Why is it that in my mind the desires of Christ and the word of God are ever ready to spew forth, but the actions that follow are often bound in fear? Why is it that I fall to temptation and my discipline is lacking? In Matthew 4, Jesus withstood Satan’s temptation 40 days, and yet I can’t seem to make it 40 minutes. Christ’s actions through and after that period of temptation are a road map for us today…
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
Three things from that scripture that can be applied to life for a successful walk with Christ, and I’m not saying it will be easy, but it’s necessary.
- Stand Strong
Again and again Jesus stopped Satan cold with the word of God. If we’re going to fight this battle we’d better have some tools in the arsenal by reading and remembering the words of God. Jesus didn’t say anything new, He repeated the sentiment of Deuteronomy 8:3 where it was written
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
The same holds true for us. Although the tactics Satan uses may appear different they’re the same temptations in a new coat, and although we always think there is a new and improved way of fighting sin there is still only one way… the word of God.
- Be ministered to
Following that period of temptation Jesus sat still and was ministered to by the angels of God. Bring on Wednesday Bible Study! Church is crucial to survival. I realize that there are those who cannot get to church because of health or other conditions, and I fully believe that if they desire being ministered to God can make a way. But for those of us with shoes on our feet and a vehicle in the driveway we are without excuse and in a heap of trouble if we choose to stay at the house rather than go to church and be ministered to. It’s where you reload your arsenal for the coming days and it’s where we find encouragement for the battle. Don’t sell yourself short and put yourself at risk by buying Satan’s lies that you don’t need church. You need it! I need it! Thank you Jesus that we have it, there’s plenty of people across the earth that would gladly go in your stead and not run the risk of being killed.
- Hit the Road
Temptation for me often comes in idle times. I guess that’s why God created me with a mind that runs 24/7 and is continually filled with “I know what I’m going to do today” notions. As soon as Jesus’ church service with the angels ended, He hit the road. He’d heard John was in prison, He knew there were some disciples along the way He’d be needing to add to His team, there was work to do! And so it is for us. I’m excited about my Wednesday night youth group, I have bows and arrows in my arsenal (for real!) and a lesson on friendship using the characters of David and Jonathan. Exciting days are ahead… but I have to keep with the program.
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