Recognizing Temptation – Part 3

Temptations will never diminish.  They only escalate.

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Matthew 4:7 – Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

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After 40 days of fasting, Satan came to tempt Jesus.  His first temptation was to DISTRUST the heavenly Father.  Jesus was hungry, and Satan tried to move Jesus to taking care of His Own needs in His Own power and ability.  Jesus defeated Him soundly with, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.”

When Satan stalked Jesus the second time, the temptation he brought was escalated far beyond the first.  On his second attempt, Satan attempted to draw Jesus into a place of DISOBEYING the heavenly Father.  Still, once again, Jesus rose well above the circumstances to overcome such a scathing device as Satan attempted to wield against Him.  Jesus’ response began in the same manner as His first.  Jesus took His defense and coming offense directly from the Word of God.  He said, “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” 

The first temptation was in a private setting.  No one else would likely have known about it but Jesus Himself.  But the second temptation was a public one.  The eyes of many onlookers would have seen such an action as someone throwing themselves from the pinnacle of the temple.  To do such a thing and walk away would have drawn grand attention to Himself, dishonoring Father by tempting Him to save Him from the fall.  But once again, Jesus stood His ground, standing surely upon the Word, refusing to be turned from it, and being fully determined to obey and honor Father and His Word, and thus stand steadfastly in the love of God (see 1 John 5:3).

Sadly, all too many believers fall to Satan’s first level of temptation attack.  When symptoms come, they go first to the medicine cabinet or the doctor.  There is nothing wrong with the use of medicine or going to a doctor.  But for the believer, all else comes second to going to Father, yielding to their Redeemer, leaning on Holy Spirit, and allowing a loving body of Christ to help them stand.  When a financial attack come, the first thought is what they can do for themselves to alleviate the pressure.  From whom can they borrow the money?  How can they escape the debt on their own?  If Satan defeats the child of God on the first attempt, he need not escalate the attack.  Stand strong, dear one.  Put on the whole armor of God.  Don’t fall prey to the first attack, and stand ready to defeat Satan at the second.  And when you do, rest assured, level three will come.  You can win there, too.

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; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

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