Sustained By God’s Word
Lord, You guide me each step of the way. You pick me up when I stumble. What a friend You are!
Read MATTHEW 4:1-11
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
God’s voice welcomes us as his children, but we also hear the whispered suggestions of the enemy. He’s clever and he never gives up!
Jesus has just had a spiritual high at his baptism. After such a great experience, temptation often follows. Michael Green observes that “It can sort out the emotional high from the reality of spiritual conquest and growth.” How are we daily to live our Christian lives? How does God want to bless us and help us to build spiritual muscles for whatever challenges face us? How does Satan attempt to sidetrack us and get us to go contrary to the Father’s will, as he tries to do with Jesus here?
God uses Satan’s designs to a good purpose. Jesus is here actually strengthened for his messianic role through his battle with the devil. God is in control of both the tempter and the circumstances (the Spirit led Jesus to be tempted) (1), and he will never allow a believer to be tempted beyond what he or she is able to endure (1 Cor. 10:13).
In Jesus’ temptations, we should see allusions to the fall of Adam and the wanderings of Israel in the wilderness. Jesus, as the unique Son of God, has as his mission to put right the previous failures, and is also the prototype of victory for all who follow him (Heb. 4:14-16). Jesus’ quotations from Deuteronomy (Deut 8:3; 6:13,16) perhaps indicate that he had been reading from this book in his own devotions. The Spirit takes this word of God and uses it in spiritual warfare. I must ask myself: how well do I feed on the Scriptures to be alert to the Spirit and share Jesus’ victory? Do I trust the Spirit and use his methods in warfare against the devil? Let us beware of the temptations of building our own kingdoms, looking for personal gratification and compromising with Satan; instead, let us follow Jesus’ method of gaining victory!
What tempts you to turn from what God wants for you? How can you use the same defenses as Jesus to defeat the enemy?
Mighty God, help me to be fully equipped each day with Your Word and power so that I can stand firm against the enemy and all his temptations.
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