Overcoming Temptation

Overcoming Temptation

Scripture Lesson: Matthew 4:1- 4


Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”


It is immediately after Jesus’ baptism that the writer of the Gospel of John states that the Spirit of God led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. The first of three temptations, Jesus was at a point of vulnerability after fasting for forty days and forty nights. No one can argue that at this stage of Jesus’ wilderness experience, he was not only exhausted, but hungry. His need for bread was very evident and Satan’s temptation was based on this physical need without taking into consideration the Messianic purpose of Jesus.


It never fails. Once you make up your mind to let go of something in order to move in a positive direction, the glamour and glitter of the old reappear with a level of enticement that makes it difficult to resist.  Most spiritual victories are often times met with an invitation to act contrary to what we believe to be the right thing. You just started a diet and you get invited to an all you can eat buffet or, you get a “hey” text from the one you just ended a relationship with. Temptation is a fact of life. It comes when you least expect it and at times when you are ill-prepared. It challenges our convictions and tests our faith. It creates doubts that could lead to disobedience.


This text teaches us two primary lessons. The first, everyone will face temptation. You are not immune just because you are in a relationship with Jesus. The second, and this is the good news, Jesus provides a way out. Keep in mind, being tempted is not a sin, giving in to temptation is. Friends, temptation always speaks to the now without considering the not yet; to what is, rather than what should be; to the perception instead of the reality; to the physical rather than the spiritual. Temptation acts in the physical but impacts both earthly and spiritual relationships.


“Man cannot live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,” was Jesus’ response to his tempter.  With this, Jesus is letting you know that no matter the degree of temptation, you can rely on the word of God for deliverance. The Bible says in Psalm 119:105, God’s word is a lamp for your feet, a light on your path.”  God’s word will equip you in moments of vulnerability, it will encourage you when you are down, and it will empower you when you find yourself at the crossroads of deciding on what is right or wrong.


Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

Pray: God of Grace and Glory, thank you for providing me a way to resist temptation. I know as human, sometimes my desires get the best of me. I ask now that you give me the strength to trust and depend on your word now and always. Amen.

Reflection Question: Am I spiritually equipped to face my next temptation?