Overcoming Temptation

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“And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.’ And Jesus answered him,  ‘It is written,  “Man shall not live by bread alone.”’” Luke 4:2-4

Jesus began his ministry by following the Holy Spirit’s guidance to pray and fast for forty days in the desert. I love that Luke included this little note: that at the end of his fast, he was hungry. Jesus was fully human—his hunger in the desert was just as real as our hunger when meetings run long and lunch is pushed back. Except probably more intense.

The devil takes this opportunity to tempt Jesus. He knows that Jesus was just as fully God as he was human. So he appeals to him: Use your power and make yourself happy. Get what you want now. It would be easy for you.

But Jesus isn’t fooled. Unlike Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (who, by the way, weren’t even all that hungry), Jesus trusts God and uses God’s Word to resist temptation. He knows that bread is only temporally satisfying, but trusting God is eternally satisfying.

Where are you tempted to use the control you have over your life to meet your needs and desires instead of obeying God? Are you misusing your position at work to gain power? Are you manipulating relationships for your own comfort? Jesus’ example and trusting in God’s Word will help you overcome temptations. Be open, confess to Him where you’ve sinned, receive forgiveness through Christ, and walk forward in the freedom to obey out of love.

Holy Father, thank you for Jesus’ perfect example to trust in your Word even when he faced real temptations to meet real needs. Help me to rely on your Holy Spirit and your Word and to resist temptation by your power. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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