Matthew 4:9 – And he said to him, “All these things I will give to you if you will fall down and worship me.”
Here is Jesus who was led by the spirit into the wilderness. Probably very light-headed since he had been 40 days without food. We think skipping one meal is tough. He went more than a month. And along comes Satan to tempt Jesus.
1. Satan will tempt us and focus on our weaknesses. Jesus was hungry. He probably wanted to eat some bread. Jesus may have been physically weak but he was not spiritually weak. Satan will tempt our physical and spiritual weaknesses.
2. Satan will promise the world but is only offering temporary things. Jesus is focused on eternity.
3. Jesus used scripture to combat Satan. Even Satan knows scripture and tried to use it but he will twist it to his advantage and take things out of context. Jesus didn’t fall into the trap.
4. Satan is powerless against the light.
The application of these verses is very easy. I must know God’s word and be able to use it to defend my faith. I must know it well enough that I can discern when it is being misused and I must be spiritually strong enough to withstand temptation. Ways I can do this are by reading the Bible daily and understanding the context. I must stay true to the word. Studying and listening to other believers and how the word applies to their lives.
As iron sharpens iron so does man sharpen man. I need other Christians in my life to help strengthen me physically and spiritually. Being in a journal group helps because I can listen to other Christian view points and experiences. It also helps keep me accountable.
It would have been easy for Jesus to fall into Satan’s trap. He could have made the stones bread, he could have jumped off the temple and he could have taken control of all the earthly kingdoms and then said “See! I have proven it. I am who I say I am.” But Jesus doesn’t. He was spiritually strong and used scripture to combat Satan.
If I am to follow Jesus’ example, I must become aware of my weaknesses and focus on strengthening them spiritually so Satan will not be successful in his attempts to tempt me.
Lord, keep me from temptation. Keep me focused on your word and give me the wisdom to know the truth and be able to use the truth at all times to help guide me. Provide me with the wisdom to share my faith with others and to be able to apply the word to situations in my life and to helping others learn about who you are and what you have done for us.