Summary: Our temptations do not compromise our relationship with the Lord, but brings to the surface God's amazing grace for us in times of need.
“I can resist anything but temptation,” so boasted Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist & poet (1854 - 1900). The story of Oscar Wilde reveals the tragedy of this kind of attitude.
Our whole life is bordered by temptations of one sort or another. Everybody is as strong as his/her weakest temptation. The person who ignores this dynamic of humanity is the one who loses in the end.
What tempts you reveals a lot about you.
Money… Sex… Fame… Power… Food… Material things. And the list goes on and on.
Many things do not tempt us and we are “tempted” to think we are better than the people who are tempted by things that do not tempt us.
When my cousin, Mike and I were around 13, we faced a great temptation at my grandfather’s mountain farm. Not far from the house nestled high in a huge tree was one of the biggest wasp nests I had ever seen. We watched the wasps go in and out until we could no longer resist the temptation.
Each of us quickly found a stick large enough to reach the nest. Then, hardly able to control our laughter, we begin tapping on that wasp nest.
At first, it was fun. It was fun to see those wasps come out of that nest as though their world was falling apart. It only made us tap the nest even more vigorously. We were laughing hysterically until my cousin yelled, “Look out. They’re coming our way.” By the time we realized that they had figured out who was tapping their nest, they were literally in our face.
I am not sure how many wasp stings each of us got that day, suffice it enough to say, we hurt for days after.
Every temptation includes two basic factors. Here regardless of the temptation, these two factors will always be there. To understand these two factors is to prepare ourselves against the onslaught of the enemy.
1. First, is the allurement factor.
This is where the temptation aspect begins. Something is luring us in a certain direction. Something on the inside of is attracted to something on the outside.
This is where it all begins and where it all ends.
Everyone has a different allurement factor. What lures one person does not lure another person. Because we have a fallen human nature we are susceptible to this allurement factor. We are greatly affected by outward powers and influences that lead us away from God. To ignore this is to compromise our Christian walk.
2. Second, is the consequence factor.
Every temptation has a consequence attached to it if yielded. If people would realize the consequence of a certain action they probably would not do it. The problem lies in the fact that everybody has the attitude, “It won’t happen to me.”
Most of the time the allurement overshadows the consequence, but the consequence is always there. One moment of fun can produce a lifetime of consequences either bad or good.
We are all susceptible to temptation. How we deal with that temptation is the important factor.
Our temptations do not compromise our relationship with the Lord, but brings to the surface God’s amazing grace for us in times of need.
Every temptation gives us an opportunity to see Satan put in his place by God’s amazing grace. Too often, when we face a temptation we lose the perspective of our Christian life and fall prey to the enemy’s cunning. The stream of God’s infinite grace flows in our direction.
Here in Luke chapter 4, we have the temptation of Jesus. This is a rather important aspect, at least in Luke’s thinking, of Jesus’ ministry. His ministry does not start until after His encounter with this temptation.
As we look at this temptation of Jesus, there are two things we need to understand.
1. How did Satan attack Jesus?
2. How did Jesus respond to that attack?
When I understand these two things, I will be able to understand what is going on in my life and how the Adversary is trying to set traps for me to divert my attention away from the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep in mind, if he gets me to focus on myself he is winning. Whatever takes my mind or focus off of Jesus Christ leads me away from Christ.
One thing we need to note and that is, every temptation gives opportunity to see Satan put in his place through a demonstration of God’s grace in our situation. With this in mind, do not shrink from these temptations but stand, and having done all stand firm.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Every temptation the facts or plays upon the natural tendency of man. And in this temptation of Jesus, we see a demonstration of how Satan attacks us. Every temptation of humanity falls under one of these temptations of Jesus in the wilderness.