Overcoming Temptation (Part 2)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
Jesus knows what it is like to tempted. And He also knows how to overcome it. As we read the passage in Luke 4, we can learn a few lessons that will set us up for victory. Always remember that when you are tempted, God always provides a way out.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. -1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Five Steps to overcome temptation.
(1) Rebuke the lies of the devil. Stand strong against him and his lies.
(2) Be led by the Holy Spirit. Luke 4:1 tells us that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. This infilling prepared Jesus for what was about to come His way: temptation. When you choose to be led by the Spirit, you will not be swayed into the path of sin.
(3) Claim the Word of God. Satan tempted Jesus in the three ways. And every time, Jesus responded by standing on the Word of God. You have the same resource at your fingertips. Claim it!
(4) Connect with other believers. I don’t know much about the animal kingdom, but I have noticed something about wolves – they target two types of sheep. The first way they target a sheep is to separate or isolate one sheep from the rest of the flock. The wolf knows that once a sheep is by himself, he can overpower that sheep. The second type of sheep the wolf targets is an injured sheep – because an injured sheep cannot effectively run away and get away from the wolf. The devil has similar tactics. The devil wants you to isolate yourself from the shepherd and from other sheep. If you are not part of a Connect group, you are an easier target of the devil. Secondly, the devil tempts you when you are spiritually injured. When someone hurts you or when life gets difficult, be careful. You are a target of the enemy.
(5) Call on the name of Jesus. At the simple proclamation of the Name of Jesus, the devil flees. Yes, indeed, there is power in the Name of Jesus.
Declaration: In the Name of Jesus, I declare the devil has no authority over me, my thoughts or my actions. I refuse to give in to the devil’s temptations, believe his lies or do what he says. I refuse to pick up any offense. When the devil reminds me of my past, I will remind him of his future. I declare that I am led by the Holy Spirit, guided by the Word of God, and covered by the blood of Jesus. Today, I call upon the Name of Jesus. And I receive the Lord’s power and wisdom to be an overcomer. Amen. So be it.