Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Deliverance (Part 11)
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.
Matthew 4:1-2 (NKJV)*
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
Luke 4:1-2 (NKJV)*
If Jesus is the Captain of our salvation, then Desert Storm reveals key strategies of war: how we're attacked and what we can do about it.** The enemy is waging a massive campaign. But if we follow Jesus, we'll be triumphant.
After His baptism and open profession, Jesus fought against Satan in the wilderness. He was alone and weakened, to be as we are. He held God's Spirit, but nothing else to help Him. Jesus made His battles public to instruct us.
Temptation #1: His first test stands as a need or a greed: food. After a long fast, Jesus was hungry. Would He fall for Satan's easy answer? Food represents any lust of the flesh. What unhealthy desires would make you fall?
Temptation #2: His next test is today's favorite game: positions, possessions and prideful things. It plays out in the fields of media. Craving fame is a thirst for approval. If glory tempts you, then exit the field.
Temptation #3: His last test is a church quest to be best: to be at the pinnacle of power; to stand so high we think God ordained it. But does our Lord exalt the exalted? Are mega-pastors truly humble men?
Consider two ways to beat the devil: 1) Avoid fascinating temptations, because fascination is bewitching. 2) If temptations just can't be avoided, then force the devil to leave you alone. How? Wield the Sword of the Spirit: God's Word.
It's like a stun gun that overwhelms him. So memorize His Script and speak It out.
To Be Continued...
* Matthew's account of Jesus' Desert Storm: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+4%3A1-11&version=NKJV
* Luke's account of Jesus' Desert Storm: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke+4%3A1-13&version=NKJV
** Short article: What was the meaning and purpose of Jesus' temptations: http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-temptations.html
** Previous AMTC Devotion (6-part series) on the desert temptations of Jesus: http://amtcdevotions.org/temptation-1-stuff
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deliverance series.