“Jesus answered, ‘It is written…'” (Matt. 4:1-11)
Hello and good morning friends!
It’s Friday again, can you believe it? I just can’t believe how quickly we’re rushing through the month of December. Aaahhhh!
Even still, let’s try to beat that “hustle” temptation! It’s really easy to slip into hurry and panic mode during this time. I know it is for me.
During this time of year (and please tell me I’m not the only one), I feel the taunt of, “what you’re getting for your kids will not suffice nor satisfy,” or, “you’re buying discount? Is that really love?”
Oh, oh, oh, what about, “Janet down the road got a real fur tree… what’s this fake thing in your living room,” and “better get those pictures up on your Facebook account so it seems like you’re up with the holidays!”
Yeah, there’s temptation everywhere, and the biggest temptation I begin to feel – more than any other temptation – is to despair. Why?
Our enemy knows what will trip us up. He figures out our weak spots – he is “cunning,” you know – and pushes them until they bleed. The feeling of defeat and failure take up residence in those warm, dark places of my heart, and before I can clean up, the infestation has spread and the “mold” has grown.
Friends, the Bible says that Jesus was tempted in every way WE WERE TEMPTED YET WITHOUT SIN (Heb. 4:15). He was tempted to despair. He was tempted to feel failure. He was tempted with comparison. BUT, He was without sin. He didn’t give into it. He felt the strong arm of the enemy, and He did NOT let Satan push Him around. Unto death, the Bible says, Jesus did the will of the Father of truth (John 6:38); not the father of lies (John 8:44)
I find it incredibly encouraging to know that Jesus has felt it; whatever “it” is, He’s been through the struggle just like me.
The Bible says that following His baptism and immersion of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led into the wilderness. He spent 40 days and 40 nights there. What He was doing, the Bible is not super explicit, but He definitely fasted. The Bible says He got hungry. (Matt.4:1-2)
A couple of things here, guys:
Jesus was human. Yes, He was God, but He was fully human. He fully hungered. He was fully weakened. I’m sure eating a critter may have been a little enticing – just a smidgen maybe – to curb His starvation. You know, that little something to help Him stay balanced and forgo hypoglycemia? Weird things happen to the mind when the body lacks sustenance.
And he knew. Jesus was weak. Jesus was vulnerable. Jesus was susceptible.
Jesus was tempted.
Understandably, we believe that because Jesus was first and foremost God incarnate, He OF COURSE was able to go head-to-head with the devil! OF COURSE He was able to outplay, outwit, and outdo! You guys, the Bible says, Jesus was tempted in every way we’ve been tempted. I’ve been tempted many times to lash out because of hunger. I’ve been tempted to give into that sweet stash in my bedroom if I missed breakfast! I’ve been tempted to believe lies above truth because of chemical imbalance due to hunger. And I’ve been tempted by these things even without being hungry! Yikes!
Enter “It is written…”
And He knew. Jesus knew God’s Word. He knew God’s Word by heart. It was written safely and securely on His core from the time He was a little boy in the Jewish synagogues. He knew.
This is how He fought the devil, and this is how WE TOO are encouraged to fight.
Fight the temptation in your weaknesses!
Fight the devil in his schemes against you!
Fight the forces of hell with the power of God!
Fight like Jesus fought in the wilderness against the foe that attempted deceit, fabrication, confusion…
“It is written…
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)
“It is written…
“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matt. 4:7)
“It is written…
“You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” (Matt. 4:10)
This here is why we must strive harder and better to write God’s Word on our hearts. Jesus – the God man – was able to fight the prince of the powers of the air with the Power straight from the inspired Word of God. Every word of God is profitable. It is good for correction. For instruction. (2 Tim. 3:16) It is the armor of God with which we battle every day! (Eph. 6) It is sharper than a double-edged sword, and helps us rightly divide the word of Truth against the father of lies! (Heb. 4:12)
I love that old hymn…
“When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see HIM there
Who made an end to all my sin…”
(Before the Throne of God)
It is written in the Bible, sis, that God’s Word is life. (Psalm 119:107)
It is written in the Bible, friend, that God’s Word is truth. (John 17:17)
It is written in the Bible, beloved, that God’s Word fills and brings revival (Psalm 119:125)
It is written in the Bible, christian, that God’s Word is Jesus Christ! (John 1)
Let’s go there; let’s go to His Word. Let’s write it – Him – on our hearts…
Watch the full process video and devotion on the CRK Youtube Channel, here!