“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” Matthew 4:1-7 (NKJV)
It is interesting how the devil chose to confront Jesus when the Lord was hungry from fasting forty days and nights. He waited until he perceived that Jesus was weak thinking he could use that to his advantage; to catch Him in a moment of weakness.
As in this situation with Jesus, the devil is waiting for a moment to pounce on us in our moments of weakness. We can be weak with worry, become weak by neglecting our prayers, Bible study, and church services, or be weak in pridefulness. You may have seen a T.V. documentary of how a lion hunts down a gazelle. The lion silently waits and scans the herd to pick out his target. That target is usually away from the rest of the herd and isn’t aware that it’s in danger. What amazes me each time I see this is once the chase is on the lion doesn’t waver. He’s determined to catch his prey. Even if he runs by other gazelles his goal is set to catch the one he chose for his meal.
Don’t be the weak one the devil chooses to chase.
Be always aware of your surroundings. Are you in a place that is edifying? Have you surrounded yourself with people who support and encourage you in your walk with the Lord? Are you near your Good Shepard, the Lord Jesus Christ? James 4:7 says, “…submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
The word “submit” rankles a lot of people. In today’s society we are told to love ourselves, to channel our “inner god”. The Bible tells us the opposite: to love others more than ourselves and submit to the Lord. Today many people think they can depend on their own efforts for inner joy, peace, even earn their own salvation. Even some Christians today think that church attendance, personal Bible study, and prayer are optional. They think that as long as they live a “good” life God will judge them favorably. What it really does is remove them from the protection of the “herd” and their “Good Shepard”.
Satan is hard at work. He can make bad seem good and good seem bad. As shown in our passage he can even quote scripture in his efforts to deceive us! He can use our worries, our pride, and our spiritual neglect.
The good news is if you have trusted the Lord as your personal Savior, He will protect you if you submit your life and service to Him. In this world full of temptation that can draw us away from our Protector, we need to recognize our enemy who is seeking to tempt us to our own destruction. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
So take that door of escape! If you’re tempted to worry remember to give your worries to the Lord to handle and ask God for wisdom to help you. If you come across a movie on T.V. you know is not pleasing to the Lord, change the channel! If you feel you’re getting close to your coworker who you feel understands you better than your spouse, put some distance between you and get closer to your spouse. If you are tempted to skip church to go the beach, go to the beach after church. If you’re in a relationship or have friends who pull you away from the Lord, get new friends who will encourage you. You get the idea… There’s always a way to escape temptation.
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