Summary: When you are physically and emotionally wore out, you are more vulnerable to attacks of the enemy. When you are feeling low and depressed, watch out and be on your guard for the devil is ready to pounce on you as a lion does its wounded prey. The good n

Overcoming Temptation

The Life of Christ

By Greg Johnson

February 11, 2007

Matthew 4:1-11

God’s Word says (Matthew 4:1-11 NIV) "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. {2} After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. {3} The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." {4} Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’" {5} Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. {6} "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "’He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’" {7} Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’" {8} Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. {9} "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." {10} Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ’Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’" {11} Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him."

In the midst of Jesus’ physical weakness, the devil came to take advantage. The devil will do the same to you. When you are physically and emotionally wore out, you are more vulnerable to attacks of the enemy. When you are feeling low and depressed, watch out and be on your guard for the devil is ready to pounce on you as a lion does its wounded prey. The good news is that you can overcome these attacks and be victorious. Jesus, our example, shows us how.


The devil tried to get Jesus to use His omni powers to fulfill His own needs by turning the stones into bread. Jesus’ defense was the same as ours is to be for we have no omni powers. Jesus used the Word of God. Each time Satan tempted Jesus, He used the Word.

The Psalmist said (Psalms 119:11 NIV) "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Notice with me that Jesus had the Word hidden in His heart. Each time Satan came against Him, Jesus came back with what God’s Word says. God’s Word is our authoritative guide to all of our beliefs and actions. We are to read it, study it and hide it in our hearts.


It was the Holy Spirit that lead Jesus into the desert and it was the Holy Spirit that helped Him overcome temptation. Jesus had been fasting for 40 days and was physically and mentally feeling the affects.

When I was 29 years old I read 1 Peter 2:21 and it changed my whole life. It says (1 Peter 2:21 NIV) "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." Since I read that verse and the Holy Spirit quickened it to my being, I have endeavored to follow the steps of Jesus. In 1998 the Holy Spirit led me into my first 40 day fast. I have completed three 40 day fasts with my last one being in 2005. During each one, I reached a point where I was physically and mentally feeling the affects of going without food. I would get to the point where I could not think clear. There were many days that I would be so week that all I could do was lay around and pray. Without the Holy Spirit’s help, I could have never completed these fasts. I had to rely on the Holy Spirit just as Jesus led by example.

Jesus allowed the Holy Spirit to lead Him into the dessert to fast. The Holy Spirit helped Him. His mind and body was weakened, but the Holy Spirit brought the Scripture He needed to His mind to use in each temptation. He quoted Scripture out of Deuteronomy each time. As Jesus walked in the Spirit instead of the flesh, He overcame temptation. What a tremendous example Jesus is to us!

The Apostle Paul was also impacted by Christ’s example. Listen to these words that he wrote under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:16-26 NIV) "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. {17} For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. {18} But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. {19} The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; {20} idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions {21} and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. {22} But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. {24} Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. {25} Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. {26} Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

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