I love how every time I read the scriptures God always shows me a little more, gives me a different insight, and speaks directly to me, like he did tonight when I was reading Matthew chapter 4. This particular scripture is about when Jesus is sent into the desert and he is tempted by the Devil. I never realized it before but I find even the timing of when Jesus was tempted is so relative to how we're tempted in our walk with Christ. After Jesus's baptism is when Satan begins to tempt him. I correlated this to when we're trying to do the will of God that is when we're tempted the most to do wrong and veer off the Lord's path. Jesus gives us three pieces of useful advice when dealing with temptation.
1. It is written: Man doesn't not live to bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Satan tried to tempt the hungry Jesus to turn the stones into bread. However, the Lord knew that for him to survive and to stay righteous he had to rely on the word of God and believe in it. Whenever we're facing temptations we too need to remember God's word and live by it. Instead of giving into our hunger pangs, we have to believe in the word of God. That is why it is so vital to know the scriptures and God's promises to us. When we know the TRUTH which is God's word we can't be deceived by the lies and empty promises that sin tempts us with. God's word makes the consequences of temptation not look so appealing! But, if we don't know his word it's easy to give in when we're hungry, devouring everything in sight that is damaging to our spirit.
2. Do Not Put the Lord Your God to the Test.
We have no reason to test God. God is the truth and Satan is a liar. We don't have to put ourselves in situations and then wait for God to prove himself. If you are certain of the Lord's promise than no test is needed only your faith in him is required.
3. Worship the Lord your God and Serve Him Only.
There is only one God and you worship him only, there isn't room to worship anything or anyone else. When you become a slave to temptation, you stop worshipping God and start worshipping and spending time indulging in the sin that is tempting you. You push God to the side and open the door wider for Satan to enter. When you're facing temptation one of the most effective ways to not give in is to start immediately praying. Place your focus on God and away from the temptation. Soon God will fill you up and the temptation will eventually leave you.
The conclusion of Matthew 4 is, "then the devil left him, and angels came and attended to him." Praise the Lord! If you resist temptation the devil will flee! God will be your refuge tending to you, reinforcing and strengthening your faith in him and showing you his eternal love.
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