“The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan for forty days. He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him..” -Mark 1:12-13 (NLT)
Temptation always comes, and while being tempted is not a sin, giving in to the temptation is a sin. The Word of God goes so far as to say that if we are tempting someone that is sin as well and states, “…Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting,” (Matthew 18:7 NLT). We are never to use someone’s weaknesses against him/her to tempt him/her to commit sin against God. In other words, look out for the best interests of others and encourage them to progress in their walk with God.
We are not to rejoice when someone trips up and falls into temptation. We are, however, to spur each other on, not play on the weaknesses that the other has.
With all that being said, Jesus gave us an example of how to handle temptation and what we should do when faced with temptation. We are to respond with “It is written,” which is why it is so important to daily be in the Word of God studying, thinking about the Scriptures, applying the Word to our lives, and hiding God’s Word in our hearts in order to combat temptation and to live a life pleasing to God.
Let’s look at how Jesus handled temptation:
“Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’ Jesus responded, ‘The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’” -Luke 4:9-12
Jesus made it very clear for us to know that the devil is the father of lies and no truth can be found in him, and that is recorded in John 8:44 (NLT), which states, “He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
The devil twisted the Scripture to tempt Jesus when he said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you.'” Jesus knew the Scriptures well and knew Satan was twisting the Scriptures. God does protect, and that is truth. God will command His angels to watch over and guard us; However, we are not to take the promises of God lightly nor should we ever be so careless in thinking that if we jump off a building that God will keep us from going splat on the ground. Jesus, rightly dividing the Word of God, gave us this clear demonstration of how to wield the Sword of the Spirit when we’re faced with temptation. Jesus responded by saying, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.'”
REFLECTION: “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You,” (Psalm 119:11 BSB). Do you have daily time reading and studying the Bible? Do you truly know the Bible? Do you walk in obedience to the Word of God? The bible is not a buffet where you can choose what you like and what you don’t like. You need the entire counsel of God, not just some of His counsel. The Word tells you how live a holy life, tells you everything you need to know to inherit eternal life, and the Word of God teaches you how to handle temptation, and instructs you as to what God has given you to overcome whatever may come your way. “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth,” (2 Timothy 2:15 NLT). As a child of God, hiding God’s Word in your heart and clinging to His truth will help you in your life. However, it is absolutely vital for you apply the Word of God to your life, to live the Word of God out loud in your life, not just when temptation strikes. It is not enough to be exposed to the Word of God. It is not enough to read the Word of God. You must be applying the Word, and you must be living out the Word in every aspect of your life. You must be obeying God’s commands especially if you claim to love God and claim to be His child. When you truly know the Word of God, you will know when half-truths come your way and know if someone is twisting the Scriptures. Hide His Word in your heart so you might not sin against Him.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the God of all Truth. I ask You to help me remain steadfast in You, to keep my feet from slipping. Lord, teach me Your ways and Your truth. Help me to always rightly divide Your Word. May I always hide Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7 (NLT)