Then Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.
The Holy Spirit pushes Jesus (literally “throws him out”) into the wilderness to fast and to be tempted by the devil. At the end of forty days, the devil comes to Jesus with three tests, all starting with the words, “If you are the Son of God.”
The first test is to turn stones into loaves of bread. Jesus says that the word of God is more important than bread.
The second test is to jump off the highest peak of the Temple, trusting angels to rescue Him. Jesus says, “You must not test the Lord.”
The third test is to receive all the kingdoms of the world in return for worshipping satan. Jesus says that the Scriptures tell us we must worship the Lord alone.
Temptation is part of being human, and is multiplied many times over when we are seeking to walk with the Lord.
Satan wants to smash the Kingdom of God by discouraging and disarming God’s people. So sin is always around us, and the devil always has his leg out trying to trip us up.
The tests always use the same mental weapons.
1. Sow doubt about God’s will. For Jesus it was, “If you are the Son of God.” For Adam and Eve it was, “Did God really say?” We need to hold onto God’s promises about who we are in Him and His directions for our lives.
2. Use the eyes to intensify desire. We live in a highly visual culture. Satan will happily use images to stimulate our desire for something that we should not have. We need to filter what we look at so that we focus on what is good, uplifting and God-honouring.
3. He will use Scriptures, out of context or twisted, to justify an act of sin.
4. Satan often gets us at times of physical weakness. He waited until Jesus had fasted forty days and nights and was very hungry before he attacked. We need to be especially alert when we are tired, stressed, busy or recovering from illness.
Thank you Lord that when we fix our eyes on you we can stand firm and resist the temptations that come. Thank you that even when I fall you forgive me. Please grant me grace to grow in strength and in spiritual vigour. Amen.