God examines, Satan entices―“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.”
Temptation often comes not at our strongest, but our weakest moments. When we are at the limit of our patience, love, etc., we are tempted to be unchristian. Beware; Jesus’ temptation began after 40 days of fasting. People usually are more impressed when they see us act correctly under pressure. One weak act may spoil a whole lifetime of witness.
Proposition: The “Sword of the Spirit” (the Word of God), is our Weapon against Temptation!
Transition: How does the enemy try to hinder your triumph? One way is by enticing you to….
1. Satisfy yourself: Verse 3 “Now when the tempter came to Him, he said “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
Don’t get caught up in the lust of the flesh. Instead of seeing the bigger picture, we often respond very selfishly. But, if we take a quick moment to reflect on the Word of God, you will see that it is more precious than our necessary food. When we allow God to speak to us through His word, we will always triumph. Jesus’ comeback – Verse 4 “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (ref: Deut 8:3)
Transition: The enemy also tries to hinder you by enticing you to…..
2. Showcase yourself: Verse 5-6 “Then the devil took Him into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 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 will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (ref: Ps 91:11-12)
So, you may have gotten past the first temptation okay, but then comes the pride of life. Don’t get caught trying to do something spectacular or sensational. The enemy will try to persuade you to test God, and misuse the Word.
Let’s look at Jesus’ comeback. Verse 7 “Jesus said to him, “It is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.”
Transition: But that’s not all ya’ll – the enemy tries to hinder you by enticing you to….
3. Submit yourself to what may appear on the surface to be something great! Verse 8-9 “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (ref: Deut 6:13)
The enemy would love to get you to fall head first into the ugly lust of the eye. He will try to entice you to surrender what’s already yours for what appears to be something great.
Jesus’ final comeback – Verse 10-11“Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve . Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” Jesus defeated Satan by using a weapon that everyone has at their disposal: the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph 6:17).
Pastor William A. Covington