Dealing with temptations

by Thomson K. Mathew D. Min., Ed. D., Oral Roberts University, USA

The writer explains that Jesus’ response to temptation demonstrates how we too can overcome temptations. The main weapon against the devil is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

It is no news that God’s people have an enemy. He uses temptations to cause backsliding of Christians because his desire is to steal, kill and destroy. All Christians are tempted, not just the weak ones. In fact, Jesus our Lord Himself was tempted by the devil. Being tempted is not a sin, yielding to temptation is.

The devil normally strikes believers at their weakest spots. For instance, Jesus had been fasting for forty days and nights. Naturally, He was physically weak and hungry. The devil approached Him with the issue of bread at such a time.

In spite of what the Godless have tried to make of the temptation of Jesus, we can learn much from it. This incident is included in the gospel for our good.

First, notice that He was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted. This is a mystery, but it seems that the Spirit knew that Jesus would overcome the enemy in such a way that we could learn from. The One who did not sin but became sin for us knew how to teach us to overcome temptations.

Jesus was tempted in the areas of appetite, pride and ego. He was tempted with the bread question first. This had to do with appetite. This was followed by the temptation of idolatry. The devil asked Jesus to worship him. In return he would give Him the whole world! The Son of the living God was being offered all the kingdoms of this world! The devil was working on pride issue here, but he fully failed. The next temptation was about power and ego. Jesus was asked to jump off the pinnacle of the temple to demonstrate His power and command over the angels. This was a temptation of presumption. The devil was dealing with Jesus’ ego here, but Jesus defeated the enemy once again.

The devil tempts the followers of Jesus the same way. They are tempted regarding the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. They are tempted often during the most vulnerable times of their lives.

Jesus’ response to temptation demonstrates how we too can overcome temptations. The main weapon against the devil is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17). Jesus kept on quoting the word of God. “It is written….,” He said responding to each temptation.

We not only have the written word. We also have the living Word – Jesus – dwelling in us.

Yes, the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides in us. We need to be aware that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world”. We have been given everything that is required to overcome the snares of the enemy.

We should grieve whenever a believer falls. Fallen Christian leaders are monuments of the strategy of the devil to defeat God’s servants. We should pray for one another and strengthen each other. We must pray especially for our leaders who are sure targets of the enemy. Above all, resist the devil and cause him to flee.

MGM Ministries-Article Source: /suvarthamagazine.org/sep08.html – (Accessed in July 2020 )