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The Temptation of Jesus

BibleStudy-TemptationofJesusMy friends, the Holy Spirit has me reading the book of Luke right now. Again, He seems to be pointing out particular stories and giving me deeper revelation as part of our preparation right now. These are exciting revelations and exciting times. We are hearing more and more reports of breakthroughs throughout this community and all over the world, actually.  

So, please don’t lose hope if you’re still waiting for your breakthrough. God hasn’t forgotten you and He certainly isn’t mad at you. He’s always working for your good and putting things into place for your breakthrough. If anything, lately, I am stunned over and over again at the perfection of His timing. Trust Him to do this good thing in your life and just because you don’t see a shift or change around or in you doesn’t mean He’s not working. Just this week I was surprised by a major breakthrough that I thought God wasn’t dealing with yet, because I couldn’t see or feel any change or shift. How wrong I was…

Today I want to revisit something we’ve talked about in the past and expand upon it. Let’s look at the temptation of Jesus and four foundation areas the enemy attacks:

And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 

The devil said to him, “ If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” 

And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”  

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. ’” 

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,“‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and on their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. ’”

And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”  

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. — Luke 4:1-13 

First I want to point out two things that were true of Jesus. One, he was full of the Holy Spirit as well as led by the Holy Spirit (vs. 1). This is our model of walking in the Spirit and living filled by His power. In fact, we are commanded to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18) so ask Him to fill and empower you. He’s already there so get Him fired up! 

Two, Jesus endured every temptation (vs. 14). We are not shown every temptation, but we are shown four very specific areas that Jesus is tempted. This is what the Holy Spirit showed me— that these are four foundational areas for us as human beings and these needs were created specifically in us by the Father to be filled by Him.

The first one we’ve discussed already, which is identity. The enemy uses the phrase “if you are the son of God” in an attempt to create doubt in Jesus as to Who he is. Feel free to snicker here and say, “as if!” Jesus knew Who He was and Who He belonged to. And we can know this too as children of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). This is the rock and foundation of our faith on which all other parts are built. If built on sand, it will crumble. If built on rock—the truth of Jesus—we will stand firm even through testings and trials. Identity’s antithesis is anonymity, which makes us ineffective believers because we are swayed and influenced more by the world and the opinion of others than the truth of who we are.

The second test shown here is about provision and trusting God to provide. The enemy tells Jesus to command the stone to become bread. We know that Jesus was hungry and in need of food. In times of need the enemy will come in and tempt us to work in our own ability to provide instead of trusting God to provide (materially, mentally, physically, spiritually, etc.) for us. Trust is so foundational to faith, because if we doubt God’s goodness and His intentions to provide and take care of us, we are not trusting Him. We then become reliant on ourselves to provide instead of God. This trust of provision’s antithesis is self-reliance, which winds up burning us out.

I also want to point out that the rest of the verse Jesus referred to in man not living by bread alone is in Deuteronomy 8:3 and says “but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” So God’s Word is one of His highest forms of provision for our needs. Chew on that for a while…

The third test is about our significance in our purposes and callings as worship of God. The enemy tempts Jesus with the very glory He already knows is His, but the enemy puts the twist of placing himself as the recipient of Jesus’ worship. When we walk in accordance to what and how God has designed and equipped us, we are worshiping and serving Him in truth. When we seek the glory for ourselves, we become self-seeking and self-motivated—self-worshiping. In this case, the antithesis of significance is idolatry. 

The fourth test we are shown is about security. We have this basic need to know we are safe and taken care of. Here the enemy is tempting Jesus to test His security in the Father. But what this really is about is God’s character. Jesus’ answer to satan clarifies this with His reply about testing God. The Hebrew word ekpeirazō implies a test or questioning of God’s character. Makes me shudder to think about it. And clearly here, the antithesis of security is insecurity.

Finally, notice how each of these areas build upon each other. When we are clear in our identity as to who we are and Whose we are, we are able to trust God to provide for all our needs and we are secure in our significance and purpose in His plans for us.

Take notice too that Jesus was weak and most likely tired. The enemy knows he hasn’t really a chance against a child of God who is strong in these areas so he hit us in our times of weakness. The thing is, he still doesn’t seem to realize that in our weakness, we are strong in Jesus (2 Cor. 12:9). So, really and truly, we choose whether to give the enemy a “a chance in hell.” We don’t always recognize his attacks but when we do, we can still stand against him and his lies and turn back to the truth. Take notice that Jesus’ greatest weapon was the Word.

And there lies my final point (yes, cue broken record here). If we aren’t reading God’s Word, we won’t know things like our identity, that we can trust God, that we are significant to His kingdom and that we are secure in Him. It’s all in the Bible, my friends, just like I’ve shown you today. Read it regularly with a pure heart (1 John 1:9) and with the Holy Spirit’s help (1 Cor 2:10).

On Saturday, our very own Joanne M. with be sharing her insights on just how “puny” the enemy really is. I am so excited for you all to read her post. In the meantime, my friends, I pray you have an amazing week basking in the truth of who you are and whose you are. Strut around your house and say, “I belong to God and He’s got me covered in every way.” 

Wonder what our pre-believers will say… ;-)

Love you like crazy!

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