Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. ~Matthew 4:1
In football a tackle occurs when the one in possession of the ball is taken down. When he is tackled he is prevented from going any further with the ball. The one making the tackle has demonstrated superiority in stopping the ball from entering the end zone and making a score. In essence, it is the take down of your opponent. This morning let us see through the model of our Lord Jesus Christ the take down of temptation.
We see the source of temptation.
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” Satan is the source of all temptation. In Matthew 4:1-11 he is referred to as the tempter, the devil and Satan. Each name personifies his dastardly scheme. Temptation is when he subtly attacks us through our senses and moment of weakness to cause us to sin. Satan wants to turn our obedience into disobedience. He tries to make sin appealing to us. Notice in the three attempts Satan makes with our Lord Jesus, we are told that “he came to him, and he taketh him.” He works the same against every believer. He positions himself to get close to us and to try to lead us into something we are to say no to.
We see the seduction in temptation.
Satan used three avenues of temptation. He tempted Jesus in the avenue of appetite (“command these stones be made bread”), ambition (“cast thyself down”) and avarice (“All these things I will give thee, if thou fall down and worship me”). Satan is the master of seduction. He is deceitful. He tries to make sin look good and appealing. He causes doubt. He uses the word “if” to make us think God is holding out on us, God is not fair, or God will not punish us. He is determined. Satan comes at us again and again. He does not let up. Each temptation is stronger than the previous one. He seeks to seduce us after a season of spiritual success, when we are physically weak, and especially when we assume we are in control of our lives.
We see the strategy against temptation.
God gives us a proven strategy for dealing with the devil. First, we must walk in the Spirit. In v. 1, Jesus was led of the Spirit. Forty days of fasting, put to death the flesh and strengthened the Spirit life. We walk in the Spirit when prayer and much time with God and His Word have saturated our lives. Second, Jesus answered each temptation with the Word of God. As the tempter and devil, Satan uses lies. He is a liar and there is NO truth in him. The best weapon against a lie is truth. Time in the Word of God fortifies us when temptation comes. Third, Jesus exercised spiritual authority in commanding Satan to go away. When Satan is talking to you, assert your authority in the Lord and tell Satan “go away!”
We see the success over temptation.
“Then the devil leaveth him.” Jesus defeated the devil! You can defeat the devil and overcome temptation. James says, “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” That’s what happened when Jesus overcame the tempter and temptation. Jesus tackled the tempt