Summary: We all face temptation. How we respond to that temptation will determine who we are following. We will discuss Jesus' temptation, Satan's method of operation, God's promise, and our biblical strategy in the face of temptation.
RED LETTERS PT 1 – HANDLING TEMPTATION
The Setting: Wilderness.
Reflection: Israel and their wilderness “testing”.
Illustration: As the Union Pacific Railroad was being constructed, an elaborate trestle bridge was built across a large canyon in the West. Wanting to test the bridge, the builder loaded a train with enough extra cars and equipment to double its normal payload. The train was then driven to the middle of the bridge, where it stayed an entire day. One worker asked, “Are you trying to break this bridge?”
“No,” the builder replied, “I’m trying to prove that the bridge won’t break.” In the same way, the temptations Jesus faced weren’t designed by God to see if Christ would sin, but to prove that He wouldn’t. – originally seen on Jerry Shirley’s Sermon – Swordfight in the Desert
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But He answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to Him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, "'He will command His angels concerning You,' and "'On their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to Him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these I will give You, if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.'" Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to Him.” (Matthew 4:1-11 ESV)
Temptation 1 – Physical.
Lesson: Trust God and HIS provision.
"The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”(Deuteronomy 8:1-3 ESV)
Temptation 2 – Mental.
Lesson: Trust God and HIS protection.
“You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you--for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God--lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. You shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you.” (Deuteronomy 6:14-17 ESV)
Temptation 3 – Spiritual.
Lesson: Trust God and HIS power.
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates… “It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by His name you shall swear.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-13 ESV)
Satan attacks us the same way. He uses the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It is his MO. He did the same in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.