There are many lessons that we can learn from the temptations that Jesus endured during His time on Earth.
To begin, let’s start with WHEN Jesus was tempted. The Bible tells us that Satan waited to temp Jesus until He had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. So this means that Jesus would have been about as hungry as you can get. He would have also been very tired and worn out with little strength in reserve due to not eating. He was also all by Himself with no one else to turn to for help. Satan loves to get us alone, while we are tired and hungry before he decides what he is going to try to throw at us. When we are at our weakest, Satan closes in for the kill. The Bible says that Satan is like a lion on the prowl and that is very true. He waits until we are weak, hungry, tired, lonely and out of sorts and then he pounces.
Matthew 4:1-11 tells of the temptations that Jesus went through by Satan after His fasting. Jesus shows us in these verses exactly how we can fight Satan today when he tries to temp us into doing what we know very well is bad for us.
The Best Way To Defeat Satan in Temptation Is – Fight Satan with The Word
Satan started in on Jesus by telling Him, “If You are the Son of God, turn these rocks into bread because you know your hungry and you need to eat.” How did Jesus fight this, especially since he was famished?
“man shall not live on bread alone but instead on every Word from the mouth of God”
That’s my Jesus!!! He smacks Satan in the face with the Bible!!! Jesus was in effect saying “I will depend on God for my sustenance – I do not need to turn the rocks into bread. God is all I need to survive.”
So then you have to hand it to Satan because when he found out that Jesus was going to use the Bible against him, Satan decided he would try to use the Bible against Jesus. So next Satan tells Jesus, “It is written that if you are the Son of God you could throw yourself from this high mountain and a legion of angels will catch you and you will not even get a scratch.:” So what does Jesus do next?
HE QUOTES THE BIBLE AGAIN!!! 2 for 2!!!
“It is written, ‘you shall not put the Lord your God to the test'”
Jesus lays the smack down again!!! We are never to test God or try to bargain with God. After all, what could you possibly have that God would want or need? God just wants you in a perfect relationship with Him. Never test God!!
Finally Satan is at his wits end so he tried the old, “I’ll give you the world if you will just worship me.” So what does Jesus do?
You guessed it, Jesus goes back to the Bible again!
“you shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”
The Trifecta! The Hat Trick! A three bagger! Jesus went right back to the Bible and told Satan that we are to worship ONLY God and no others. God even calls Himself a jealous God and He does not want us worshiping anyone or anything else but Him. How many people do you know who worship money, their jobs, themselves, or no God at all? The Bible could not be clearer – God ONLY is worthy of our worship.
God never allows us to be tempted by more than we can handle. I know that many alcoholics and drug addicts and even egotists will tell you that this is a lie, but it is not. God arms us with all we ever need right in the Bible – His Holy Word.
Please notice that Jesus never argued or even had any conversation with the devil at all. He only quoted Scripture. I promise you, if you engage in any conversation with Satan in the least, you WILL give in to temptation, especially if you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. This is when the, “Well just a little won’t hurt” conversations start and the next thing you know you are giving into temptations. When it comes to Satan, the less talk the better.
Now here is a staggering fact, especially for Pastors like me – almost 80% of the population of America has at least one Bible in their homes! That seems like a lot of people have access to a Bible right? In fact, the Bible is ALWAYS the best selling book, year in and year out. Now here is the bad part – less than 90% of people with access to a Bible read it more than 1 time a QUARTER! That is one time every three months!! How in the world can you read the Bible and memorize the Scriptures to fight Satan with if you never open a Bible? The answer is you can’t and that is why Satan wins so very often.
If you go to a church that does not encourage you to bring your Bible and follow along each week, then change churches. If you are in a church that believes in small groups over Bible Studies, change churches!!! A real Christ following, Bible believing church will always encourage you to read your Bible and ask as many questions about it as you can. As a Pastor I want you to know the Bible like I do – I know that when I am tempted, I bring out the verses in the Bible that act like a shield for me and Satan runs in the other direction.
It is my prayer for you that you will read your Bible daily, even if it is only a chapter a day. If you ever have any questions about what you read, you can email me or leave comments on any of my posts and I will answer your questions as soon as I read them. As a Pastor and a Counselor I am more than qualified to help you understand anything that is in the Bible and I would love to do so. You only have to ask!!!
Don’t keep losing to temptation. Chase the devil away with God’s Word and you will find that Satan will start coming around less often the more you chase him away. He is not all powerful like God and once you start laying the smack down on him the more he will leave you alone.
Pastor Brad Komgenick