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 takedown of his opponent. This morning, let us see through the model of our Lord Jesus Christ the takedown 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 moments of weakness to cause us to sin. Satan wants to turn our obedience into disobedience. He tries to make sin appealing to us. Notice that 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 that 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 that these stones be made bread"), ambition ("cast thyself down"), and avarice ("All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt 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 that God is holding out on us, He is not fair, or He 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 (Jesus had fasted forty days and nights), when we are physically weak, and always when we assume that we are in control of our life.
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 verse 1, Jesus was led by 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 life. 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 tempter and took him down. Success over temptation is not easy, but it is attainable. Tackling a strong running back or tight end is not easy, but the defender who holds the line and tackles him stops him from making advancements. The devil went away whipped and beaten.
Resist the devil! Walk in the Spirit and be strong in God’s Word. Tell the tempter to go away.
Have a victorious God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 25-27