4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan River. The Spirit led him into the desert. 2 There the devil tempted him for 40 days. Jesus ate nothing during that time. At the end of the 40 days, 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 must not live only on bread.’ ” (Deuteronomy 8:3) 5 Then the devil led Jesus up to a high place. In an instant, he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. 6 He said to Jesus, “I will give you all their authority and glory. 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. He is the only one you should serve.’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:13) 9 Then the devil led Jesus to Jerusalem. He had Jesus stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 It is written, “ ‘The Lord will command his angels to take good care of you. 11 They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won’t trip over a stone.’ ” (Psalm 91:11,12) 12 Jesus answered, “Scripture says, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’ ” (Deuteronomy 6:16) 13 When the devil finished all this tempting, he left Jesus until a better time.
I was imagining myself as Jesus in this passage, and I imagine myself to be growing increasingly tired over the 40 days of temptations that bombarded me. It would have been increasingly easy to come to a place of, “I give in Devil.” The reasoning would have been – I’m just too tired, I’m just too hungry, I just can’t be bothered anymore.
But Jesus was resolute to the end, even though he would have grown increasingly physically, mentally and emotionally weak and ragged. Which says to me that fighting the Devil’s temptations and troubles is more about where I’m expecting my strength to come from than it is about how strong I feel in myself.
If Jesus had expected his physical, emotional and mental strength to get him through to the end, we would have seen such reliance in the text. But Luke is instructive in showing us how Jesus fought – by the strength of the word of God. A word of God based rejection of the Devil’s temptations and trials is what I need to practice by default. If that was the only method for Jesus, and He was and is the perfect Son of God, then any reliance outside of the word of God for me is vain and impotent in overcoming the Devil.
I want to win the daily fight, so Lord help me walk with the incomparable strength and spiritual might of your word. Nothing is more easily accessible to me, and more potent in overcoming my Enemy. Amen.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh