Matthew 4

Read Matthew 4.

My note for NT260 says this:

“Things that tempt us are normally shortcuts to a seemingly positive outcome.”

Jesus gave the Father a period of forty days, where He was committed to fasting. Fasting and prayer, is a very good thing. But, how often things creep in to change what we do? We get tempted. It is easy to get tempted.

Typically, we use the word distracted.

It is easy to become distracted, which can in fact lead to temptations we face.

During any period where we are devoting ourselves to God, things will arise in our lives where we have to stay steadfast on the Word of the Lord. We need to remain focused and know what the desires of the Lord are.

As we stay focused on our great God, something happens.

He reveals His good and perfect will.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:2, NRSV).

Jesus, the Perfecter of Our Faith

In the book of Hebrews, we are reminded why we can meet opposition and come across victorious. It is not because of who we are in this world, but it is about the One in whom we have found our eternal identity. It is about our identity in Christ.

“[L]et us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:1b-2).”

Son of God

The Devil knew who Jesus was. It is not like he found someone in the wilderness. a nameless, John Doe. The Devil knew exactly who he was messing with. In the book of Job, we are reminded that the Devil has to go to God for permission (see Job 1:6-12). This would have been the case for Jesus’ temptations as well, as our own.

Permission granted.

Why?

If Jesus hadn’t endured, how much more would we stand entrapped in the Devil’s wiles? Scripture has given us record of what Jesus experienced, so we may arise victorious. Even when we face our own trials and temptations, we can do a few things –

  1. Recognize the power of God at work in that situation.
  2. Depend upon the name of the Lord.
  3. Apply what His Word, the Bible, teaches us.

Remember What God’s Word Teaches

We need to remember what God’s Word teaches us about the truth of temptations. We all will face them. Every single one of us. The one aspect of our lives that will be attacked than any other – is our identity. Our very identity in Jesus Christ.

The Devil will utter the same to us – “If you are really a child of God, then, …”

In James 1, we are reminded that our trials and temptations help build up our faith in Jesus Christ. We need to take our cues from Jesus, and resolve to know His Word and let it change the way we respond to our temptations. It changed the way Jesus lived, and can do the same for us too!

Scripture on the Truth

Most importantly, be disciplined and stay on guard. Your enemy the devil is prowling around outside like a roaring lion, just waiting and hoping for the chance to devour someone (1 Pet. 5:8, VOICE).

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