This week I’ve been shining a light on temptation to expose the lies that Satan uses to drag us off the mark in our lives.
Temptation is a tool that our enemy uses to drag us away from the full, abundant and satisfying life that Jesus bought for us on the Cross.
How Jesus Was Tempted
Jesus himself was tempted by Satan. There’s a lot we can learn from looking at these two additional examples of common temptations.
1. Feeding Our Hunger
Here’s how Jesus was tempted in the desert. The Bible says He had been fasting forty days and forty nights and he was HUNGRY.
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3 NIV
Notice that Jesus had an unfulfilled desire to eat. Satan says, “You are a big boy, take care of this yourself. Feed your hunger.”
I want to point out that stones are not food.
This is how we are often tempted. We are seduced into thinking that we can take something that wasn’t intended for our desires and make it work.
I’m reminded of the story in Genesis 3 about how Abraham and Sarah decided that, since they couldn’t get pregnant, they would take things into their own hands. Abraham would sleep with one of their maids and have a child that way. This was their attempt to turn stones into bread. Of course, this approach didn’t satisfy them.
Indulging in risky shortcuts is a tempting way to try to fast forward things in our lives. These shortcuts never satisfy our hunger. They may numb our need for a bit, but generally, they just create a big mess.
2. Bowing to Worldly Success
Here’s the last example I want to bring out into the light for now. It is the final temptation that Satan throws at Jesus.
Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8-9 NLT
The temptation is for worldly success, power and recognition.
It is easy to brush off this scenario at first glance because, “I would never bow down and worship the devil.”
However, isn’t it tempting to tell a little white lie at work to save face? Isn’t this a small bow in the devil’s direction to get worldly approval?
There are lots of other “little” examples like this if you stop and think about it. You can die from a thousand tiny cuts in this area.
There is nothing wrong with being successful, but you have to go about it the right way trusting that God will make your cause shine like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:6)
Study These Temptations
Again, the reason I’m writing so much about temptation is because it is the tool that Satan uses to cause us to miss the target of living the full, abundant and satisfying life that Jesus offers us.
Therefore, it is worth our time to study these tactics and understand how they might be robbing us of the life we desire.
I’ve illuminated the lies for you. I sincerely hope this helps you live in the freedom of Christ.
What common temptation did I miss? Please let me know in the comments.