood firmly on the Word of God in every situation He faced.

In closing, consider the three temptations Jesus faced so victoriously.  The first, turn stones to bread.  Remember, Jesus had not eaten in 40 days, and the Scriptures declare that He was hungry.  This first temptation was to DISTRUST God in meeting His needs.  The second, cast Himself from the pinnacle of the temple, that is, DISOBEY God’s Word by tempting God.  The third, bow down and worship Satan to gain personal glory, that is, DISOWN God by bowing to Satan as god.  Child of God, please understand the importance of my words.  NEVER will a temptation come upon you too great for you to bear.  Father sees to that personally.  EVERY temptation that comes upon you is common to man; it is not supernatural.  Yet you have the supernatural weapons to overcome it.  DON’T go after any temptation.  If you do, you may step beyond that which you are equipped to handle.  That would not be Father’s fault.  Learn from Jesus’ response to temptation – IMITATE HIM.

Manna for Today – Matthew 4:1-11; Galatians 5:16; James 1:2-27; 1 John 2:15-17; Mark 4:1-20;            2 Peter 1:1-4; John 17:12-16; Matthew 6:13’ 1 Corinthians 10:13; Ephesians 5:1