By: Dr. Jeff Fuller
Do you face temptations? Have you failed and faltered when confronted with some sly and conning proposal the devil has placed in your path?
The answer is obviously yes by every person reading this article. It is my answer as well.
In the Gospel writings, particularly Matthew and Luke, we find the record of the birth of Christ, the young days of His life and then His encounter with John the Baptist.
“When all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. As He was praying, heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in a physical appearance like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: You are My beloved Son. I take delight in You! Luke 3:21-22 (HCSB)
After heaven declares Jesus as the Son of God and John the Baptist announces the One coming who is the Lamb of God, Jesus faces temptation. It should not be a surprise to anyone that after the wonderful moments at the river as Jesus is baptized and God speaks, Jesus would be challenged. It is the same with all who follow Christ, as we go from a high and holy time, we are faced with struggles to test our faith, trust, commitment.
Jesus, the Son of God and the Lamb of God who is come to take the sins of the world, it is He who now faces temptation
We should not think any are above such a challenge. I read somewhere, “Great privilege and special tokens of Divine favor will not secure us from troubles and temptation.” Just because you are a Christian, a church member, a leader in the religious community will not make you immune from conflict and battle for your spiritual standing.
Yet, please notice that Jesus did not carelessly enter into such a time, and you and I should not as well. The scriptures tell us Jesus was “led by the Spirit…”(Matthew 4:1) We should never presume ourselves to provoke God, tempting the devil to tempt us. No! God leads us into combat and stays at our side, never leaving us alone. The wonder of it all is found in this verse:
“So, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (HCSB)
One of the most glorious things about being tempted is there is a “way to escape” provided and to endure such is to know we are God’s adopted Children. He is our Father, allowing us free will to choose to stay in fellowship with Him or to go our own way for a season; two other people know this as well: You and the devil. Who will you choose to follow?
As you read the scripture references noted above, make note of the three things we see Jesus do as He faces the evil one in the wilderness:
- Uses scripture.
- Deny’s the evil suggestions.
- Stands solid, strong, staying in contact with the Father through the power of prayer.
You have the same ability to do the same thing, as you stand tow-to-toe with the evil one. He is trying to lead you away, but if you keep your eyes focused on the One who is greater you will overcome and grow from the experience to help someone else. The choice is for you to make.
“Be very strong and continue obeying all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you do not turn from it to the right or left Instead, remain faithful to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day…fear the LORD and worship Him in sincerity and truth…choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.” Joshua 23:6-8; 24:14-15 (HCSB)
Until next time…