Monday, 19 September 2022
When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.” –Luke 4:13-14
Understand that temptation can lure any person, at any time and place and that being saved does not mean we suddenly become immune to temptation. If the devil had the audacity to attempt tempting the very Son of God, how much more would he try and tempt us! 1 Cor. 10:12-13 says “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
When temptation comes our way sometimes we just give in or try to fight with our own strength. But today’s reading gives us the perfect way to resist it, in the example of our Lord. Hebrews 4:15: “…but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin”. So what better way can there be than submitting to God by obeying His word, which is what Jesus did when he wielded the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God!
We see the enemy trying to put doubt into the mind of Christ just as he tempted Eve in the garden by having her doubt her identity. Satan told her that she will become like God wherein actually she was already in the image of God and thus was deceived. The battle is most often in the mind— so be renewed in the spirit of your mind! (Eph. 4:23)
The areas of temptation to be mindful of are: (i) Lust of the flesh (vs.2-3): Lack in our needs and wants can lead us to try short-cuts instead of relying on God to supply in His time. (ii) Lust of the eyes (vs.5-7): Squabbling over earthly possessions; Judas betrayed and sold his Master for thirty pieces of silver. (iii) Pride of Life (vs.9-11): Spiritual pride is the most dangerous. Hunger for position and power makes one climb up the ladder at the expense of another.
In Vs 1, Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness. So, one key to resist is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Next, He was led by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:14 “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit by submitting to God (James 4:7) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We can be tempted during a wilderness experience but the Holy Spirit in us is greater than the tempter (1 John 4:4) if we trust and allow Him to lead us.
All this testing, trials and temptations are to make you fit for God’s use by humbling you so that you can move in the power of the Holy Spirit like Jesus did (Vs 14). When you overcome and come to that point of obedience you will be endued to declare the favourable year of the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit—Carriers of the good news of Jesus Christ- for the poor, the captives, the spiritually blind, the oppressed! The poor can also mean anyone who does not know the riches of life in Christ which is release from captivity of sin and eternal death by believing Christ and all that He has done for you to be made whole in Him. Would you be endued with His power today?
Think on: “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38)