My girlfriends and I were studying Psalm 91, and there was a verse that I had heard somewhere else. Well, of course, I had to chase that rabbit because that’s what ADHD people do best…chase rabbits, squirrels, etc. Then my Bible study girlfriends and I studied Jesus being tempted by the devil. Don’t you just love how one Scripture is integrated into another and how they all are connected to make such a rich texture in the tapestry of our faith?! I do. I just love it.
This story is found in three of the gospels. In one book, I want to ask the author, “Seriously? This is the best you could do?” But even it has a purpose for being in the Bible.
So let’s do a little backdrop. John the Baptist has just baptized Jesus. Talk about a humbling yet ministry high for John! And then in Luke, he gives the lineage of Jesus. So Jesus has just been baptized, and the NIV says, Luke 4:1, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit,”… “was led by the Spirit in the desert.”
- Have you ever experienced a spiritual mountaintop, and then be led into the desert?
- If you’ve read my prior blogs, this same thing happened to Philip. He was experiencing awesome things, when the Spirit led him into the desert. That is where he met the eunuch, and when the Spirit said go to the eunuch, Philip ran! After Philip baptized the eunuch, he simply vanished and turned up in another city. Check it out. It’s in your Bible.
- Another key point is that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus was God in the skin of man, and his Communicator with his Father was the Holy Spirit. If Jesus used the Spirit, don’t you think you need to as well?
So what is the devil’s first point of attack? He doesn’t play coy with this temptation. He goes straight to the point of any man who has been fasting for 40 days…his belly, his stomach.
In Luke 4:3, “The devil said to him, “IF you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
- First of all, this isn’t Jesus’s first rodeo with the devil. Jesus was present when God kicked the devil’s sorry behind out of heaven. Jesus knows that the devil knows that Jesus is God’s Son. That’s probably part of the rub for the devil, don’t ya think? Jesus has nothing to prove on this fact, but when you are hungry, and you smell those bread sticks from Olive Garden, doesn’t your mouth water? YES MA’AM!
- Here’s the thing about temptation. Jesus didn’t think about it. The first place his mind went was the Scripture. How well do you know the Word of God? Do you have it hidden in your heart? Do you have it memorized? When you are tempted, you shouldn’t think about it. You need to go to the Word!
Jesus was full of the Spirit when he was tempted. How often are we full of the Spirit when we are tempted? Maybe not so much. Maybe the Spirit has led us into the desert, but at the first sign of difficulty, we go to the fleshly side of us saying things, doing things we have no business doing. Been there, done that, hated it.
My daddy’s posts on Facebook what he calls, “Nugget for the Noggin.” And I want to leave you with one that he posted, “Sin’s consequences are not always immediate, but its results are always sure.” Think about it.