Temptation

from Lynda Lindsey

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, He was hungry. Luke 4:1-2

And the devil took Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to Him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Luke 4:5-7

Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord... Acts 3:19-20(a)

Hungers and thirsts. Needs, longings and desires. Such things, in and of themselves, may not necessarily be against God. But beware hidden danger. Enduring hardship, deprivation and long delays leave us open to Satan’s lies. Satan floats the idea before us that God has forgotten and abandoned us; that God no longer cares about us. Satan’s attacks increase, and in our growing doubt and confusion, we jettison our trust in God’s goodness and care. So great is our deception, we decide God will applaud our initiative to circumvent His Word. We fall. Satan gloats. God grieves.

The good news? We have a Savior who was tempted in all things, just as we are, yet without sin; because Jesus suffered when tempted, He is able to help us in our temptations. Jesus, through His death and resurrection, triumphed over and destroyed Satan, the one who incites people to sin. Jesus sympathizes with us in our weaknesses and grants us His power to resist sin. Confidently, then, we can draw near to Jesus and receive His mercy and grace and help in time of need. Temptations will come. Satan will appeal to our hungers and desires, but we are not helpless.

Just as a fortress provides a secure overlook from which to watch for enemy attack, God is our fortress and refuge, our strong high tower. If we face temptation in our own strength, we fall. If we seek refuge in God, we receive His strength; He fights the battle for us. But, if we do sin? God mercifully forgives. When we confess, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He blots out our sin: He remembers it no more. Then Jesus graciously allows His Holy Spirit’s refreshing wind to revive and restore us again. All praise be to God.