Matthew 4:1 – Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Matthew 4:2 – And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
Matthew 4:3 – And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Matthew 4:4 – But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:5 – Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
Matthew 4:6 – And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Matthew 4:7 – Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Matthew 4:8 – Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Matthew 4:9 – And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Matthew 4:10 – Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Matthew 4:11 – Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Hello readers, new blog today. Hope it’s a help to you. Ever wondered how to get victory over the tempter like Christ did? We’re going to be talking about the temptation of Jesus Christ and overcoming temptation, overcoming sin in our lives. I’ve often thought about the temptation of Jesus Christ. Before his ministry came the temptation. Until we get personal victory in our lives, how is God ever going to use us to minister to others? The tempter came to him, and he was the only man to have ever lived whom the tempter did not beat. You and I give into temptation to sin daily, but Jesus was sinless. Not just sinless, but he wasn’t conquered by Satan even on a forty day fast. He was at his weakest, yet in his weakness he was strong.
Feasting weakens our flesh. Our flesh has desires and an appetite, it makes demands. Fasting breaks our flesh’s hold on us. We need to not just fast physically in terms of food, but fast in terms of what we are allowing into our mind and hearts. To learn to deny our flesh, because our flesh is a fat little guy demanding to be fed.
In fasting there is a spiritual strength that is gained. Because when you fast, your natural desires to eat are denied. It strengthens you spiritually, and in the Bible we are commanded to fast. Fasting is good because it goes against our flesh, it weakens our flesh. We say no. The Bible speaks of people who’s god is their belly. The Bible speaks of incontinent people, they can’t contain their fleshly desires. Their flesh runs their life. Fasting is one way to beat off spiritual problems in our lives. It’s a good thing to grow spiritually and put our flesh to death, to learn to deny our flesh, to deny our lust. There’s nothing like a spiritual fast to break a fleshly appetite for sin. Fast that sin out your life.
Anyway on we go, and what I’ve thought about is how Jesus quoted scripture to the devil. It is written, it is written, it is written! Jesus is a pretty good example to follow in our lives. So when we are tempted, we can try and have victory by saying “it is written”. But then that doesn’t seem to work quite like it did for Jesus! The problem is, temptation to sin comes in my life, and sure I may even get a victory here and there, but defeat is just around the corner. See, Satan didn’t stop at one temptation, we can get a victory, but the next day we fall.
Temptation to sin comes upon my life and I try meditating upon or quoting a bit of scripture and it doesn’t seem to give me any power. I quoted a verse… so what? Not quite the power like Jesus had! I’ve tried quoting scripture in temptation to sin and it just didn’t help. Because in me was still the desire and drawing of sin.
If someone is going through temptation, or struggles with sin in their life, telling them to memorize the Bible and quote scripture when the temptation comes… will it really change the outcome? I am going somewhere with this. I’m not diminishing from the fact that it is vitally important to read the Bible, to saturate our hearts and minds and lives with it. But the point we are going to get to is that it’s got to be more than just head knowledge of verses. Just punching out verses out loud, it’s not going to change anything is it?
See, this is what I realize. It was in Jesus’ heart to obey his Father, to obey his word. Contrast that to us, and what’s in our heart is often a love of sin. But what was in Jesus’ heart was a perfect love of his Father. Jesus said he always did those thing that pleased his Father. He said my Father worketh, and I work. What we see, particularly in the book of John, is the perfect oneness and harmony and relationship and fellowship that Jesus had with his Father.
Out of his life was pouring the word of his Father, of God. Unless we have the Father and we get this same love for God’s word, unless a love for the word of God is IN us… quoting scripture in the face of overwhelming temptation is just meaningless. You can know all the scripture in the world yet be completely conquered by Satan in your life. It’s not people don’t know Bible, we live in an age where you have the Bible at your fingertips, easy access, whenever you care for it. The problem is many people aren’t born again, there is no spiritual life there, God is not their father, and in them is no love for God or his word.
We have a very real battle with sin in our lives. Let’s not pretend you and I don’t have the capacity to sin and sin and sin. Often this story of Jesus’ temptation is irrelevant to us, because yeah Jesus overcame temptation, but we never have victory like he had ever. But Jesus came to deliver us from temptation. What about the Lord’s prayer? Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. God wants us to have victory and not live a life controlled by that master of sin.
The problem is our heart. See, it goes back to what’s in us. What was in Jesus’ heart versus what is in our heart is day and night difference. Jesus was sinless, but we sin. We sin, not because of a mistake or a slip up or a bad day or a poor choice, we sin because the desire to, the propensity to, the inclination to, the will to, the want to… it’s in us. Rather than spiritual life and a love for God, and if you are not saved God is not your Father… we are spiritually dead… and our life is run at the whim of our sinful flesh… who’s got a great, great appetite for sin. It wouldn’t be hard not to sin if it wasn’t in our nature to sin. If you had no lust and pride in your heart, then you wouldn’t struggle with lust and pride.
The problem is with the way we are born. That’s why Jesus said ye must be born again. The new birth is necessary because there’s something so wrong with that first birth that we need to be completely reborn. And it’s a spiritual birth. Jesus was born different to you and I. He was born with God as his father. You and I have an earthly father, we are born in sin, that sin that Adam had, it’s been passed all the way down the line to us. We’ve never gotten better, we never bred our way out of it. Jesus had a different birth, you are going to need a different birth… the new birth.
Look at this verse Luke 2:33 – And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. See, the Bible says Joseph and his mother. Because Joseph was not his father, God was. As a sidenote, in this verse is another test of whether you have God’s word in your hands or not. Many of the other versions (perversions) of scripture refer to Joseph as Jesus’ father. Which is blasphemy. Joseph was not Jesus’ father. Jesus was not from him.
Unless God is your father, and he becomes your father when you believe on Jesus Christ and are born into his family spiritually, it won’t be in you to obey God’s word. See, Jesus was quoting what was written, but it was far more than just empty words. He lived by the word of God. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. He didn’t just say that to sound good and sound right and sound holy, that was his life. His life, his existence, his purpose, everything… it revolved around the word of God. You can say that verse all you want, quote it a million times, but if it’s not in you… it’s meaningless.
We’re in a world and Christianity which esteems God’s word very lowly. But Jesus esteemed God’s word not just as important or relevant, but as the very essence of his life and being. Job 23:12 says “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” It’s a damning indictment when the God you say is your Saviour valued the word of God for his life and work and ministry and purpose and ambition infinitely more than us, to whom that same word is given.
We’ve been given God’s word people, and we’ve tossed it aside, and the tempter’s having a proper field day with our lives. Our lives are in freefall just like Satan wanted Jesus to be heading towards to rocks off the pinnacle of the temple. Your life is going to be dashed on rocks, not borne up of angels like you think when you’re living a disobedient, rebellious… oh sure you’re religious… but your life goes as deep as words. See, Jesus life and heart went far deeper than a few words. his entire life was centered on the word of his Father.
If you are saved, you will be tested. This world is a proving ground, Jesus didn’t go without testing and trying.. Jesus was tested and tried out in the wilderness. Oh you’re going to get by? We have the blueprint for how to have victory in our lives. Victory is going to come by having a life and heart totally devoted to God’s word, in line, in sync, in harmony with the Father.
The tempter is going to try us. We are going to be tempted to sin, to disobey God, to rebel, life is going to sort out what’s really in our heart. What was really in Jesus’ heart was to obey his Father, his word was in his heart. Psalm 119:11 – Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. See, although this is good for us to do and we always strike out, Jesus fulfilled that verse, he lived it perfectly. Just like that verse in Job, while that’s something we plan on doing and think sounds good, Jesus lived out his life in that reality, he did esteem God’s word more than his necessary food. Forty days and nights of no eating, but plenty of God’s word being digested.
Jesus wasn’t just saying to the tempter, the Bible says this devil! Often our lives don’t extend beyond a cliche. Beyond a surface level profession of words. Jesus was saying what his entire life revolved around. Jesus said, I and my Father are one. Is that you with God today? See, because when there is a oneness between us and God through Jesus Christ… that’s the key to overcoming temptation. The victory isn’t in us trying harder or doing better, the victory is in loving and obeying God in spirit and in truth. When God’s word is your life, you will have victory. The victory that overcomes the world is our faith. Faith is believing God’s word.
God was Jesus’ father. Until you’re born again, and you’re born again when you repent and place your faith in Jesus Christ… you won’t have a new spirit, a new desire, a new life beating in you. Spiritual life. A life that wants to honor God and obey him. A life that loves his word, a life that is centered around the Father’s business. See, Jesus from a child… he said I must be about my Father’s business. Maybe you’re not about the Father’s business because he’s not your father. Maybe life is just showing that there is no spiritual life there… that’s why you don’t care for God’s word. It’s that simple. You’re just not really saved.. that’s why you don’t live and think and speak like a saved person.
We are not going to beat temptation with just head knowledge of verses. We can know it all, we can quote it all verbatim… and our heart be as far from God as those God professing scribes and Pharisees. Yes it’s vital to read the Bible, to get it in you, to know it. But until it changes our lives, until our life is actually based upon it, until our lives are transformed by real faith, by real salvation, by real indwelling of the Holy Spirit… it’s empty and defeated. We can tend to live Christian just in our head, while our heart really is given to the flesh, the world and the devil.
Jesus heart was to obey his Father. There was no sin in him. That’s why he’s our Saviour. He lived a life I could never. Everything about him is good and perfect, and everything about me is sinful, corrupted and fallen. Even though the tempter came to him, for the first time in human history, the tempter was like… what? Why is this not working?
Christians today live in defeat because they don’t value God’s word at all, let alone have his word in their heart, let alone have their entire life centering upon the word of the Father. Life really just proves what’s in our heart. What’s in our deepest. Jesus is the most High, but often our lives place many things higher than him. What was really in Christ was the desire and passion to obey his Father, to declare God’s word, to preach it, to fulfill it, and to obey it unto death. He set his face like a flint. He went through grief, betrayal, rejection, shame, scorn, pain…. he went through bearing our curse, our sin, God’s wrath that was coming to us… he went through it all because of his heart perfectly turned towards his Father. He endured it all because of his perfect heart toward God’s word.
John 14:24 – He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. Jesus came by the word of God, and he came with the word of God. His life was completely based on the word of God. Imagine if we got this in step, this in tune with God’s word in our life. Imagine if we obeyed God not because we have to, but because we want to. Imagine if we loved God’s word. You know, if you don’t love God’s word… it’s because you don’t love God. John 14:15 – If ye love me, keep my commandments. His word and him are one and the same. How can you love God yet reject what he says?
Jesus didn’t just mindlessly quote verses at Satan. Satan even quoted Bible. So it’s not about quoting it. It’s about who’s living it. You can quote the Bible but have no heart to obey it. Because you don’t love God, because he doesn’t dwell in you, because there’s no spiritual birth and God is not your father. It’s about what’s inside. What was inside Jesus Christ was not corruption, was not defilement, was not lust, was not pride, was not sin. He had spiritual life, he and his Father were one, and to beat sin, we are going to need a relationship and fellowship with God. That relationship and fellowship is based on God’s word, and out of Jesus flowed it is written. This wasn’t empty quotes, this was his life mission. His life radiated the word of his Father… the word of God. He loved his Father, he always honored his Father he said.
It’s pretty damning when we look at our lives and see just a trail of sin and unbelief and rebellion and lust and pride. It’s pretty bad the state of our hearts. See, God’s word can be a chore to us, it’s a burden, an inconvenience, we begrudgingly obey, our attitude to God’s word is what can I get away with, we pick the parts we like… we have no genuine interest in God’s word, in obeying his word in our lives. Our hearts can be so far from God, even while we read and quote scripture. The Bible is going to be useless to you if it doesn’t change your life, if it’s not read with belief and humility and repentance.
Our nature is to sin, our nature is to disobey God, our flesh doesn’t even know God. We have to be born again. We need a birth like Christ’s birth, born of God, a new person who loves God and his word. A new person with a desire to obey and a heart to live it. That’s what will make the difference. Jesus loved his Father, and he loved what his Father had told him to do… do you have that kind of love in you? If Jesus did, why don’t we? Believe on Jesus Christ, believe he died on the cross for you, receive his forgiveness, the gospel will change your life. A salvation that has not changed your heart is not Biblical salvation.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)